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Why is automation the only way to deliver continuous testing in Agile?

Can anyone please tell me why is automation the only way to deliver continuous testing in Agile.

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Posted 3 months ago

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The use of agile methodologies for testing and development of software applications is growing rapidly. More and more businesses are adopting agile approaches in their application development cycle. That’s why most testing teams are focused on improving and enhancing their agile management.

Agile methodologies allow teams to carry out software development throughout SDLC so that bugs can be detected in the early stages of development, and developers can fix them immediately. It is being said that when agile development and testing come together, speed becomes the primary focus for both developers and testers. And it is true because for continuous delivery in agile development, implementing continuous testing in DevOps becomes critical.

The primary objective of every DevOps team is to foster a continuous delivery process that allows them to deliver the innovative and improved version of their application faster. But, while focusing on quickening the development life cycle, most organizations often oversee the testing process. With continuous development, continuous testing is also essential for faster delivery of a reliable product.

When you commit a hot-fix or a release through a CI/CD pipeline, you need to make sure that there are no regression defects that might hamper your Production environment. Doing so manually can take a considerable amount of time. Thus, automation testing is the only way possible to overcome these challenges.

Test Automation and Continuous Testing Are Not the Same!

Test automation or automation testing is the process of automating specific factors of the software product that takes time and effort with the manual testing process. It is executed to confirm that the actual outcomes actually match the expected results.

Whereas, continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests in the agile development pipeline to gain feedback on the risks involved with the software release as soon as possible. It not only focuses on business risks but also provides valuable insights to examine whether the software can be released or not.

And when test automation is implemented in continuous testing, it can be extended and supported by various practices like prioritization and risk-based test case design, test-driven service virtualization, continuous integration in DevOps toolchain, etc.

Continuous Testing and Automation Testing Must Go Hand-in-Hand for Agile SDLC

Agile methodologies are used to build high-quality applications while reducing the risk involved with development. Also, as agile methodologies require frequent changes, having a test automation process in hand can be very helpful to deal with regression defects. A continuous testing process incorporating test automation can help your Agile release cycles.

  • Early bug detection with less cost

Continuous testing can be the game-changer in the agile development process, and test automation can help in basic authorization and examination of software defects for continuous delivery. So, if you find defects in the early stages, you will be able to fix it quickly, and that will cost less to the enterprise.

  • Easy automation

If you are working on continuous delivery of the product, then you need a continuous testing process, which is only achievable via test automation. With an effective automation testing strategy, you will be able to test quickly, early, and automate the process at every stage of development easily.

  • Reduce testing efforts

Whatever agile methodology you use for the application development, one thing that you can never deny is that automation is the only possible way to reduce the testing efforts. An automation tool delivers extensive features and functionality to the QA team so that they can focus on the continuous development and agility of the product.

  • Challenges Associated With Automation for Continuous Testing in Agile

Using automation for continuous testing in agile is not that simple, QA professional faces a lot of challenges during the entire development process. However, these challenges can be overcome with automation testing techniques. Some of the significant challenges faced by QAs are:

  • Improvement in speed and performance

With automation testing, testers can easily accomplish improved speed and performance in their testing environment. Moreover, the movement of test cycles also becomes faster while allowing developers to get feedback and insights at the early stages. Though automating every model of testing is tempting for testers, manual testing is still required in some cases of regression and exploratory testing at the UI level.

  • Incomplete test coverage

When there is a requirement of frequent changes in a web app that were not considered earlier, then it leads to inadequate code changes. But performing regression testing with automation can help you ensure the functionality of existing releases.

  • Increasing Productivity

It requires technical expertise and efforts to build a test environment and configure an automation framework. And the biggest challenge in increasing test automation coverage includes time and cost associated with setting up a useful automation framework. Having a broad test management platform helps in simplifying this process for the success of test automation projects.

Moreover, it is hard to find automation experts with rights skills, and due to this, most businesses do confront. Continuous testing in agile with automation requires proper coordination between developers, testers, and other team members.

  • Incompetent API testing

Implementing complex APIs is always complicated, and most testers often overlook API testing due to this. With the help of an automation tool, you can easily disable the need for having strong code skills for testing such APIs.

  • Selecting the right test automation tool

As we are talking about automation testing in agile, we cannot ignore the requirement of the automation tools, and that’s what the most complicated task becomes for developers. For instance, traditional test automation tools with record and playback feature ask testing teams to wait until software testing is done. Also, they are not ideal for agile development.

Most of you might know that implementing automation in the early stages of agile development is very challenging, but it becomes appropriate with time. So, having a reliable testing tool in hand is crucial for gaining the efficiency and quality benefits of agile. For example, if you are looking to perform automated browser testing then an online Selenium Grid of thousands of real browsers along with integrations to third-party CI/CD tools would be the right call for continuous testing.

  • Managing resources

For agile development, you need a mixture of testing skills. For example, you need testing resources to verify indistinct scenarios and test cases, implement manual testing with developers, write automated regression tests, and execute the tests.

Also, with the progress of the project, experts are required to cover specific test areas that include performance testing and integration. Thus, there should be an appropriate mix of domain specialists who can plan and gather the requirements.

  • Strong planning and execution

With access to the right experts of automation, companies can assist development teams to get faster insights without pushing their in-house QA resources. Also, you can plan and execute successful automation scripts if you have knowledgeable automation experts. Moreover, automating specific and essential workflows in the testing process will allow you to reduce cost and time significantly.

Considering the above points, we can say that automation is the only possible way to deliver continuous testing in agile development. It helps in faster turnaround for QAs by implementing continuous integration in agile, certifies daily build execution, and ensures a quality product at the end of the agile development life cycle.

Conclusion

When it comes to testing, a lot of factors are similar, such as continuous delivery and continuous integration of the product. Now, automation provides speed, reliability, reusability, and more in software development, and so is the case with agile development. But, the prominence of automation testing in agile is much more than in software development, and that’s why automation is the best way for delivery of continuous testing in agile. We hope this article cleared most of your doubts related to automation for continuous testing in agile.

Answer source: Dzone

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