The Benefits of Increased Parallel Testing
  June 02, 2020

Quality at speed is the new mantra for most CIOs. In response, Development Operations has evolved their software lifecycle- becoming both more agile and more scalable while attempting to deliver a flawless experience. In response, companies are constantly delivering new products and updates to consumers, and the speed with which they can deliver quality code and features is limited by a dependency on slow and intricate testing process. This rapid pace of change directly effects the functional testing space. How can you deliver products at speed while maintaining the highest standards of experience? 

Enter parallel testing. 

Instead of running single tests sequentially, parallelization is the process of running multiple automated test cases concurrently. With parallel testing, organizations can drastically save on the amount of time it takes to execute automated tests while dramatically improving the scope and scale of said tests. 

The ROI is immediate and can be easily quantified because there is a direct correlation between the number of concurrent executions and the time that it takes to run the test suite. For example, let’s say a team has a suite of 100 automated tests and each test take an average of one minute to execute. That would mean that the test suite takes 100 minutes to run, if executed sequentially. However, if that team distributes that test suite across 10 parallels running concurrently, they could reduce the execution time ten-fold to just 10 minutes total. This results in a significant amount of time being put back in the developers’ hands. 

And, dramatically reducing testing time isn’t the only benefit of parallel testing: 

Improve Fluidity in your Development Process

An increasing number of DevOps teams have adopted the process of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, a type of process that requires frequent and reliable functional testing. Dev teams who get test results back faster are able to maintain a more constant flow of code writing, testing, deploying to production all of this repeated as fast as possible. 

Implementing a parallel testing process can optimize that continuous flow. Getting results back quickly is a core part of CI/CD, because the sooner developers do, the sooner they can begin debugging and refactoring, or pushing to production. In addition to that, organizations can reduce cost and increase accessibility by moving test environments to the cloud. 

Example code for implementing execution into a Jenkins pipeline in NodeJS using the CrossBrowserTesting Jenkins plug-in.  This plug-in allows users to specify their desired enviroment configurations in the pipeline, itself, separate from the test framework for increased flexibity.

Substantially Reduce Testing Costs

By running parallel tests concurrently on virtual machines in a cloud environment, you can dramatically reduce your costs per test. Working with a partner like SmartBear – who offers more combinations of virtual machines and real devices in both public and private cloud environments – helps remove the burden of maintaining test environments and devices, which is costly. Parallel testing is the way to take advantage to all those browser combinations and devices. Speaking of which… 

Drastically Increased Test Coverage

Because parallel testing is faster – and with access to thousands of device and browser combinations in SmartBear’s public cloud – your team can make sure that the breadth of your testing efforts is much wider. If your customers are a diverse group spanning all sorts of mobile devices, and with their own preferred operating systems and browsers, you want to make sure that the code you push covers all of those bases. One unhappy user with an edge case device or browser type can be enough to harm your business’ reputation. With parallel testing, you’re much more likely to avoid that scenario. 

Changing from sequential testing or manual testing to an automated testing environment with multiple parallels can be intimidating for some teams, but it doesn’t have to be scary! You can take baby steps, increasing first to two parallels and setting up a few automated tests there, before continuing to scale up. SmartBear is here to help you explore the many benefits of parallel testing.