Forrester: Why Continuous Testing is Vital for Quality @ Speed

Feb 4, 2016

Posted by Parasoft


From Diego Lo Guidice's Continuous Delivery Conference keynote:

"Software really matters. Whether you are a software house, a bank, or insurance, you have to be excellent at developing, testing, and delivering software. That's why we keep talking about Agile, DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Integration. If we want to make our business more successful, it's absolutely crucial.

Today, it's not just about speed—it's about speed with quality.

The old school of testing is that the more testing you do (if you do it right), the better your quality. But if testing is an afterthought (as it is in many organizations), it happens between developing the software and going into deploymentand it feels like something that will stop you from delivering faster. The business says, "It doesn't matter, just deploy, it's the date that's important." But these days, that's changing because a bug going into production in the age of digital is a real big problem. It will hit the news.

What does speed mean? I have a very simple definition: the cadence at which you deliver production-ready software. How fast can you go from a high-level idea to something that gets deployed into production and starts making money? Or, how fast can you start delivering smaller features quickly?  

To me, quality involves two things: am I delivering the right thing for the business and am I delivering it right (without bugs)?

So, how do you implement this concept of quality at speed? Formula One pit stops offer a good analogy for how testing needs to change. In the past 10 years, pit stops have gone down from 8-9 seconds to 2.3 seconds. In 2.3 seconds, these guys change 4 tires and add just a bit of gasoline because if they don't have to load the car up with gasoline, it can go faster. They've turned pit stops from what's keeping the quality of the car really high to a differentiating element of the race, part of the strategy for winning the race. I think that's how we need to think about testing.



These Formula One pit stop guys also test continuously. Testing is happening from the very first moment when they start thinking about the design of the car, during the week as they make adjustments to the car, as they're driving the day before, and even during the race. It's all about Continuous Testing.

That's what I think we need to do to achieve quality @ speed – to deliver fast without compromising on quality."

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