What do you mean when you say continuous testing?

@lisa.crispin recently asked an excellent question on one of the Slack groups I’m in:

Yesterday I learned that what I mean when I say “continuous testing” and what other people mean when they say “continuous testing” are dramatically different. I’m curious what y’all think of when someone says “continuous testing”? I want to collect as many definitions as I can, now that I know they are not all the same.

One person suggested this representation from @danashby

I was curious though, like Lisa, about what you mean when you say continuous testing?

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I just wrote up what I think of when I say “continuous testing” on our Testing in DevOps community site blog: https://testingindevops.org/what-is-continuous-testing/ . Obviously I have a strong view on it, but, I will try to keep an open mind and would love to learn what others think!


For me

  1. Continuous Delivery = The process|steps needed to deliver a piece of whatever to the end in a continuous way
  2. Continuous Testing = The check & test work|process we do in all steps on the way to continuous delivery

Maybe I am too short but I like small definitions also for those who do not speak native English :slight_smile:

In the image of @danashby the black arrows are continuous delivery and the blue words are continuous testing.

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For me Continuous Testing is more Omni Testing (or Omnipresent Testing), in the sense that testing is always present during the whole development life cycle.
Some people may thing about Continuous Testing as meaning tests are “continuously” running; these tests are assumed to be automated ones (i.e. automated checks).
In my opinion I would prefer Omni Testing as I see testing as something that is always present, no matter what kind of approach you’re following or at what phase of your development life cycle you are.
You use testing to guarantee and seek a bunch of quality attributes.
I think @danashby and @lisa.crispin see it in a similar way (correct me if not).
My 2 cents :slight_smile:

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Good point about the small definition. I like yours. I might add, though, that continuous delivery is about delivering small changes frequently without any drama. And I agree, continuous testing is all the tetsing that gives us the confidence to do CD.

Oh, I like Omni Testing too! It’s a unique term and less likely to get any contradictory meanings. I’m gonna try that out.

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Peter Zimmerer added a great comment to my post with some links to other definitions and info, worth checking those out too.