Robust software testing strategies are often an act of balance between extreme approaches, and approaching episodic vs. continuous testing is no different. While convention may be committed to a single strategy as an operational criterion for many organizations, consider a combined approach with the two. While episodic testing occurs at specific points in time and focuses on specific requirements, continuous testing is an ongoing process integrated throughout the development lifecycle, aiming to provide rapid feedback and maintain software quality. Crafting a great mobile app testing strategy can mean ignoring forced tradeoffs and integrating dual methodologies.The Benefits of Continuous Testing Integrating continuous testing into your pipeline has the benefit of aiding overall reliability and improving the performance of a project. Focusing on constant testing can also establish a continuous integration and delivery pipeline. A functional CI/CD pipeline ensures a stable and reliable deliverable regardless of the project’s complexity. Continuous testing is an ongoing process that integrates testing throughout the software development lifecycle. It involves the automation of test cases and their execution in parallel with the development process. Continuous testing helps detect defects and regressions early, allowing quick feedback and constant improvement. It promotes frequent integration and rapid feedback and ensures that the software always remains in a releasable state.Are you ready to take on QA automation? Continuous tests are a great place to start.Continuous testing is a gold star ideal, right? Not exactly. There are some significant hurdles to CT and times when episodic testing can more effectively safeguard your software. On the other hand, without limitless resources and time, no product team can achieve 100% test coverage. Once an organization accepts that testing is about optimization, it can harness the value of dual testing strategies. When to Use Episodic Testing Episodic testing is a great way to explore a project’s new function, feature, or insight. Episodic testing most commonly mimics the real-world usage of a deliverable and how the end user might seek to utilize it. Serial testing can dive into the usability of a product before it enters production, with the added benefit that tester feedback can enhance UX. Here are some best practices on creating a systematic approach to exploratory testing that nets valuable and specific test/bug reports. Episodic testing involves conducting testing activities at specific time points or during distinct software development lifecycle phases. It is typically performed after completing a set of changes or implementing new features. Testers design and execute test cases to verify the functionality and quality of the software within a defined period. Episodic testing is often manual and focuses on validating specific requirements or scenarios.Your organization won’t entirely rely on episodic testing to squash any potential errors or bugs in a project. Instead, it is better served in an exploratory role, focusing on improving and streamlining new/updated features.A combined approach to the episodic vs continuous debateThe best method when approaching software testing is a process that combines the two forms. Staggering testing phases in a constant cycle has the added benefit of quickly implementing fixes and refining the project while increasing its overall usability. A combined approach is the basis of the modern DevOps methodology. It allows for the timely delivery of a project while maintaining the same quality standard at separate testing phases. Having the testing pipeline combined means your organization can avoid setbacks to return to other phases. It also allows for more in-depth collaboration between internal quality assurance teams and any crowdsourced testing resources you may utilize. A combined testing approach also allows for more precise data gathering, which opens the door for faster implementation of necessary changes. Continuous testing carries the primary workload and is ripe for automation, while episodic testing is conducted in bursts to test usability, UX, accessibility, new features, and updates. With this constant pipeline, there aren’t lulls in the testing phase; fixes and features can be added fluidly, debugged, and used before being sent to production. Episodic vs continuous testing have their respective individual merits and have remained standards for software development. Implementing a combined approach with a CI/CD pipeline integration means your teams can focus on getting a project out the door without suffering setbacks. Embracing a DevOps methodology can lead to higher quality products delivered rapidly, which benefits your teams and their overall output.