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In today’s economy, businesses create a competitive edge through software — and every company is essentially a software company. Now that rapid delivery of differentiable software has become a business imperative, software development teams are scrambling to keep up. In response to increased demand, they are seeking new ways to accelerate their release cycles — driving the adoption of agile or lean development practices such as DevOps.
Yet, based on the number of software failures now making headlines on a daily basis, it’s evident that speeding up the SDLC opens the door to severe repercussions.
Organizations are remiss to assume that yesterday’s practices can meet today’s process demands. There needs to be a cultural shift from testing an application to understanding the risks associated with a release candidate. Such a shift requires moving beyond the traditional “bottom-up” approach to testing, which focuses on adding incremental tests for new functionality. While this will always be required, it’s equally important to adopt a top-down approach to mitigating business risks. This means that organizations must defend the user experience with the most likely use cases in the context of non-functional requirements — continuously.
In order for more advanced automation to occur, we need to move beyond the test pass/fail percentage into a much more granular understanding of the impact of failure: a nuance that gets lost in the traditional regression test suite. Continuous Testing is key for bridging this gap. Continuous Testing brings real-time assessments, objective go/no-go quality gates, and continuous measurements to refine the development process so that business expectations are continuously met.
Ultimately, Continuous Testing resets the question from “are you done testing?” to “is the level of risk understood and accepted?”
How does this business-focused approach to Continuous Testing work? At a high level, you situate a broad set of automated defect prevention and detection practices that serve as “sensors” throughout the SDLC — continuously measuring both the product and the process. If the product falls short of expectations, you don’t just remove the problems from the faulty product. You also consider each problem found an opportunity to re-examine and optimize the process itself—including the effectiveness of your sensors. This establishes a defect-prevention feedback loop that enables you to incrementally improve the process.
In terms of DevOps, the benefits of Continuous Testing include:
This notion of “continuous quality” is central to achieving the expected ROI from DevOps, agile, and other lean initiatives.
DevOps Requires Continuous Testing by Gartner Research provides software development leaders recommendations for transforming the SDLC to achieve the optimal balance of quality and speed in this new era of “Continuous Everything.” Read it to learn:
Parasoft’s industry-leading automated software testing tools support the entire software development process, from when the developer writes the first line of code all the way through unit and functional testing, to performance and security testing, leveraging simulated test environments along the way.