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Adopt Continuous Testing for Faster Safer Releases

By Sarndeep Nijjar 29th Jul 2022

Developing effective Test Automation contributes hugely to quick and reliable releases. Without good test automation, teams become resigned to heavy manual release processes, with defects being discovered at costly times, increasing the risk of missed deadlines and reducing release predictability.

Testing should be considered upfront and implemented through every stage of the product lifecycle. Also commonly known as Continuous Testing. It pushes teams to stop treating testing as a standalone phase in the development lifecycle. It moves the accountability of Quality from an individual to collective responsibility. Everyone is responsible for Quality is at the very heart of a Continuous Testing approach.

When defining, building and releasing products, it is critical to view them with a QA lens. Functional, Static, Non-Functional, Security, Infrastructure and Accessibility are just some requirements to be fulfilled before a product is released into the wild.

With Continuous Testing, when and how you execute your tests is vital. 

Each type of test should have a purpose and focus. Continuous Testing challenges us to consider both the types of testing we run and when we run them. The stage at which tests are run forms a big part of the overall approach and value you will gain.

When adopting Continuous Testing there are many considerations to be made. Below we have listed some areas to consider during your transformation to Continuous Testing:

Branching Strategy – The first port of call in the deployment pipeline is your team’s branching strategy. The two most common strategies are GitFlow and Trunk-Based Development. With any branching strategy, we want to ensure that development teams can collaboratively contribute to a central codebase, and safely implement changes on main branches without breaking the software.

Test execution should be configured to run at the most important events, with code reviews being part of this initial process. Local executed pre-commit tests and post-commit tests both on branches and after merges should all be considered when defining the testing integration at this stage.

In-Memory Tests – Usually the first port of call when understanding if any changes caused any defects. They run super quick and need little or no infrastructure to execute. Beyond traditional unit testing, modern frameworks allow for larger and more user-focused in memory tests. The ability to test whole classes and their integration, even APIs using mocked and stubbed responses is now possible to run in memory. If rapid feedback is a core goal of your automation strategy, in-memory tests should be an integral part of your approach.

Post Deployment Tests – When an application is deployed onto a pre-production environment, it is ready to be tested under more realistic conditions. These tests are an important data point in understanding how your application will function in the wild and with real users and other system integrations.

Non Functional Testing – Typically covering areas such as performance, disaster recovery, security and accessibility. As this type of testing requires specialist domain knowledge and understanding, development teams should liaise closely with central platform teams that govern the Route to Live. Bringing in domain experts helps development teams to understand requirements outside of their usual scope. For example, working with security experts will give the teams the ability to understand in detail how to build a secure product.

Code Scanners – White Box testing has always been an important part of any QA strategy and approach. The ability to analyse code for security vulnerabilities, structure, abstraction, coupling, duplication and complexity has now been made easier with several scanners that can be integrated into the build process. These scanners can be configured in line with your engineering standards and quickly highlight issues and, in some cases even offer remedial measures.


Test execution as a bi-product will produce vast amounts of application test data, the ability to harness that data allows for continual overall QA improvement. Test frameworks output data in multiple easy-to-consume formats, which can be easily visualised and projected to the whole organisation and their technical teams. Sharing data in this way opens up the door for constant review and improvement. Continual improvement is a mantra of agile development, the foundations of inspect and adapt apply to Continuous Testing.


Continuous Testing should be a key pillar of your software delivery approach and if implemented correctly will allow you to:

  • Increase your test coverage across your digital products, with a focus on both functional and non-functional requirements.
  • Shorten the feedback loop, allowing development teams to identify risks sooner in the Route to Live.
  • Release changes much faster, allowing development teams to introduce features at pace and not need lengthy manual test phases to get those changes to end users.
  • Continually improve your development and QA process. Data allows teams to make informed decisions, and defining and integrating automated tests throughout your pipeline and Route to Live produces vast amounts of data. Test reports, failures, failure points, and execution times to name a few, can be used over time to improve the overall development and QA approach.

How We Can Help

The ClearRoute team have been leading the industry in Continuous Testing over the past decade. ClearRoute can bring this experience to help identify gaps you may have in your current testing approach. By working alongside your Engineers, we will be able to devise and implement improvements to the following:

  • Collaboration & Co-Creation – Creating a smooth collaborative process between stakeholders and engineering teams is critical to ensuring the end product meets expectations. With the use of Continuous Testing, we can bring the testing process closer to those with a vested interest.
  • Test Automation – Fast and reliable feedback throughout the development lifecycle is the key differentiation between Continuous Testing and traditional automation approaches. We will provide specific and valuable feedback throughout the SDLC.
  • Reporting & Dashboards Clear valuable reporting on all the validation, tests and checkpoints a release has undergone. Allowing you to release with confidence and if any issues arise, resolve it quickly and efficiently.

Continuous Testing will allow for faster, safer releases bringing your teams and stakeholders closer to the Software Development Lifecycle. You will no longer be burdened with cumbersome manual processes, unreliable releases and expensive complex dependencies.

ClearRoute Engineers understand these problems and passionately seek to solve them. We have helped our clients achieve results such as 99% reduced regression time – 3 days to 30 minutes, allowing them to release daily down from a 6-month release cycle.