It looks like the drive to shift testing left toward developers to accelerate the development and deployment of applications has stalled. A survey of 102 IT professionals involved in application testing published by Perforce, a provider of testing tools, finds only 18% of organizations test applications solely within their development feature teams. The rest continue to rely on a separate team in one form or another.
More troubling still, the survey conducted by Gateway Research finds more than half the respondents (56%) are automating less than a quarter of their test cases.
Eran Kinsbruner, chief evangelist for Perfecto by Perforce, a set of testing tools, said the survey results make it clear that when it comes to automating testing within a DevOps environment there is still a lot of reliance on manual testing. In fact, the survey finds the rate of test automation is less than 50% on average. Almost 40% of teams are automating fewer than a quarter of their test cases, while only 9% automate three-fourths of their test cases, the survey finds.
On average, only 14% of respondents said they are releasing code daily. Another 39% said they release code weekly, while 46% release code monthly.
Kinsbruner said it’s clear most organizations are still engaging in a “Big Bang” approach to testing that results in most testing being conducted after large amounts of code has been merged versus being conducted by developers concurrently as code is developed. A total of 66% said they test code after a development project is ready, while 54% said they test when each build is ready. That compares to 43% who test upon each code change and 41% that test at the start of a software sprint.
A major reason many organizations are not releasing code faster is clearly manual testing. The survey identifies manual testing as the most time-consuming element of the testing process (72%), followed by test environment setup (28%), script creation/maintenance (27%) and test cycle analysis (19%). In terms of biggest challenges organization face, achieving complete test automation (47%) tops the list, followed by test instability/false negatives (44%) and lack of scripting/coding skills (41%).
In terms of overall priorities, survey respondents placed reducing regression testing time (46%), reducing the number of escaped defects (43%) and automated testing (43%) at the top of the list.
It may not be possible to automate every part of the testing process, but Kinsbruner said it is clear many more organizations could be automating lower-level testing processes to accelerate application development and deployment. In fact, the survey notes 46% of respondents are looking to invest in test automation in 2020. Among organizations that are using testing tools, two-thirds are using open source software (68%), while 66% are using some type of automation framework.
Regardless of the approach to testing, Kinsbruner said it’s clear testing teams need more visibility into the DevOps pipeline. Organizations are clearly underestimating how long it takes to thoroughly test an application, so the sooner those teams can see what is being developed the faster they can develop test suites, he said.
Of course, there are still plenty of development teams that are giving short shrift to testing in the name of achieving delivery deadlines. The trouble with that approach, however, is the end customer all too often winds up being dissatisfied to the point where the application winds up being reject altogether. After the end of the day, nobody really wants more bad code faster.