Continuous Delivery (CD) is in the IT spotlight right now, even attracting the attention of C-level execs. Its benefits are self-evident: faster time-to-market, higher quality applications, and improved customer responsiveness. However, doing CD properly hinges on the maturity of your testing. Few things dampen enthusiasm for your CD initiative more quickly than a couple of high profile failures in production.
Many companies are starting initiatives to build delivery pipelines, automate environment creation and app deployment, and so on. That’s all very well, but it’s important to bear in mind that the key goal of a pipeline is to allow you to make an informed (and, at some stage, perhaps automated) Go/No-go decision.
What do you have to do to get to that point? Simple: tests, tests and more tests! Accurate tests will help you streamline development, enabling you to determine when you’ve done just enough to implement new features. At the same time, testing will help you to manage risks by ensuring your CD initiative doesn’t go off the rails before it’s had time to prove its worth. It is essential that all relevant aspects of application quality — whether functionality, security, performance or compliance – are verified by your pipelines. If in doubt, test and test again.
The more testing you do, the better you will be able to determine whether the new deliverable is better than what’s currently running.
Testing is the most important element of your pipeline. The rest is simply plumbing.