Optimizing Tests for Continuous Integration


Continuous Integration (CI) is a powerful strategy in software development, especially in agile environments. Software testers are increasingly using the practice of Continuous Integration in automated tests for assessing test suites in terms of value.

Continuous Integration allows frequent execution of software tests and, therefore, enables testers to fix problems shortly after spotting them. With developers integrating codes into a shared repository at frequent intervals, automated tests can verify the integrations regularly if an organization has a Continuous Integration program in place.

Optimizing Tests for Continuous Integration

To optimize tests for Continuous Integration, some beneficial practices that organizations should follow are listed below, which can be effectively managed by an expert software testing company.

Creating Small, Valuable Test SuitesA leading and renowned QA company will corroborate the fact that tests can be optimized for Continuous Integration effectively if a small suite of some important, gross-level tests is created. The tests comprising the small suite should typically include build acceptance tests, build verification tests or other vital tests that can qualify the system or application for further tests. Upon the successful execution of these tests, testers can advance to other tests.

Building an Automated Testing FrameworkThe demarcation of development phases is somewhat blurred in agile environments since each new code committed by a developer triggers a new build cycle. Hence, tests runs need to be executed several times during the test phase. The inclusion of several tests in a Continuous Integration suite, together with some shell scripting, can trigger tests automatically on a regular basis. An automated testing framework enables testers to easily identify the change that causes a failed test run.

Using Automation across Different Types of TestingCompanies striving to offer top-notch QA services should ensure that the automation framework they build for optimizing tests for Continuous Integration should cover a diverse range of tests. Some of the functional and non-functional tests that should be part of the coverage of automation testing include Load testing, Performance Testing, Stress Testing, Regression Testing, Acceptance Testing, and Database testing, among others.

Updating the Test Setup for Faster ExecutionTests can be optimized for Continuous Integration if the test setup is refactored to enable a faster execution. An updated or restructured test setup code can lead to an overall improvement in testing services since failures due to timing issues or other minor problems would be avoided. For effectively refactoring the test setup, testers should first examine the performance of their tests with the existing test setup and then consider the possibility of an enhanced setup.

Replacing Sleep Statements with Wait Statements

However, for optimizing tests for Continuous Integration, testers should be smart with their wait times. Testers mostly use sleep statements as a temporary workaround for flaky tests that consistently fail due to the ongoing loading of some resources, or a non-responding back end.

Selenium Wait Statements

They should avoid sleep statements and, instead, use wait statements that end in coincidence with the occurrence of an event rather than ending after a stipulated period.

Running Tests Suites in ParallelTest suites that take a long time to execute should be broken up into different suites and run in parallel, especially to keep pace with consistent software integration. Parallel test runs, facilitated by a robust automated testing mechanism, optimize testing for Continuous Integration given frequent execution. In addition, parallel testing also leads to improved test coverage and fewer unidentified bugs.

Avoiding the Execution of Unit Tests with Integrated TestsTo optimize tests for Continuous Integration, testers must understand the difference between unit tests and integrated tests, and avoid running them together. Unit tests are aimed at basic code correction. They are fast and need to be run frequently for early detection of bugs in business logic. In contrast, integrated tests take a notably longer execution time. Identifying the cause of a failed integrated test is a complex process because of their vast span across several modules and devices.

Logging Extensively to Analyze FailureExtensive logging holds immense significance in analyzing a failed test since it uncovers the root of the problem. For this reason, extensive logging can play a key role in optimizing tests for Continuous Integration. However, extensive logging should be done only when required because it may have an adverse effect on performance. Moreover, it is pertinent to use a competent logging framework capable of identifying cases for minimal logging and exhaustive logging.

In Conclusion:

Optimizing tests for Continuous Integration has become a crucial software development practice in recent years because of its key principles of automated testing, build automation, revision control, and greater accuracy. When tests are optimized for Continuous Integration, the degree of errors during software development drops drastically owing to increased automation, quicker bug fixes, and an efficient feedback mechanism. Connect with our team of experts to help your business with this critical to success activity.


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