Why Today’s SDLC Requires a New Perspective On “Test”
April 16, 2015
3 min read
In response to today’s demand for “Continuous Everything,” the software delivery conveyer belt keeps moving faster and faster. However, considering that testing has been the primary constraint of the software delivery process, it’s unreasonable to expect that simply speeding up a troubled process will yield better results.
(I Love Lucy fans: Just think of Lucy and Ethel at the candy factory, struggling to keep pace as the conveyer belt starts putting out chocolates faster and faster.)
In most organizations, quality software is clearly the intention, yet the culture of the organization drives behavior that increases the risk of exposing faulty software to the market. Most software quality efforts stem from a bottom-up approach to testing, which is focused on adding incremental tests to validate new functionality.
This approach is no longer sufficient for today’s accelerated release cycles—where faulty software has a direct impact to the brand and bottom line. Releasing with both speed and confidence requires a definitive understanding of each application’s distinct business risks and the probability of exposure.
In order to achieve this, we need a method to federate quality information from multiple infrastructure sources (source code management, build management, defect management, testing, etc.). A Development Testing Platform is this central “system of decision” which aligns development activities with business expectations, providing insight and control over the process of creating quality software. The goal is not only to reduce business risk but also dramatically reduce the number of defects that are introduced into the code base in the first place.
Software Test Automation Platforms: Essential For Accelerating The SDLC
“Accelerate the SDLC” has become a popular mantra for software development across virtually all industries now that software is increasingly serving as the interface to the business. This is driving, among other things, the push towards DevOps and Continuous Delivery. Yet, considering that software testing has long been a thorn in the side of the development process, it’s unreasonable to expect that attempts to speed up an already-troublesome process with more automation will achieve the desired results. If you fail to address the inefficiencies of the testing process, the elephant in the room, you’re likely to just end up releasing bugs into the wild at an unprecedented pace.
To truly accelerate software delivery without exposing the business to increased risk, a solid, continuous quality process is essential. Ultimately, such a process provides quantitative assessment of risk and produces actionable tasks that will help mitigate these risks before progressing to the next stage of the SDLC.
Achieving the required breadth and depth of continuous, automated testing obviously requires a method to federate quality information from multiple infrastructure sources (source code management, build management, defect management, testing, etc.). A software test automation platform is this central “system of decision” which translates policies into prioritized tasks as well as delivers insight and control over the process of creating quality software.
A New Perspective on Test
The resources in the new Today’s SDLC Requires a New Perspective on “Test” package, featuring Gartner Research, provides software development leaders recommendations for ensuring that SDLC acceleration does not undermine existing functionality or negatively impact the user experience. Read it to learn:
- Why the traditional “bottom-up” approach to testing is too risky for today’s accelerated release cycles
- How your existing tool set can provide a new level of SDLC insight and control
- How to tell if development’s innovations are satisfying business expectations
- The top 4 challenges with automated testing
- Best practices for improving code base stability, structuring automated tests, and building test suites for legacy code
The paper also illustrates how Parasoft tools address this need to improve software quality in conjunction with SDLC acceleration. Parasoft’s software test automation platform eliminates the business risk of faulty software by consistently applying software quality practices throughout the SDLC. It enables software quality efforts to shift left—delivering a platform for automated defect prevention and the uniform measurement of risk across project teams. With seamless integration into any software development environment, enterprises can observe and collect data from any SDLC infrastructure system, including open source and third-party testing tools.
Parasoft allows enterprises to aggregate disparate data and apply statistical analysis techniques— transforming traditional reporting into a central system of decision, such as:
- Provides SDLC process visibility and control across teams
- Guides developers and testers to remediate the most critical software defects
- Establishes a central control point for software defect prevention
- Prioritizes findings in order to prevent business risks
- Delivers a central system of decision for managers