TestOps in continuous testing

Flaky Tests

Oct 3, 2023

In today's fast-paced software development landscape, delivering high-quality products is imperative. To achieve this, software teams are increasingly turning to the dynamic duo of DevOps and TestOps. In this article, we'll dive into the world of TestOps, exploring its significance, benefits, and its integration into the development lifecycle to optimize software quality.

Unveiling TestOps: A Fusion of DevOps and Software Testing

TestOps is a methodology that integrates software testing activities into the DevOps workflow seamlessly. It aligns testing with development, ensuring that testing is conducted continuously throughout the development lifecycle. This integration is vital to achieve higher efficiency, better quality, and quicker time-to-market.

Key Components of TestOps

  1. Test Automation

    TestOps heavily relies on test automation to execute test cases efficiently and rapidly. Test frameworks like Cypress, Selenium, Playwright, Jest, and others provide powerful solutions to automate functional, regression, and API testing.

  2. Continuous Testing

    Integration of testing into the continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline ensures that every code change is thoroughly tested before being merged. This facilitates quicker feedback and allows for immediate rectification of issues, enhancing product quality.

  3. Test Management and Orchestration

    TestOps involves centralized management and orchestration of test suites, test runs, and test data. Utilizing tools like Katalon TestOps, teams can efficiently manage, schedule, and execute test cases in real-time.

  4. Real-Time Dashboards and Metrics

    Real-time dashboards in TestOps offer insights into test results, coverage, and other vital metrics. This visibility enables identifying areas that require more testing efforts, fixing flaky tests, speeding up build times, and ultimately improving developer productivity.

  5. Testing Environments

    Efficient provisioning and management of testing environments are essential in TestOps. It ensures that the testing team has access to the necessary environments for test execution, validation, and functionality testing.

The TestOps Workflow

  • Test Planning
    • Define test cases, requirements, and objectives aligned with product functionality.

    • Determine the testing strategy and coverage required for each development cycle.

  • Test Development
    • Develop and organize automated test scripts using appropriate testing frameworks and tools.

    • Collaborate with development teams to ensure unit tests are in sync with the codebase.

  • Test Execution
    • Execute test cases across various testing environments, including unit tests, functional tests, and API tests.

    • Validate functionalities and identify deviations from expected behavior.

  • Test Results and Reporting
    • Capture test results and metrics, analyzing the data for actionable insights.

    • Generate comprehensive reports and share them with the relevant stakeholders.

  • Release Readiness
    • Assess product quality based on test results to determine release readiness.

    • Align with development and operations teams to ensure a smooth release process.

Advantages of Implementing TestOps

  1. Enhanced Software Quality

    TestOps ensures high-quality products by integrating testing at every stage of the development lifecycle.

  2. Accelerated Development Cycle

    Continuous testing reduces the time needed to detect and rectify defects, enabling faster development cycles.

  3. Improved Collaboration

    Developers, testers, and operations teams collaborate more effectively, fostering a culture of shared responsibility.

  4. Scalability and Flexibility

    TestOps supports the scaling of test cases and frameworks, making it adaptable to the needs of projects and teams of various sizes.

  5. Cost Efficiency

    By catching bugs early in the development process, TestOps significantly reduces the cost of fixing issues post-production.

Key Tools in the TestOps Ecosystem

  1. BuildPulse

    BuildPulse provides a suite of tools that give you insight into your testing strategy. Whether you’re dealing with flaky tests, measuring/enforcing code coverage, or speeding up cycle times, BuildPulse has the tools for your team.

  2. GitHub Actions, BitBucket Pipelines, and other CI platforms

    These tools play a crucial role in TestOps by facilitating collaboration, managing workflows, and tracking testing activities.

  3. Jenkins

    Jenkins is a widely used task orchestration tool, commonly used for CI/CD, that seamlessly integrates with various testing frameworks and automates the testing process.

Embrace TestOps for a Future-Ready Software Development Process

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, embracing methodologies like TestOps is essential to achieve a higher level of efficiency, quality, and collaboration. By integrating testing activities seamlessly into the development lifecycle, software teams can deliver high-quality products that meet user expectations and industry standards. TestOps empowers teams to uncover defects early, validate functionalities, and ensure the release readiness of their applications. Make the move towards TestOps and revolutionize your software development process.


What is the difference between a flaky test and a false positive?

A false positive is a test failure in your test suite due to an actual error in the code being executed, or a mismatch in what the test expects from the code.

A flaky test is when you have conflicting test results for the same code. For example, while running tests if you see that a test fails and passes, but the code hasn’t changed, then it’s a flaky test. There’s many causes of flakiness.

What is an example of a flaky test?

An example can be seen in growing test suites - when pull request builds fail for changes you haven’t made. Put differently, when you see a test pass and fail without any code change. These failed tests are flaky tests.

What are common causes of flakiness?

Broken assumptions in test automation and development process can introduce flaky tests - for example, if test data is shared between different tests whether asynchronous, high concurrency, or sequential, the results of one test can affect another. 

Poorly written test code can also be a factor. Improper polling, race conditions, improper event dependency handling, shared test data, or timeout handling for network requests or page loads. Any of these can lead to flaky test failures and test flakiness.

End-to-end tests that rely on internal API uptime can cause test flakiness and test failures.

What's the impact of flaky tests?

Flaky tests can wreck havoc on the development process - from wasted developer time from test retries, to creating bugs and product instability and missed releases, time-consuming flaky tests can grind your development process to a halt.

What is the best way to resolve or fix flaky tests?

Devops, software engineering, and software development teams will often need to compare code changes, logs, and other context across test environments from before the test instability started, and after - adding retries or reruns can also help with debugging. Test detection and test execution tooling can help automate this process as well. 

BuildPulse enables you to find, assess impact metrics, quarantine, and fix flaky tests.

What are some strategies for preventing flaky tests?

Paying attention and prioritizing flaky tests as they come up can be a good way to prevent them from becoming an issue. This is where a testing culture is important - if a flaky test case is spotted by an engineer, it should be logged right away. This, however, takes a certain level of hygiene - BuildPulse can provide monitoring so flaky tests are caught right away.

What type of tests have flaky tests?

Flaky tests can be seen across the testing process - unit tests, integration tests, end-to-end tests, UI tests, acceptance tests.

What if I don't have that many flaky tests?

Flaky tests can be stealthy - often ignored by engineers and test runs are retried, they build up until they can’t be ignored anymore. These automated tests slow down developer productivity, impact functionality, and reduce confidence in test results and test suites. Better to get ahead while it’s easy and invest in test management.

It’s also important to prevent regressions to catch flakiness early while it’s manageable.

What languages and continuous integration providers does BuildPulse work with?

BuildPulse integrates with all continuous integration providers (including GitHub Actions, BitBucket Pipelines, and more), test frameworks, and workflows.

Combat non-determinism, drive test confidence, and provide the best experience you can to your developers!

How long does implementation/integration with BuildPulse take?

Implementation/integration takes 5 minutes!

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