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How To Reduce Test Suite Execution Time in CI/CD Pipeline

By October 19, 2023No Comments4 min read
How to Reduce Test Suite Execution time

In the world of software, where precision and speed are paramount in maintaining a successful CI/CD pipeline, recent statistics underscore a pressing reality. According to a recent industry report, a significant 63% of development teams encounter challenges related to the efficiency of their pipeline. 

In this ever-evolving landscape, the need for quicker and more efficient test suite execution is not just a preference but an absolute necessity. To keep up with the demand for rapid software delivery, it’s crucial to optimize your test suite execution time. 

In this blog, we will delve into five meticulously researched strategies, validated by industry QA experts and professionals, that are engineered to reduce test suite execution time.  

Ways To Reduce Test Suite Execution Time in CI/CD

1. Parallel or Distributed Execution: 

Parallel execution is a practice where you run multiple test cases simultaneously. This means that if you have a suite of hundreds or thousands of tests, instead of running them one after the other, you can execute several at the same time on different machines or in different threads. 

For example, if you have 1,000 tests that take an average of 1 minute each to run, running them sequentially would take approximately 1,000 minutes (or nearly 17 hours). However, if you can execute 10 tests in parallel, the same suite would complete in roughly 100 minutes (or 1 hour and 40 minutes). 

2. Shorter Test Cycles with Swift Feedback: 

Breaking down long and extensive test suites into smaller, more focused units is crucial. It allows you to isolate specific functionalities or components for testing. More importantly, shorter test cycles provide swift feedback when problems are detected. 

Consider employing a test scheduling strategy that triggers only relevant tests based on code changes. For example, if you are working on a particular feature, you should run only the tests associated with that feature, rather than the entire suite. This selective testing approach not only reduces execution time but also enhances your pipeline’s efficiency. 

3. Use Headless Mode for UI Tests: 

UI testing is essential for ensuring your application’s user interface functions correctly, but it can be time-consuming, mainly because it typically involves launching and interacting with a web browser. 

Running UI tests in headless mode eliminates the need for a graphical user interface. The tests are performed in the background, significantly reducing the time it takes to complete them. Tools like Puppeteer for web applications and headless Chrome or Firefox browsers provide headless mode options for UI testing. 

4. Use APIs for Data Setup and Login for UI Tests: 

Many UI tests require setting up test data and simulating user logins, which can be time-intensive. To streamline this process, create APIs or services specifically for test data setup and user login. These APIs can be used to prepare the necessary data or authenticate users swiftly. 

By centralizing these actions, you not only save time but also reduce the risk of errors. Additionally, this approach makes your UI tests more efficient and maintainable since you can change the data setup or login logic in one place rather than modifying it in multiple tests. 

5. Use Tags to Run Specific Tests for the Feature: 

Test tagging is a practice of categorizing tests based on their characteristics, such as the feature they cover or the environment they are designed for. This categorization allows you to run only the tests that are relevant to a particular feature or code change. 

For instance, if you’re making changes to the login functionality of your application, you can tag related tests with “login.” When you trigger a pipeline, you can specify that only tests with the “login” tag should be executed. This approach reduces unnecessary test runs and speeds up your pipeline. 

End Note; 

In the world of software, every second counts. Optimizing your test suite execution time is crucial for maintaining a fast and efficient development pipeline. As a result, you’ll be able to deliver high-quality software more rapidly, meeting the demands of today’s agile development environment. 

Remember, the key to success is not only in implementing these strategies but also in continually monitoring and refining your testing process to keep up with the ever-changing software landscape. Fast, reliable tests are the foundation of a successful CI/CD pipeline, and these strategies will help you achieve just that. 

For further fine-tuning and QA expert guidance, you can consider reaching out to a reputable software testing and QA company like Testrig Technologies. Their experienced professionals can provide tailored solutions to further optimize your testing processes, ensuring a seamless development journey and successful software deployment