Testing in Production: What’s the Big Deal?

Rowan Haddad
July 2, 2021
4 min read
Flagship.ioContinuous DeliveryTesting in Production: What’s the Big Deal?

Everyone hates tests. Ever since our school days, just hearing the word ‘test’ puts us on high alert and brings nothing but dread. 

It seems we cannot escape the word even in software development. And it’s not just any test but a ‘test in production’. 

Yes, it is the dreaded phrase that leaves you sweating and your heart pounding. Just reading the phrase may make you envision apocalyptic images of the inevitable disaster that could occur in its wake...

Meme - Test in production. What could go wrong.
"Test in production" they said. "What could go wrong." they said

We, too, hate tests but even we have to admit that testing in production is a pretty big deal now.  Let us tell you why before you run away in horror…

Meme - I don't always test my code. But when I do, I do it in production.
I don't always test my code. But when I do, I do it in production.

If it helps, think of it more as an essential part of your development process and less as an actual ‘test’ where the only two options are pass or fail but for the sake of consistency and clarity, we’ll refer to it here as testing in production and who knows? Maybe by the end of this article, it won’t be so scary anymore!

Meme - There is no TEST. PRODUCTION only there is.
There is no TEST. PRODUCTION only there is.

So here’s the low-down...

First things first, what is testing in production? Testing in production is when you test new code changes on live users rather than a staging environment.

It may sound downright terrifying when you think about it. So what? You have a feature that is brand new and you’re supposed to unleash it to the wild just like that?

Let us break it down for you with the help of our finest selection of memes about test in production...

At this point, you’re probably vehemently shaking your head. The risks are simply too high for you to consider, especially in this day and age of fickle customers who might leave you at the drop of a hat if you make any simple mistake.

Meme - I see you test your code in production. I too like to live dangerously.
I see you test your code in production. I too like to live dangerously.

You may have a well-established product and you cannot risk upsetting your customers, especially your most loyal customers, and damaging your well-crafted reputation by releasing a potentially buggy feature. 

Or you might even just be starting out and you simply cannot afford to make any amateur mistakes.

Meme - One does not simply test in production
One does not simply test in production!

Why, oh why, should I test in production?

We’re here to tell you that you should absolutely test in production and here’s your answer as to why:

Testing in production allows you to generate feedback from your most relevant users so that you can adjust and improve your releases accordingly. This means that the end-result is a high-quality product that your customers are satisfied with.

Meme - There are no finer QA testers than the clients themselves
There are no finer QA testers than the clients themselves

Additionally, when you test in production, you have the opportunity to test your ideas and even uncover new features that you had not considered before. Plus, it’s not just engineers who get to do this but your product teams can test out their ideas leading to increased productivity.

Meme - I'm just a project manager but sure, I'll do QA
I'm just a project manager but sure, I'll do QA

So now you’re thinking, great but there’s still the issue of it all leading to disaster and disgruntled customers. 

But really, it’s not as terrifying as it sounds.

Meme - Stand back, we're trying this in production
Stand back, we're trying this in production

Wrap up in a feature flag

When you use feature flags while testing in production, you can expose your new features to a certain segment of your users. That way, not everyone will see your feature and in case anything goes wrong, you can roll back the feature with a kill switch.

Meme - What if I told you, you could have both speed and safety
What if I told you, you could have both speed and safety

Therefore, you have a quick, easy, and low-risk way to roll out your features and roll back any buggy features to fix them before releasing them to everybody else, lessening any negative impact on your user base if any issues arise. 

Be the king (or queen) of your software development jungle

With feature flags, you are invincible. You are in complete control of your releases. All you need to do is wrap up your features in a feature flag and you can toggle them on and off like a light switch!

Meme - Gave that switch a flick. Switches love flicks
Gave that switch a flick. Switches love flicks

Still confused? Still feeling a bit wary? If you want to find out more about testing in production, read our blog article and let us show you why it’s very much a relevant process and a growing trend that you need to capitalize on today.

Test in Production Meme - We'll do it live
We'll do it live

With a feature flagging platform like Flagship by AB Tasty, it’s easier than ever to manage testing in production. All you need to do is sit back and reap the benefits. 

Happy testing! 

News
Flagship by AB Tasty recognized as a leader in The Forrester New Wave: Feature Management And Experimentation, Q2 2021
About the author
Rowan is part of the content marketing team at Flagship by AB Tasty. She's interested in all things marketing, particularly digital marketing. She's also passionate about expanding her knowledge on all things tech.

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