The global quarantine of COVID-19 has harmed all sectors of human activity, without exception. However, as numerous studies and polls show, programmers and engineers employed in the IT field have suffered significantly less than others. Only 5% of specialists engaged in this area have experienced problems finding a job, while about 20% of respondents have lost their jobs in other industries. Outside the IT industry, 48% of respondents fear the stability of their earnings in the future, then among software developers and testers, such people are only 31%.
At the same time, business leaders appreciate the benefits of telecommuting. From 5% to 74% of CEOs (depending on their field of activity) are going to maintain this form of employment for their staff after the quarantine.
New conditions dictate new approaches. In this context, the practice of developing, testing, and updating software based on the principles of continuous delivery (CD) and continuous integration (CI) becomes more relevant than ever before.
Continuous delivery and continuous integration — new opportunities for telecommuting
Of course, one cannot say that continuous delivery and continuous integration are approaches that arose in connection with quarantine. Quality assurance companies have used these elements extensively in their software testing programs before. However, the possibilities that these components of the complex test automation process have opened in today’s conditions deserve additional consideration.
If earlier, when developers worked in a single team, often united by an ordinary office, the whole code was first created, and only then testing was begun, now the same process looks different.
Programmers, who may be located on different continents, submit their part of the code to a shared repository — Version Control System (VCS).
Further, all these fragments are collected together. This assembly with simultaneous checking for the integrity and compatibility of components is called test automation. To be accurate, this is one of the ways this testing method is applied.
The experience of the world’s leading companies providing a full range of solutions using both manual software testing and test automation confirms: at this level, the complete automation allows you to eliminate errors and identify possible points of incompatibility. The Testfort company, as a leader in the industry and one of the oldest companies that deals with the entire spectrum of software testing, will help to consult the conditions and get comprehensive advice on your case. You can find out more information on the link – https://testfort.com/automated-testing.
Thus, software development time is significantly reduced. After all, checking each piece of code allows testers to catch possible errors and detect potential bottlenecks before facing real problems with the whole application.
Before delving into the topic, it is necessary to clarify these two terms — Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration. Everything is quite simple here.
Continuous delivery means that parts of the code submitted for verification are immediately checked for several parameters, including parsing and searching for vulnerabilities.
Continuous integration, in turn, is the inclusion of tested code elements into the application. At the same time, some additional tests are performed — unit, functional, API check. This test automation aims to eliminate problems that can be caused in the general program code by including new elements in it.
The battle of artificial intelligence. People are asked not to interfere
Failures can occur in the most unexpected places and for the most unpredictable reasons. It is much worse when such failures occur at bank applications or other financial institutions apps. But such errors can be detected and prevented even at the financial application testing stage. And if you follow the correct testing algorithm, most likely you will not have to face such a problem at all. For example, a team of experts during test automation revealed that innocent emoticons not recognized by the system could lead to the collapse of the entire software platform of a large bank.
Sometimes errors can be even more surprising. In particular, engineers of the largest quality assurance company applied automated software testing to check another banking software. Thanks to this approach, they discovered that the artificial intelligence underlying the banking software platform behaves like a real Trojan horse.
AI had to guarantee complete impartiality in analyzing credit risks, based only on a dry analysis of the Big Data array. Instead, the artificial intelligence program suddenly began exhibiting racist and gender-discriminatory attitudes. Interestingly, manual testing would not have been able to detect this error, since everything looked correct from the code’s point of view. Only verifying the behavior of banking AI using test automation allowed to save the bank from severe financial damage and reputational loss.
There is a significant amount of irony in the fact that the deviant behavior of artificial intelligence was exposed thanks to test automation precisely. That is, in conditions where possible errors due to the human factor were excluded.
So, test automation is a panacea?
Of course not, if you have come to the conclusion that the automated software testing process is exhausted by the continuous delivery and continuous integration methods described above. All serious automation testing companies make sure to use different software testing methods.
Let’s take a closer look at static vs. dynamic testing.
To do this, it is worth listing the main approaches used by each of these methods.
- Checking the code at the level of the scripts used in it.
- Research of the elements’ functionality. This includes the interface requirements stated in terms of reference, compliance with the OS, resource consumption, etc.
- Analysis of architecture.
- Verification with the prototype and validation of the interface fields.
If not to go into details, dynamic testing includes three sequential stages, called black and white boxes in the professional environment.
- Unit testing. Checking each piece of code for compatibility with the program as a whole.
- Integration check. Figuring out how an array composed of the individual modules tested in the previous step works.
- System testing. Final check of the application after complete assembly.
Is automated software testing the one and only solution?
Of course, there are no dogmas in such a diverse and volatile world as the IT industry. Depending on the type, purpose, expected update frequency, and target audience of your application, different test suites may be required. The optimal choice will likely be some kind of synthesis, a combination of different approaches and methods.
On the one hand, you need to consult with the experts of a trustworthy quality assurance company not to make unjustified expenses, ordering everything at once, and on the other hand, to get a comprehensive set of tests that suits you.