Enhancing The Robustness Of CI/CD Pipeline With Test Automation
Quality Assurance is a very important part of a successful software development methodology. With the trend turning towards Agile, Kanban software development methodologies, a quick testing feedback, quick deployment and a quick deliverable have become a must. You need to ensure that you research and plan to suit to these SDLC methodologies to facilitate your CI/CD pipeline.
But just implementing a CI/CD pipeline is not enough. To ensure the success of the product and the overall software development process, the Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery/Deployment pipeline need to be valuable at all times.
Having a CI/CD pipeline successfully implemented in an Agile or Kanban Development Process has several advantages as mentioned below:
- Developers can check-in their changes and get actionable feedback about build quality
- CI/CD ensures feedback after every check-in. This in general means a faster development process
- Faster deployment enables developers to provide any number of bug fixing in a minimum amount of time
- The version control system used with a CI/CD tool enables the developers to roll back any code check-in with ease
- The code is only deployed on the customer’s end after ensuring that it does not break
- CI/CD helps achieve better code coverage by reporting it after every test run
Above steps help developers quickly update the code to make it error-free and deployable and also help the company to ship better code faster. But all of this can only prove beneficial in the long run if any overhead caused by any component in the CI/CD pipeline is resolved early on.
The most important feedback that the CI/CD pipeline provides is the result of the automated tests that are executed after every developer checks in some new code in the form of a new feature or a bug fix. So to keep the feedback useful at all times, it is essential that the validity of the automated test cases and the quality of the feedback provided is always maintained.
Below are the steps that a professional QA should take to keep the CI/CD pipeline robust at all times:
- Automation of the most important features and workflows is done first.
The first step is automating the most crucial workflows and scenarios to serve as smoke testing for any build. Once this is in place, the automated test cases should be increased logically according to the priority of the test cases.
- The Automated test cases and their failure reports are concise and helpful.
If a test case has a lot of steps, it may fail initially and not report subsequent failures, so for concise and accurate error report in minimum time, test cases should be short and should provide helpful errors/exceptions to help to debug.
- Any failure should be treated as soon as possible instead of simply commenting or skipping the test case.
To keep the automation consistent and useful, any flaky test case should be taken care of immediately or whenever time permits but should never be treated lightly.
- If any area is not automated, make sure it is stable.
If during automation, any area is left out, we need to ensure that that this is not prone to errors.
- The Automation test suite should not take too long to run.
To not defeat the purpose of quick feedback, a time limit should always be kept in mind for how long the test(s) should run.
When more and more test cases are automated regularly, it is natural that the time taken for execution of all the test cases will increase. In such scenarios, the test suites should be configured according to priority and all the test cases should only be run before an actual release as part of a certification.
Another important part here is the infrastructure use, the machines used to run the test cases should be such that they can handle the load appropriately.
Testsigma supports running your test cases in parallel and helps significantly reduce the execution time!
- The Automation test runs are stable and reliable. Flaky test runs waste more time than they save, so whenever the test cases are designed, the stability and reliability of the test cases should always be given the utmost importance. Hence the quality of automation and automation test tool used becomes all the more important here.
- Cover as many test cases under automation as possible. Adding test cases to the automation test suite should be practised from the time the software is designed and should be carried out whenever a new feature is added to keep the test cases up to date at all times.
- Keep the automation test suite up to date. Even if there is a small change in the product, the corresponding test case should always be updated to test for the changed behaviour.
- With cross-browser testing and responsiveness testing gaining more and more importance, execution of test cases should be supported for all supported browsers and devices. Again, Testsigma provides the support for running your test cases on the cloud on multiple browsers and devices
- Reduce duplication of efforts. Test Cases should be designed in such a way that if there is some piece of code or functionality that is being used, again and again, it is created as a stub and not duplicated.
- To maximize test and code coverage, start automation as soon as possible and keep adding to the test cases as and when new features are added.
- The test case pass and failures should be reported effectively for swift action. Testsigma integrates with most of the CI tools and sends a well-composed report for quick action.
If the automation tool is easy to use for a non-technical person like Testsigma, test cases can be automated by developers, QA, product managers and clients as well. This ensures that a feature is tested from all possible perspectives during an automation run.
Maintenance of such test cases can be made easier by tools like Testsigma that have AI as their core.
Testsigma is undoubtedly one such tool that will help a professional QA keep the CI/CD pipeline robust. The NLP support for the creation of test cases enables all stakeholders of a product to add test cases.
Testsigma is the fastest yet reliable cloud+local based CI/CD setup and integrates with your preferred CI/CD tools.
The NLP support also promotes shift-left testing as there is no need for the source code to start writing the test cases. Read more about this here. Testsigma also has an AI core that will help maintain your test cases with minimum effort. With a scalable test environment on the cloud supporting execution of devices on multiple browsers and devices, efficient and economical management of your CI/CD pipeline was never so easy!