Automation Testing

Continuous Testing in DevOps Bootcamp (2024 Guide)

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One issue I often hear about on my podcast is the fact that many teams are not taking advantage of continuous testing in DevOps.

This is unfortunate because, when done right, it could be helping them deliver high-quality products faster to their customers. The common cause of the struggle is the need for a proper testing strategy.

Can you relate?

If so, read on. Hopefully, by the end, you will have a better idea of a proven strategy and a free course resource to take you to the next level.

First, let's ensure you understand what I mean by continuous testing in DevOps.

What is Continuous Testing in DevOps?

I like to say that continuous testing in DevOps is all about automation.

By integrating automation, including automated tests at each stage of your software development pipeline, your team receives immediate feedback.

This feedback acts like a safety net, letting you know if any risks are found that could cause issues with your software before it is released.

Why is this important?

Well, the quicker you find issues, the better and more confident your team will be in knowing if your software is ready to be deployed to your customers.

How do tests help?

There are many benefits of testing, including:

  • Teams can catch bugs early
  • Reduces risk
  • Improves the quality of the final product.

Remember, it's not just about finding errors.

Another benefit is improving the speed and quality of delivery, ensuring that every release is as robust as possible.

Also, when done right, it enables teams to continuously assess the quality of the software and provide rapid feedback to developers.

A promotional banner for "develops continuous test automation bootcamp" featuring headshots of five professionals and a "register for free" button.

I recently created a course on this topic, and one of its instructors, Ethan Chung, a technical consultant at Keysight, explained to me, “Continuous testing gives your customers the confidence to release when they launch the newest, whether it's a minor release bug change or a big version complete release.”

It makes sense, right?

Also, keep in mind that it's not just about functional automated tests.

You should use automation at every stage of your SDLC. From unit tests to integration tests, e2e tests, and any other process that can be automated to speed things up (not always a test) should be automated.

By following an awesome testing strategy with the right tools and the right automation can help ensure that your applications meet quality standards and deliver value to end-users.


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How does Continuous Testing differ from traditional testing?

When I began testing more than 25 years ago, pre-Agile, it was a waterfall approach, with testing typically being done after all the software had been developed.

Not a good idea!

Testing at the end led to delayed feedback and increased bug-fixing costs, and it took forever to get the software in the hands of our customers.

I've seen projects take years to develop, test, and deliver to the customer, only to die a quick death due to quality issues and not being built for what the customer really needed or wanted.

Enter Agile and DevOps.

DevOps changed everything, emphasizing integrating tests through the SDLC. And you can only scale this approach by adding a hefty dose of automation.

When used correctly, automation enables your teams to catch bugs early, reducing manual testing efforts and providing your developer with rapid feedback.

This is also known as continuous testing, and it's extremely important.


Well, Deepty Chauhan, a DevOps enthusiast and site general manager at Keysight's Atlanta Software Design Center, highlighted the importance of continuous testing to me: “The main goal is to ensure that the release candidate is constantly being assessed for quality and improvement as it moves through the delivery pipeline. This highlights defects early and gives you time to fix them while the code is still fresh in your mind.”

Also, continuous testing promotes a shift-left approach, where testing is performed earlier in the development cycle. This leads to faster issue resolution and higher-quality software.

How does Continuous Testing fit into DevOps?

As you can imagine, continuous testing is a critical component of the DevOps practice.

It aligns with the core principles of DevOps, including:

  • Collaboration
  • Automation
  • Continuous improvement.

In a DevOps pipeline, continuous testing is seamlessly integrated with other practices, such as continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD).

Philippa Merrill, a technical consultant at Keysight with experience as an automation tester, explains it like this: “As soon as the code is merged, it can be tested, and relatively instant feedback is given. Traditionally, testing involves relatively siloed teams, whereby the devs mark an issue as merged or ready for testing, and a separate QA team will conduct these. On the other hand, continuous testing not only speeds up code delivery but also gives teams a common focus on quality and promotes greater communication between QA and development teams.”

As developers commit code changes, automated tests are triggered, providing immediate feedback on the quality of the code. This feedback loop enables teams to identify and fix issues quickly, reducing the risk of defects reaching production. Continuous testing empowers DevOps teams to deliver software confidently, knowing it has undergone rigorous testing at every pipeline stage.

How to implement a Continuous Testing strategy into your DevOps pipeline

Implementing a continuous testing strategy into your DevOps pipeline involves several key steps:

  1. Define your testing goals. Priorities should be based on risk, business requirements, and your user expectations.
  2. Identify the types of tests needed for each stage of your development process (i.e., unit tests, integration tests, end-to-end tests, etc.).
  3. Select the appropriate testing tools and frameworks. Ensure that they align with your technology stack and testing needs. Don’t just go with what is popular.
  4. Automate and integrate tests into your CI/CD pipeline. Be sure that tests are automatically triggered with each code commit.
  5. Establish a feedback mechanism to quickly communicate test results to developers and other stakeholders on your team for rapid feedback.
  6. Shift-right—Continuously monitor and optimize your testing process, identifying areas for improvement and adapting to changing requirements.

