4 Steps to Ensure Continuous Testing Success
March 12, 2018

Amir Rozenberg
Perfecto

According to Aryaka's 2017 State of the WAN Report, businesses are running cloud-based apps almost 50 percent of the time. As employers and employees are turning to apps to improve productivity and administrative efficiency, app developers are also resolving to streamline processes to keep apps functional while they release new feature and updates to meet market demand.

2017 saw a number of incidents when apps failed during peak usage times, causing frustration for both consumers and developers alike. The popular college application site Common App crashed 48 hours before the deadline for submissions, leaving thousands of students frustrated and at the mercy of the developers during crunch time. As DevOps teams and developers are looking to make 2018 the year in which technical crises are avoided, continuous testing should be at the top of their resolutions list.

Here are four steps developers and DevOps teams can take to ensure the benefits of continuous testing are effectively implemented throughout the development process:

1. Team Autonomy Accelerates Velocity

With teams facing increased pressures to deliver more functionality into an application, teams are moving to decreasing dependencies across squads. Teams with a lot of dependencies spend more time on waiting on others or managing interactions that slow down releasing new features to production.

Mature, Agile teams are increasing squad autonomy as they are taking on more responsibility to maintain pre and post production service quality. DevOps teams reuse test automation developed during preproduction to continuously validate user experience in production. In the world of Agile and increasingly DevOps, squads are doing more themselves and intentionally minimizing unnecessary dependencies.

2. Shift Operations to Dual-Monitoring of the Front-End and Back-End

Traditionally, developers have monitored performance based on back-end activity with limited focus on the front-end. However, with the rise of native mobile apps and an increasing amount of client-side logic being executed, the front-end has become increasingly important to monitor. This architectural shift changes how operations teams must expand their focus from back-end monitoring to a dual-monitoring pattern to continuously understand how both the front and back end are performing.

Directing attention to the front-end allows DevOps teams to monitor and refine key user experience performance baselines – i.e. app responsiveness and loading lags. These baselines should be refined over time; however, DevOps can establish and test these baselines during pre-production, not post. Shifting this front-end testing to production provides early warning of user experience degradations.

3. Know Your End-User and Test in Non-Ideal Environments

To deliver a successful experience, you must know your end-users. This applies not only to design and user experience (UX), but also to understanding consumers usage patterns and degraded environments. It's important to understand how your platform will perform in all environments, not just the ideal ones.

Continuous testing provides DevOps teams the opportunity to test for different scenarios ahead of launch. Keeping end-user demographics in mind, DevOps teams can run tests for pre-identified metrics earlier in the overall development process, allowing for bugs and defects to be identified and resolved in a timely manner via continuous testing of all KPIs. DevOps teams should not only monitor for these demographics once the app has launched but should test in non-ideal environments during the pre-production stage. Testing for instances such as poor connectivity or low memory/battery scenarios that impact location-based transactions, will improve overall UX and avoids any trouble-shooting headaches for the DevOps team.

4. Incorporate Lessons Learned for Future Builds

Continuous testing not only automates a number of tests that were previously performed manually, it also offers valuable insights around what works and what doesn't. For continued success, DevOps teams must take what they learned from continuous testing and apply it to future builds. An aligned team structure will allow the development team to embed certain deliverables and benchmarks that they weren't able to anticipate in the initial launch, into the current version of the app they are working on. This will strengthen future builds while also allowing DevOps teams to focus their efforts on testing and correcting for new issues that may arise.

If your resolution for 2018 is to have a year with fewer crises, the first and best step is to implement continuous testing practice. Continuous testing is an effective enabler to the app development process that will benefit everyone involved.

Amir Rozenberg is Director of Product Management at Perfecto

The Latest

September 20, 2018

The latest Accelerate State of DevOps Report from DORA focuses on the importance of the database and shows that integrating it into DevOps avoids time-consuming, unprofitable delays that can derail the benefits DevOps otherwise brings. It highlights four key practices that are essential to successful database DevOps ...

September 18, 2018

To celebrate IT Professionals Day 2018 (this year on September 18), the SolarWinds IT Pro Day 2018: A World Powered by Tech Pros survey explores a "Tech PROactive" world where technology professionals have the time, resources, and ability to use their technology prowess to do absolutely anything ...

September 17, 2018

The role of DevOps in capitalizing on the benefits of hybrid cloud has become increasingly important, with developers and IT operations now working together closer than ever to continuously plan, develop, deliver, integrate, test, and deploy new applications and services in the hybrid cloud ...

September 13, 2018

"Our research provides compelling evidence that smart investments in technology, process, and culture drive profit, quality, and customer outcomes that are important for organizations to stay competitive and relevant -- both today and as we look to the future," said Dr. Nicole Forsgren, co-founder and CEO of DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA), referring to the organization's latest report Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018: Strategies for a New Economy ...

September 12, 2018

This next blog examines the security component of step four of the Twelve-Factor methodology — backing services. Here follows some actionable advice from the WhiteHat Security Addendum Checklist, which developers and ops engineers can follow during the SaaS build and operations stages ...

September 10, 2018

When thinking about security automation, a common concern from security teams is that they don't have the coding capabilities needed to create, implement, and maintain it. So, what are teams to do when internal resources are tight and there isn't budget to hire an outside consultant or "unicorn?" ...

September 06, 2018

In evaluating 316 million incidents, it is clear that attacks against the application are growing in volume and sophistication, and as such, continue to be a major threat to business, according to Security Report for Web Applications (Q2 2018) from tCell ...

September 04, 2018

There's a welcome insight in the 2018 Accelerate State of DevOps Report from DORA, because for the first time it calls out database development as a key technical practice which can drive high performance in DevOps ...

August 29, 2018

While everyone is convinced about the benefits of containers, to really know if you're making progress, you need to measure container performance using KPIs.These KPIs should shed light on how a DevOps team is faring in terms of important parameters like speed, quality, availability, and efficiency. Let's look at the specific KPIs to track for each of these broad categories ...

August 27, 2018

Protego Labs recently discovered that 98 percent of functions in serverless applications are at risk, with 16 percent considered "serious" ...

Share this