Who Owns Continuous Testing
In a world where Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) is fast becoming the norm Continuous Testing (CT) is essential for organizations who want to deliver more and more rapidly to customers who insist that the software maintain its quality.
It is a perfectly good business practice to start with a minimum viable product (MVP) and improve on it over time especially as demand for speed increased but it has to be done in a setting where quality is still high. It is not true to say that users will forgive you if some of the iterations don’t function as well simply because you release new versions rapidly even when fixes can be delivered quickly.
It is now time for the culture to take account of the need for CT and one of the ways it needs to change is by defining who bears the ultimate responsibility for testing which part of the product. Everyone involved has a role to play in quality assurance but the speed of delivery has already increased the amount of software released with bugs.
The key here is to test early, fast, often and after.
Testers Are High-Value Individuals
Although traditionally it has been the coders and developers that are seen as the key professionals having testers is essential particularly as Agile and DevOps become more and more integrated into business practice. They have to be recognized as a vital part of any production process. Automation has been seen as a way to circumvent testers however, while developers can easily automate a test, they still need input regarding test design.
Testers are now being told they need to code to stay relevant and, in some cases, this has led to a lot of time being wasted as they try to write scripts whilst still having to traditionally test the interface.
The central philosophy of any organization must be quality and customer satisfaction and they need testers to head up the CT aspect of this. Quality Assurance has to be built into the process and everyone held responsible to ensure it is conducted properly.
Left Shift and Testers
Left shift encourages early testing to remove bugs early in the life cycle of a software product.
The main focus is on the user experience which is a good thing provided other aspects of testing are not neglected.
Now developers are doing many more tests including performance, AP and security. They often write code that tests the automation scripts however, this is a particularly optimistic picture as many developers still do not do unit testing, let alone more sophisticated tests. This means problems are not dealt with rapidly leading to a loss in revenue and brand reputation.
Testing takes time and most developers spend less than an hour each day testing leading to the view that unit testing is simply not being done. Business and technical testers, along with developers, must look at how the software functions at a user level because good functionality is now a business requirement.
Testers can help build baselines and interact with developers and the test center to look at identifying key issues that need to be tested for. Yes, testing for security is vital but not at the expense of other components such as bugs and functional shortfalls.
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Testers can act to make the rest of the team look more deeply at what needs to be tested and why so that technical, business and security issues are identified and remediated promptly to preserve UX and protect corporate interests.
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