Session Details

Evolving from Automated to Continuous Testing for Agile and DevOps

Regular Session

Accelerating any business process will expose systemic constraints that shackle the entire organization to its slowest moving component. In the case of the accelerated SDLC, testing has become the most significant barrier to taking full advantage of more iterative approaches to software development. For organizations to leverage these transformative development strategies, they must shift from test automation to Continuous Testing. Drawing a distinction between test automation and Continuous Testing may seem like an exercise in semantics, but the gap between automating functional tests and executing a Continuous Testing process is substantial.


Automated testing involves automated, CI-driven execution of whatever set of tests the team has accumulated. However, if one of these tests fails, what does that really mean: does it indicate a critical business risk, or just a violation of some naming standard that nobody is really committed to following anyway? And what happens when it fails? Is there a clear workflow for prioritizing defects vs. business risks and addressing the most critical ones first? And for each defect that warrants fixing, is there a process for exposing all similar defects that might already have been introduced, as well as preventing this same problem from recurring in the future?  This is where the difference between automated and continuous becomes evident.


To evolve from automated to continuous, you need the following:


  • Clearly defined business expectations, with business risks identified per application, team, and release.
  • Defects automatically prioritized versus the business drivers and knowing how to mitigate those risks before the release candidate goes live.
  • Testing in complete test environments continuously using simulation—this is critical for protecting the current user experience from the impact of change.
  • Feedback loop for defect prevention—looking for patterns that emerge and using this as an opportunity to design and implement defect prevention practices that prevent similar defects from being introduced.


A software development conference in the Louisville, KY area on June 7-9, 2017 designed to cover all aspects of software development regardless of development stack.

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