What does “testing” mean in the context of Continuous Delivery?
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The Agile Manifesto guiding principles says,
As a tester, does that make your hair stand on end? Have you spent years believing in big test efforts, big test organizations and big test automation frameworks? I know I have. But I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Because I believe there’s still a need for test (aren’t we all talking about continuous testing?), I’m just trying to understand what to test. Clearly to be fast, it's not the same testing.
Of course, we are also talking a lot more about the meaning of quality. And thank goodness we are finally really putting the emphasis on quality and not testing (after years of lip service to same). An important driver for continuous delivery is getting software in the hands of users quickly so they can say “yeah” or “nay.” That’s probably the most important measure of quality – does it do what the users want it to do? Of course, it has to do it reasonably well, not crash and definitely not corrupt any data or leak any information. Which is where “continuous testing” comes into continuous delivery. I’m landing on thinking that what we want to continuously test is only the stuff that really, really matters. It’s not about the quality of the feature/function as much as it used to be. We can test that manually and quickly and don’t necessarily need to retest since we can quickly fix those in production. It’s about the things that are expensive to recover from. The horror stories of crashing web sites, leaked identity information, hacked Twitter accounts. We need to build test automation for security, security, security. And that’s mostly security of data in every way you can think of.