Efficiency is the key to software development — you want to make the best possible product with minimal effort, just like high school book reports. And when it comes to ensuring your product works as intended, you’ll need big, extensive test suites.
But these tests are incredibly resource intensive, costing your team time and computing power—something you don’t always have, especially in this fast-paced world. By using parallel testing in software tests, your teams can maintain pace with your development feedback loop and releases.
These tests allow you to run concurrently inside multiple environments, which helps testers get the most out of their tests — and we’ll show you what we mean.
Parallel Testing in Software Tests
Parallel testing in software tests is a method of running multiple tests simultaneously to increase testing efficiency and overall speed. Teams can divide and run large test suites concurrently across many different environments, expanding your test efficiency while covering your bases for other devices and operating systems.
Parallel testing enables teams to reduce the time to market by increasing testing speed. QA teams have better confidence in their software, as they can test more often. It gives teams an effective way to increase test coverage.
What’s not to like? Unfortunately, parallel testing is limited to hardware resource constraints that many teams face. Despite limitations, multiple software test types can be run in parallel.
Common Software Test Types for Parallel Testing
Generally, parallel testing can run anywhere within your test cycle. Let’s look at our Testing Pyramid and see how it can affect the more significant pieces of our foundation.
End-to-End Testing: E2E tests can feel daunting with their time-consuming nature. This can be even longer if your teams are testing multiple steps sequentially. With parallel testing, you can run all of these steps simultaneously, which reduces the potential for bottlenecking while dramatically improving your overall testing speeds.
Regression Testing: Parallel testing can help your team spot defects that may have slipped by in prior cycles. When you run tests simultaneously, you can spot defects and issues that may have snuck past in previous attempts.
Load Testing: You can speed up load testing by leveraging parallel testing, thanks to the flexibility of concurrent tests. Teams can set up and run multiple tests at varied loads across different environments, giving you better results and more effective testing.
Integration Testing: Similar to E2E testing, integration testing can be an equally laborious effort. With parallel testing, teams can speed up this process by running multiple tests concurrently, ensuring they all work together as planned.
Overcoming Industry Resource Constraints with Parallel Testing
In the fast-paced software testing world, there’s an imminent need for speed. The timeless adage of “move fast and break things” still resonates with many developers, meaning testing needs to be fast while ensuring nothing is broken.
Leading industries rely on parallel testing in software tests to stay competitive and on top of this rapid development pace. While parallel testing helps teams to speed up testing, it does limit them.
Automotive Parallel Testing: Strict Safety Regulations and Constrained Resources
With the market poised for a vast swath of autonomous vehicles (and the adoption of more advanced internal computers), delivering fast and accurate results is more critical now than ever. Parallel testing allows automotive development teams to quickly iterate and test to ensure their software keeps you and other motorists safe.
Automotive software parallel testing reduces the overall time required for testing while still identifying possible errors and malfunctions. This not only speeds up the development process but also avoids delays in software deployment. This approach also increases the confidence of software teams and ensures that the software developed is of high quality.
Parallel testing will continue to play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of emerging autonomous vehicles. As these vehicles become more prevalent on the road, the need for safety-critical systems increases. Parallel testing helps identify potential safety risks and ensures the software is robust enough to operate under all conditions.
While automotive parallel testing is vital in ensuring vehicle software is developed and deployed quickly, accurately, and safely, it is finite. Because of hardware constraints, automotive software developers can only parallel test to a point.
Healthcare Parallel Testing: Stringent Validation and Complex Integrations
As technology advances and plays a significant role in healthcare, the need for proper testing and validation of software used in medical devices and electronic health records becomes increasingly important. Failure to properly test and validate such software can result in severe consequences, including patient harm, inaccurate diagnoses, and even death.
Healthcare software testing is often time-consuming and resource-intensive, leading to delays in product releases and updates. Sometimes, the software may need to be tested across numerous devices and platforms, making the validation process even more complex.
Healthcare organizations often have complex IT systems with multiple interconnected applications and databases. These systems must work together smoothly to ensure that patient data is accurately recorded, stored, and retrieved. Any failure or malfunction of these IT systems could lead to serious medical errors and complications for patients.
As a result, healthcare software developers dedicate significant resources and expertise to follow the proper testing and validation protocols. Electronic health records and medical software are held to extreme standards and require rigorous and thorough testing to ensure that it operates as intended — lives are literally on the line.
Medical devices and EHRs must be reliable, safe, and effective in improving patient outcomes. But when parallel tests are limited by hardware constraints, finding ways to further optimize parallel testing without risking safety and compliance.
Ecommerce Parallel Testing: Agile Evolving Ecosystem and Customer Experience
Customer experience demands require ecommerce retailers to provide seamless shopping experiences across multiple platforms and devices. Whether a customer is browsing products on their phone, tablet, desktop, or TV, retailers must ensure that their websites and apps are compatible and functional across all platforms.
Besides optimizing websites and apps for different devices and platforms, ecommerce retailers rely on third-party systems to support their online businesses. These systems include payment gateways, inventory management systems, and customer relationship management platforms, to name a few.
Payment gateways, for example, facilitate the processing of online payments, allowing retailers to accept credit and debit card payments from their customers securely. On the other hand, inventory management systems help retailers keep track of their stock levels, ensuring they always have the necessary items in stock to meet customer demand. Parallel testing critical integrations allow software developers to test systems concurrently for faster feature releases and better customer experience.
As the ecommerce landscape evolves, retailers must remain agile, adaptable, and focused on delivering seamless customer experiences. With the right digital tools and technologies, and a commitment to providing high-quality service, retailers can leverage the power of ecommerce to grow their businesses and meet the needs of today’s consumers.
Shoot For the Moon with Parallel Testing and Launchable
It’s no secret that parallel testing in software testing can dramatically impact your testing cycle time. Parallelization can reduce necessary and time-consuming tests to manageable sizes without wasting company resources.
But even with parallel testing, you can only speed up your output to a point. Running your entire test suite, even in parallel, is inefficient.
With Launchable’s dynamic subsets, teams can run the most relevant tests for a code change, optimizing your parallel test approach further. Launchable uses machine learning to understand which tests are most relevant to a code change and creates a dynamic subset of the most valuable tests to run. With Launchable, teams can speed up all testing – including parallel tests – reducing test runtime by as much as 80%.
Resources don’t come easy, but with Launchable in your arsenal, your teams can maximize their testing efforts with blazing-fast speeds. Launchable can analyze your test suites and run the ones that will benefit your team — all while saving your team’s precious time and energy.