Among all the incredible content at Cyara Xchange, perhaps my favorite was Diego Lo Giudice’s keynote on continuous testing. Diego is Vice President and Principal Analyst from Forrester, and an expert in test automation as well as Agile and DevOps. And, fun fact, a rockstar in his own right as well as a rockstar for those of us focused on software quality. His presentation covered the big picture on why continuous testing is so important and the practical steps required to execute it.
Companies are using Agile and DevOps practices to ramp up their delivery speed. But, despite best efforts, the pace of software delivery is not keeping up with expectations – in fact, for the past 5 years, the average has been stuck at one release per month. Why? Only 33% of companies are embracing both Agile and DevOps. And, as Diego explained, these methodologies are the perfect pairing. As Diego described, Agile is like a Ferrari – it can go really fast. But, not if the infrastructure doesn’t support it. Imagine driving your Ferrari on a road full of pot-holes. You aren’t going very fast are you? In this metaphor, DevOps is the infrastructure, like good roads. Of course great roads by themselves won’t enable you to go fast. Even on the autobahn, you won’t be going very fast if you’re driving a Yugo. Just as you need a fast car AND good roads to drive fast, only by embracing both Agile AND DevOps, will you get quality@speed with your software development.
So, what’s getting in the way of achieving quality@speed? Test automation, and achieving continuous testing is a major blocker. For the past five years, automation of functional testing has been stuck at around 50%.
The Must Do's of Continuous Testing
And this is where Diego got into the meat of his presentation where he discussed The Twelve Must Do’s for Continuous Testing. The must do's fall into three categories:
- New Practices
- New Organization, and
- Modern Technology Foundation
I won’t go through each "must do," but will focus on a couple that resonated with me:
- Adopt Test-driven Development (TDD) or Behavior-driven Development (BDD). The great news is that Cyara supports both these approaches. With Cyara, test cases are written in plain-English (or other languages) and easily understandable by product owners, developers and testers. Not only do we use a plain-English, but our tests are directly derived from the designs as captured in Cyara, and these same designs provide the specifications for developers.
- Shift testing left. With Cyara, it all starts with the CX Model, where designs are captured. We render designs in an easy to understand visualization which ensures that stakeholders across IT and business have clarity on the design. This approach facilitates the elimination of issues, caused by miscommunication or lack of clarity, up front, before any code is developed. This is about as far left as you can go.
- Shift testing right. Similarly, the Cyara platform supports testing of your CX in production. You can continue to assure that the CX you designed is performing to your specifications in the real world. This enables you to quickly identify issues, so you can focus on the fix faster, and reduce mean-time-to-repair.
- Layer in CI/CD. Modern test automation needs to be embedded into common continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) technology such as Jenkins. This practice facilitates automation of automation, allowing you to do such things as automatically run a regression test campaign based on successful run of a unit testing campaign, and then automatically checking in the code based on success. At Xchange, at the Cyara demo station, we shared a demo that showed an example of an automated workflow in Jenkins. This was also the focus of our training workshop at Xchange: Automated Testing and Your DevOps Ecosystem. Reach out to us if you’d like to see this capability demonstrated (it’s really cool!).
Diego’s engaging continuous testing presentation set the stage for two days of highly educational, practical breakout sessions from our customers, partners and Cyarans. Contact us to learn more about how you can become a continuous testing rockstar yourself. And, visit our event site for more information about Cyara Xchange.