Kieran Leicester, a technical consultant at Keysight, emphasizes the importance of integrating testing into the CI/CD pipeline: “Continuous testing exists within CI/CD or continuous integration, continuous delivery. When we step back, modern software development doesn't matter what you call it. It could be modern applications, DevOps, cloud-native, whatever the flavor, the purpose is to accelerate delivery fast, safe delivery. How do you get better software to your customers faster and more reliably without exhausting your engineers? Part of how we accomplish that is CI/CD. CI/CD assumes thorough automated testing.”

By following these steps and embracing a culture of continuous testing, you can effectively integrate testing into your DevOps practices.

All your hard work should pay off by allowing you to reap the benefits of faster feedback, higher quality, and improved collaboration.

How a test management tool can help you successfully implement a Continuous Testing strategy in DevOps

If you've been involved in DevOps and Testing, you know how important a test management tool (TMT) is for success when it comes to continuous testing.

TMT provides a centralized platform for managing test cases, data, and results.


Here are just a few examples of how a TMT can help you:

  1. Create and organize test cases. Ensures your tests align with business requirements and user stories.
  2. Automate test case execution and integrate with CI/CD tools for seamless test orchestration.
  3. Track test coverage and identify gaps in the testing process.
  4. Generate comprehensive test reports and dashboards, providing visibility into the quality of the software.
  5. Collaborate effectively with developers, testers fostering a culture of shared team responsibility for quality.

In our course DevOps Bootcamp, Philippa Merrill highlights the benefits of using a test management tool like Xray in conjunction with Eggplant DAI: “We've seen we're able to trigger the DAI test remotely as soon as our code is built and have the relevant results posted to an external test management tool.”

By leveraging a test management tool, teams can streamline their testing efforts, reduce manual overhead, and make data-driven decisions to improve the overall quality of their software.

Benefits of Continuous Testing in DevOps

Let's summarize the key benefits of continuous testing in DevOps that we have covered so far.

  1. Faster feedback: Automated tests provide rapid feedback to developers, enabling them to identify and fix issues quickly.
  2. Improved quality: By testing early and often, teams can catch defects before they reach production, resulting in higher-quality software.
  3. Increased efficiency: Automation reduces manual testing efforts, allowing teams to focus on more value-added activities.
  4. Shorter time to market: Continuous testing allows teams to deliver software faster and stay ahead of the competition.
  5. Enhanced collaboration: Continuous testing fosters a culture of shared responsibility for quality, promoting collaboration between developers, testers, and operations teams.

Challenges of Continuous Testing in DevOps

Is this easy? No!

Trying to get your team culture to embrace continuous testing in DevOps can be tricky. Here are some stumbling blocks:

  • Test automation: Automating tests requires skilled resources and can be time-consuming initially.
  • Test data management: Ensuring the availability and accuracy of test data across different environments can be challenging.
  • Test environment setup: Provisioning and maintaining test environments that closely mimic production can be complex and resource intensive.
  • Balancing speed and quality: Teams must balance delivering software quickly and ensuring thorough testing.
  • Not using the right tools

I also cover this in detail in my post on the 4 Destroyers of Automation Testing.

The last one is especially important as Kieran Leicester emphasizes the importance of leveraging the right tools: “Eggplant fits directly within the DevOps lifecycle within the CI/CD pipeline in between the continuous integration and continuous delivery as the testing. Continuous testing gives your customers the confidence to release when they launch the newest, whether it's a minor release bug change or a big version complete release.”

By mastering these tools and incorporating them into your DevOps pipeline, you can effectively implement a continuous testing strategy and deliver high-quality software faster.

I also cover this in detail in my post on the 4 Destroyers of Automation Testing.

Next Steps to DevOps Success

Hopefully, by now, you understand why continuous testing is a must in DevOps.

By integrating testing throughout the software delivery pipeline, teams can achieve faster feedback, improved quality, and shorter time to market. Implementing a continuous testing strategy requires the right tools, processes, and a culture of collaboration. By leveraging test management tools and automating tests, teams can streamline their testing efforts and make data-driven decisions to enhance software quality.

To advance your DevOps skills and gain hands-on experience with continuous testing, consider enrolling in our DevOps Bootcamp. Our expert instructors, including Ethan Chung, Deepty Chauhan, Philippa Merrill, and Kieran Leicester, will guide you through the latest tools and best practices, empowering you to become a DevOps champion.

Take advantage of this opportunity to accelerate your career and make a lasting impact on your teams.

Register now and embark on your continuous testing journey!

Join our Free DevOps Course Now

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