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Test Automation Quality Gates for Effective Continuous Testing

Quality is indeed a team responsibility, and everyone in the team should strive to deliver high-quality software. However, implementing quality gates can help the team to ensure that the software meets certain acceptance criteria and quality standards.


Quality gates can act as a set of criteria that the team can use to determine if the software is of sufficient quality to move to the next stage of the software development process. By using quality gates, the team can catch defects early, reduce the risk of bugs slipping through to production, and ultimately, deliver higher-quality software.


Moreover, quality gates can help teams to establish a common understanding of what constitutes acceptable quality. It allows teams to define and agree on specific criteria that automated tests must meet to be considered successful. This shared understanding can help improve communication and collaboration among team members and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal of delivering high-quality software.


Here is an example Quality Gates with respect to the Pipeline & Environments.


Implementing these quality gates can help ensure that automated tests are effective and reliable in detecting defects and improving the overall quality of the software.

There are 4 Quality Gates as described in the diagram above relative to the environments. There can be more than 4 Quality Gates, based on the needs of the team.

​Quality Gates

Environments

Purpose

1

Local Stack

​To ensure the code is working as expected by executing the tests locally

2

Docker container on Gitlab CI

To ensure that all defined pyramid test levels have been executed and test Gitlab CI coverage reports have been generated as part of the merge request..

​3

​QA

To ensure end-to-end product journeys are tested manually and automated with as CI) test execution and coverage results.

4.

​Non Functional

To ensure that the non functional aspect of the product has been tested with the test execution and coverage results.

5th Gate could be defined as an enhancement.

Production

​To ensure the product functionality work as expected after the deployment to UAT & Production.


Test automation quality gates are checkpoints or criteria that are used to assess the quality of automated tests before they are promoted to the next stage of the software development lifecycle. Quality gates are designed to ensure that automated tests are reliable, maintainable, and effective in detecting defects and ensuring the overall quality of the software.


Here are some more test automation Quality Gates, which could be adopted:

  1. Test coverage gate: This gate checks if the automated tests cover a certain percentage of the codebase or requirements.

  2. Test execution gate: This gate checks if the automated tests have passed without any critical failures or errors.

  3. Code quality gate: This gate checks if the automated test code follows coding standards and is maintainable.

  4. Test data quality gate: This gate checks if the automated tests use valid and consistent test data.

  5. Performance gate: This gate checks if the automated tests have been run in a reasonable amount of time and if they do not impact the performance of the system.

  6. Integration gate: This gate checks if the automated tests can be integrated with the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.

In conclusion , while quality is a team responsibility, quality gates can provide a framework for the team to guide their acceptance criteria and ensure that the software meets the necessary quality standard.

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