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5 Core Values Continuous Testing Brings to the SDLC

From year to year, the level of competition on the market is evolving. So does the software. To endure the high pressure and keep providing innovative digital experience companies strive to push their products and services to the market the earliest possible. This urgency leads to squeezing development and testing cycles. Engineers have to adjust their development and testing methods according to the latest test automation guidelines and trending continuous testing practices to speed up delivery staying mindful of quality.
April 16, 2021
First, we need to know what continuous testing is. Basically, it is the repetitive process of testing in a continuous manner to deliver superior quality applications and software. This process is a part of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) and starts with the creation of the initial level of development plan through the release of the final product. Continuous testing facilitates the rapid feedback of any bugs or risks associated with the release/module/product that is being developed or upgraded.

Now, without any further ado, let's proceed to the top 5 benefits continuous testing provides to the software development processes.
Accelerated release cycles
Automated testing and deployment enable companies to faster respond to market changes. Using continuous testing in a bundle with test automation, updates can be developed quicker and released more frequently. Both existing and new code is tested in a more consistent manner.

Having a nicely set up continuous testing in the SDLC ensures early feedback to the development team about any issues the code may cause to existing features. As a result, the errors found get resolved way faster. Properly implemented continuous testing ensures clean code delivery, which allows for seamless integrations and accelerated launch rate.
Trustworthy feedback
Another significant advantage of testing software continuously is that it helps ensure features are ready for production well before release. Actionable feedback allows developers and managers to discover and fix critical defects while code is being built, not afterward.

Risk-based insights from reporting automated tools help cast a much wider safety net for business risk coverage than traditional (and time-intensive) manual testing. Instant feedback also helps developers make better design decisions — giving managers all the data they need to properly assess the product whether it is ready to run.
Improved test coverage
Despite continuous testing embraces each stage of the SDLC, it starts with the initial development, when engineers implement newly written code. By that, it assesses all features and potential errors earliest possible, which helps managers and programmers to conduct the right tests at the right time. They get an opportunity to determine whether a shift left or a shift right is necessary for their delivery pipeline.

End-to-end testing with automated tools helps cut out the false positives (when a test is executed and despite it running correctly, the test tells an engineer there is an error) and timeouts often seen in standard test environments. Considering the testing is performed at every stage, developers can be confident they're building secure and highly flexible software.

Continuous testing cuts out redundancy and saves valuable time. This ensures software companies have the most solid architecture in place for future application expansion. Especially as users frequently demand new features.
Positive user experience
One of the major priorities of continuous testing is making sure that an inaccurate product doesn't reach final users and spoil their experience. Software engineers must seek a balance between delivering new features that users want while not disrupting the experience they used to enjoy.

Since the software has become the primary method for connecting businesses with customers, one poor user experience can be counted as a business failure and cause financial losses.

In-depth testing ensures that all aspects of the user experience are preserved and accounted for. This helps maintain a vendor's brand and reputation once their software is ready for primetime.
Enhanced cross-department collaboration
As a team gets more and more into continuous testing, the lines between roles start to blur. For example, engineers collaborate with product managers on project details to better define the key ideas and understand what they need to develop. Also, when they write code, they can sometimes pair with another developer or a tester.

According to the continuous testing philosophy, a feature is ready only when there are tests running in continuous integration. This assumes that the feature has been tested with an exploratory approach, and ideally a product manager has approved the change. Rather than pushing the responsibility of understanding quality onto a person in the testing role, each person in the chain becomes a test expert in his part of the product and the technology stack he works with.

But get it wrong. Having a continuous testing approach doesn't mean there are no quality experts (dedicated QA engineers) in the team. These experts are still present and moreover, they are more empowered to focus on specifically automated or manual testing. Others just have a stake in the overall quality.