Automating CI/CD in testing
April 10, 2024

Automating Your CI/CD in Testing: How It Works

Continuous Testing

Dragging your testing strategy into a more modern, agile approach can feel daunting. The thought of overhauling the process you and your team have grown accustomed to — going from manual to automated testing, expanding test coverage, and adopting more DevOps best practices — may feel like more trouble than it is worth. 

But agile testing is necessary in order to thrive and remain relevant in today’s testing landscape. 

Changing with the times and modernizing your testing strategy is essential. That means more automation, testing more frequently in the development cycle, and implementing more types of testing. One of the ways you can bring your testing strategy up to speed is by examining your Continuous Testing/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) approach and understanding how it can be automated. 

In this blog, we will discuss what the CI/CD is for those unfamiliar, the agile phases of CI/CD, and what CI/CD automation as part of your testing looks like.


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What is CI/CD?

CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery and is a testing process meant to streamline and accelerate the software development lifecycle. It prioritizes developers continuously integrating their work with testers then testing it repeatedly — enabling product releases and updates more frequently. These two terms are often referred to as the “CI/CD pipeline” and they help organizations resolve code failures and bugs while fortifying a continuous testing strategy. 

The two terms are often referred to as the “CI/CD pipeline” and they help organizations resolve code failures and bugs while fortifying a continuous testing strategy. The CI/CD component of testing helps bring testers, developers, and operations closer together throughout the development process. 

Test Smarter, Not Harder: A Guide to Efficient Testing Automating your CI/CD in testing plays into a broader effort to establish a continuous testing process. Learn how testing teams can adopt effective testing strategies to keep pace with advances and developments with this helpful guide. 


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Agile Phases of CI/CD

The driving motivation behind the practice of CI/CD is to incorporate a more agile testing approach. The phases of this approach look like this: 

Continuous Integration

The continuous integration portion of CI/CD is broken down into four steps: 

  • Commit: Code is committed regularly by the developer. 
  • Build: Code is built into an artifact for testing. 
  • Unit Test: Developer tests functionality with unit tests alongside the build stage. 
  • Deployment to Dev: Build is deployed to a development environment to test how the code works with other sets of code. 

Continuous Delivery

Following the continuous integration stage, the continuous delivery portion of the CI/CD pipeline is comprised of the following two steps: 

  • Deployment to Test: Once a development phase is completed, the successful build is sent to the testing environment. 

  • Testing: The QA team runs a wide range of tests — such as performance and functional tests — against the build to determine if the product is ready to be released. 

This process all boils down to one thing: sufficient code coverage to determine proper application development and functionality, as well as a flawless user experience. At its core, code coverage helps reduce the chances of there being issues within your code by ramping up the number of potential code test executions. Code coverage is your spotlight — what you do with that spotlight goes a long way in benefiting your code. 

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Automating Your CI/CD in Testing

One of the most effective ways to modernize your testing strategy is by automating what had been previously done manually. Automating your CI/CD pipeline will directly benefit the final product by ensuring feedback is given to the team early and often. Doing that translates to far fewer bugs and more accurate code in the application that ends up in the user’s hands. 

Advantages of automating your CI/CD in testing include: 

  • Saving time and testing faster by reducing the number of manual efforts. 

  • Rapid feedback. 

  • Executing and comparing several tests to ensure consistency in the product. 

  • Increased test accuracy and broader test coverage. 

  • Aligning with CI/CD object of building fast, becoming a crucial part of the pipeline. 

And while automating your CI/CD in testing is important for shifting your testing left, what truly matters is the results of those tests. To get the most out of your CI/CD test automation, it is recommended to use a combination of real and virtual devices. By their very nature, virtual devices help teams achieve better test automation by increasing test velocity while also lowering the cost of device ownership. The combination of real and virtual devices will yield broader and more robust test results to work from. 

Luckily, Perfecto’s Device Lab provides access to thousands of devices, operating systems, and browsers all over the world — not to mention same-day support for new device and OS releases.

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Establishing CI/CD Test Automation in Your Workflow

Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, and it can just as easily apply to how you go about establishing CI/CD test automation in your workflow. You will want to have several different automated tests set up — each one to cover their own dedicated test scenario. 

Below are some types of tests to incorporate into your workflow and where they fit in the CI/CD pipeline. 

Unit Tests 

Automating unit tests is a great way to achieve rapid feedback early in the development process. As stated above, these tests are executed during the code build phase near the beginning. 

Integration Tests

Once a build is deployed to the dev environment, integration tests should be executed to see how well changes or modifications work together. 

Regression Tests

Regression testing ensures that changes or augmentations to the build do not negatively impact the established features of the application. This is vital to ensure you do not have to back and correct a mistake later down the line. 

Performance Tests

Prior to releasing your application to the market, rigorous performance testing — specifically load testing — should be executed to ensure the application can withstand a wide range of real-world conditions. At this point, you are verifying your product’s stability and reliability in the hands of the user. 

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Bottom Line

Modernizing your testing strategy is crucial for staying afloat in the ever-competitive digital landscape. Not doing so runs the risk of your application being left in the proverbial dust. 

By automating your CI/CD in testing, you unlock the ability to test faster and more broadly. This translates directly to a more secure and reliable application. CI/CD test automation is an essential cog in a broader continuous testing strategy that will pay dividends. Continuous testing can greatly reduce the time spent by development teams on reworking defects 

Perfecto’s automated CI/CD testing specifically — and our continuous testing platform in general — is best in class for a reason. See for yourself by registering for a 14-day Free Trial today! 

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