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Should Developers Perform Basic Accessibility Tests as They Develop Components?

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Q: Within Level Access, do developers perform basic accessibility tests as they develop UI components, or is all accessibility testing done by the QA team? Is automated accessibility testing for the issues that can be detected automatically part of your CI/CD pipeline?

A: For our new products that we are developing we’ve set up demonstration pages where we list out all our components and render them on the screen. Let’s say we use the same kinds of buttons, drop down menus, building a kitchen sink app of sorts that demonstrates our components and all the ways they can be used. We then run both automated tests over that page and have our QA team test that page. They’re both testing at the component level, but it’s both automated and manual. That is for our new products. For AMP we’ve taken a much more manual approach. I think everyone can identify with having to test applications that are still updated very frequently. With an older code base, we need to keep in mind all the intricacies of having to build test cases around a product that wasn’t outfitted with automated testing capabilities. Going forward, what we’ve been able to do is really put together an impressive suite that gets executed when we do a build. We have automated processes in place, we are currently using Bamboo Atlassian product to kick off all our builds all our environments. We have recently switched to AWS, so we are using all AWS resources - Code Pipeline, Code Build- to effectively do the same thing. Now what we’ve done is automatically insert those automated tests to run at build time, and then yet again we’ll have a separate set of smoke tests that we’ll run for our staging and production environments. We have a lot of coverage there, when during development and testing we have automated and manual testing happening. We do it again when those updates hit staging or staging environment and then we do it yet again after releasing to production just as sanity test to make sure it is successful. So yes, to both of those, that’s indeed what we’re doing. 

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