Recap: Building the Ideal CI/CD Pipeline

Events, Product — Published June 26, 2024

In our recent webinar, Building the Ideal CI/CD Pipeline: Achieving Visual Perfection, we explored the transformative power of Visual AI testing for CI/CD pipelines. Aimed at software engineering managers and team leads, the session provided a deep dive into the limitations of traditional functional testing and how Visual AI testing can surpass these to achieve visual perfection in software development.

Technical Customer Success Manager Brandon Murray shared expert strategies and highlighted the benefits of integrating Visual AI testing, offering guidance on constructing the optimal CI/CD pipeline. He explored the intricacies of Visual AI testing, illuminating its critical role in enhancing software quality and performance.

Challenges in Traditional Functional Testing

Murray began by identifying the bottlenecks commonly encountered in traditional functional testing. These include:

  • High maintenance efforts
  • Slow feedback cycles
  • Limited UI coverage
  • Tedious manual testing

The Power of Visual AI Testing

Visual AI testing offers a revolutionary approach to overcome these challenges. By capturing screenshots and using AI to compare these snapshots to a baseline ‘golden image’, Visual AI testing ensures:

  • Reduced Test Development and Maintenance Time: Automating UI comparisons dramatically decreases the time spent on writing and maintaining tests.
  • Complete UI Coverage: Screenshots ensure that every aspect of the UI is tested, eliminating blind spots.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Faster feedback loops lead to quicker identification and resolution of issues, facilitating faster product releases.

Other Strategies to Supplement Visual AI Testing:

  • Self-Healing: Automatically corrects flaky tests by adjusting for locator changes, vastly improving test stability
  • Lazy Loading: Helps to ensure the entire page content is loaded
  • Parallel Test Execution: Enables the execution of multiple tests simultaneously, significantly speeding up the testing process

Integration into the Development Workflow

Integrating Visual AI testing into existing development workflows, particularly with pull request checks, is pivotal for agile environments. The webinar emphasized the importance of instant feedback for swift issue resolution, leading to accelerated development cycles.

Tools and Technologies Highlighted:

  • Cypress: Innovative testing framework for both developers and QA engineers
  • GitHub Actions: Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform enabling automation directly in GitHub repositories
  • Figma Designs: Useful for collaborative design reviews and direct comparison against implementations

The session underscored the cost-effectiveness of using browsers on cloud infrastructure containers, especially when dealing with cross-browser coverage. Notably, the Filter Fast Grid was mentioned as an effective solution for this purpose.

Comparing Visual AI Testing to Traditional Methods

Attendees were eager to learn how Visual AI testing compares to snapshot tests and other traditional methods. The webinar demonstrated how Visual AI testing offers:

  • Greater Accuracy: By leveraging AI for pixel-perfect comparisons
  • Higher Efficiency: Through automated and parallel testing routes

In particular, using commodity CI solutions like GitHub Actions or CircleCI was recommended for their affordability and versatility.

Building the Ideal CI/CD Pipeline: Achieving Visual Perfection highlighted the transformative potential of Visual AI testing in optimizing CI/CD pipelines. Software engineering managers and team leads are strongly encouraged to evaluate how AI-powered tools like Applitools can elevate their testing processes, enhance product quality, and expedite delivery timelines. For those interested, a free trial of Applitools is available to experience the benefits firsthand.

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