It’s a digital world and changing consumer and user demands necessitate that websites, apps and programs deliver an experience that delights users. Those companies that can’t deliver on these expectations risk poor customer satisfaction scores, low adoption rates, negative brand perception and loss of revenue. These factors are giving rise to a new phenomenon in software testing which we’ve termed “continuous everything,” comprised of three essential areas—continuous quality, continuous delivery and continuous feedback.
There are certain inalienable truths about businesses: they all want to succeed and they all want to beat their competitors. What's slightly different is how a business defines success. For a healthcare company, it might be lives saved. For an insurance company, it's the number of policies bought. For an e-commerce retailer, it's shopping basket conversions.
Testing is critical for organizations like NASA, the US Army, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, the UK’s Ministry of Defense and the Metropolitan and Scottish Police, where lives are on the line. As we've worked with customers like these over many years, we've noticed how much more testing is than just making sure the system works — it’s about ensuring we test for mission success and continuously optimize mission outcomes. Whether you're designing systems for command and control (C2); to provide support for complex police operations, such as hostage negotiations; or for shooting down an enemy missile, you should plan your testing and monitoring strategy to continuously test against the desired mission outcomes.
Quality assurance (QA) used to be a compliance activity. You were releasing a product and needed to test it and stamp it “approved.” QA was about testing that the code worked. You might manually test the code. You might have even tried some automation — coding a set of test scripts that would try to capture regressions or errors that you had eradicated in the past, but which somehow crept back in. All in all, you were reasonably satisfied that you achieved a level of test coverage that met your goals. Then, you put your code into production and crossed your fingers that nothing went wrong. And if it did, you tried to fix it as quickly as humanly possible.
It used to be that software testers could test their applications on just one platform, and only have to worry about testing that the code worked.
For a while now (about 10 years), Dev and Ops have been trying to get along. After all, collaboration between the two creates fast feedback loops and gets high-quality software into users’ hands faster. But with a new space emerging, digital experience management, Dev and Ops need to make a new BFF—the business—to stay in sync.
You can find 28 million apps on Google Play and 22 million in Apple’s App Store. Yet, nearly one in four people who download an app use it only once. Apps are incredibly slow under certain circumstances, don’t work in key parts of the workflow, and have less-than-optimal usability. The app scrap heap is growing because many organizations are still testing to ensure code quality, not a superior user experience (UX).
If you’re in the software development and testing realm, you know how rapidly things have changed in a short amount of time. Digital business is here to stay and companies in all sectors are disrupting their business models and undergoing digital transformations to stay relevant. They’re turning to agile development approaches and DevOps to spark innovation and rapidly deliver new, cutting-edge products and solutions that meet evolving customer desires.