Moving Through the Stages
Once code is created, it must be able to be built without error, passing all unit tests and local verification.
This stage is particularly important because the development environment echoes the requirements of production; if it works here it’ll likely also work for the customer.
At this stage, running early regression and developer verification tests ensures the build is ready while providing feedback about the reliability of the environment. It’s useful to have individual test cases as part of more than one schedule. This enables developers to test minor parts of the software without undergoing regression tests of all product features. These tests should be automated and triggered as part of the same process.
Developers should have the ability to perform basic tests on their own code. After all, the sooner a flaw is identified, the easier it is to eradicate. Just as testers are not experts in coding, neither are developers expert testers. To shift left and effectively integrate tests at all stages of the development life cycle, it must be automated. This will allow developers to test larger quantities of code earlier and more frequently.
Once through this stage, the software can advance to the test environment.
This is where a variety of product tests take place, including those for function, load and performance. Passing this stage entails all automated functional UI tests, verification of visual appearance, an inspection of server logs and performance evaluation.
This is where most regression tests are conducted and automation is crucial for scheduled tests to be triggered.
Next, the product moves into the production stage.
Tests still occur in this stage to pinpoint any remaining bugs. Automated tests are then run against the production environment to closely mirror interactions with real end users. At this point, it’s highly unlikely there will be major issues but, if there are, running tests at earlier stages could very well be the culprit.
Throughout the process, ideally, testers will use a visual, no-code tool to create these automated tests. In this way, testers are able to more rapidly and intuitively implement test automation without having to tap into programming resources. Additionally, the integrated documentation of the actions taken during automation will be interactively connected to visual documentation of the test results. The upshot is that testers and developers gain a shared language for both building test automation and troubleshooting the issues it identifies.
This is Not Just a Test
Effective, scalable tests are crucial to delivering the reliable, high-quality software that today’s businesses rely on for day-to-day operations. This is why DevOps and development teams need to integrate tests at all stages of software development. Shift left speeds up the creation of better quality softwarewhich provides a significant market advantage. After all, it’s not just about software quality; it can show which companies are best prepared to meet market demands.