Eliminating Bottlenecks within the Development Pipeline
April 24, 2018

Charles Ramsey
Sauce Labs

Developers and engineering teams are under increasing pressure to release higher quality software faster. Continuous testing has proven to be central to these efforts as it helps eliminate bottlenecks and ensures that automated testing is a constant throughout the development process, not an exercise relegated to the "last mile." The value of automated testing is more evident than ever before, with nearly half the respondents reporting that management is fully committed to automated testing and with plans to increase spending, according to the recent Sauce Labs Testing Trends for 2018 report.

Why is Continuous Testing Important?

Regardless of industry, businesses need to test often to ensure they are creating flawless digital experiences for consumers and keeping ahead of the competition. In today’s fast-paced, digital world, consumers are quick to abandon apps or websites that don’t work. And apps that are buggy or perform poorly can often have a direct bearing on brand image and reputation.

Continuous testing is one way businesses are saving time and resources, as well as improving application quality, by ensuring that teams are testing their code earlier and throughout the development process. When developers and QA teams add data and analytics to their continuous testing practice, they can also make more insightful choices when it comes to prioritizing which bugs to fix first.

Surprising Findings: Balancing Speed with Higher Quality Releases

The rate at which bugs are being identified and fixed has decreased slightly over the past 3 years

While the importance of continuous testing is certain, and adoption of agile and DevOps practices continues to increase, the report revealed that the rate at which bugs are being identified and fixed has decreased slightly over the past 3 years.

Additionally, we were surprised to learn that 9 percent of respondents reported wanting to deploy more slowly than they currently do, compared to none in 2016.

Both of these findings potentially point to a need to balance speed with higher quality releases. While companies may recognize the value of implementing DevOps, it’s not simply putting the two groups into the same room — it takes time to get DevOps right. And, with the significant uptake of mobile, where releases need approval from app stores before launching — and where buggy releases can significantly impact revenue and the brand experience — organizations may also be taking more time to deploy as they determine the best approach to integrating agile delivery practices into their mobile app development. While our survey findings this year do reveal a slight slow-down in time to release, it is worth noting that releases for organizations who adopt agile and DevOps practices are still launching significantly faster than organizations not using those modern practices.

Additional Key Findings

■ 91 percent of respondents have adopted agile practices and 17 percent have fully embraced DevOps

■ 87 percent of respondents say managers and executives are on board with automated testing

■ Continuous Integration (CI) is on the rise, with 88 percent of organizations having adopted the practice

■ Using a mix of both real devices and simulators or emulators for mobile testing has become the norm, with 77 percent of respondents using a mix of both, up from 34 percent in 2015

■ The majority of users test against Google Chrome (94 percent). With the adoption of Microsoft Edge on the rise, significantly more respondents (55%) report testing than in 2017 — and Internet Explorer is tested less (71 percent)

■ More respondents now test on five or more types of browsers, up to 39 percent this year, representing a 35% increase versus 2017

As more teams continue to adopt agile and DevOps practices, continuous testing will continue to grow in importance and help solve the challenges and bottlenecks organizations face in testing today. Software development is becoming increasingly complex, and software testing needs to keep pace to ensure that end users can enjoy the types of experiences expected in the digital era. Continuous testing can address those needs and is quickly becoming a critical piece for the future of software development.

Charles Ramsey is CEO of Sauce Labs

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