Continuous Testing with DevOps
DevOps has certainly challenged the norms of software application delivery over the past few years, but what is the single most important criterion for DevOps success?
A debatable question that many associate with, Continuous Delivery.
From DevOps to DevTestOps with Continuous Testing
In order for a business to thrive in an economy disrupted by digital transformation, quality and speed are both equally important. The demand for this has compelled organizations, as competition rises, to focus their attention on efficiency differentiators, to accelerate growth using technology. Tools and practices within the DevOps culture are defined by the need for continuous collaboration and integration.
One aspect, often overlooked/underrated in this integrated DevOps model, is the role of QA. Especially in Continuous Testing, with its ability to shift left, accelerate delivery cycles and create a continuous feedback mechanism, allowing businesses to refine their offerings, incrementally.
Shift Left with Continuous Testing
The term “Shift Left,” refers to the practice of proactively managing quality. Testing as early as possible, can enhance and improve the quality of the product at concept level, shorten long testing cycles and above all, mitigate unwanted surprises along the production process and toward the end of a Dev Cycle.
Shifting left relies on continuous testing and continuous deployment to make all of the above happen.
Roadblocks that could potentially weigh down deployment, include sluggish and error-prone manual processes such as hand-offs from Dev teams to QA. Therefore, Continuous Testing relies on automated, end-to-end, intelligent quality solutions to ensure high quality releases, as rapidly as possible.
DevOp’s fundamental doctrine, is all about improving the feedback loop from concept to customer and back, with mission critical apps in the cut-throat environment, that can’t afford the risk of delay or failure.
Testing early and often, helps to avoid such risks.
With continuous integration and automated tests in place, organizations can build a continuous deployment pipeline, where every change, administers, ‘builds,’ that create packages, ready for deployment to any environment with unit tests or similar tasks that give instant feedback to developers. It is the job of this pipeline to catch issues, if any.
This means, team members have to integrate their work frequently and all check-ins must be verified, in order to allow for early detection of problems.
Processes and Implements
When Analyst firm Freeform Dynamics, conducted research on ‘Continuous Testing as a Digital Business Enabler,’ the insights were quite telling:
- 63 percent of respondents agreed that traditional testing tools are too complex and expensive to use, while 72% concurred that Continuous Testing requires a major culture and mindset shift.
- 79% were of the opinion that Adoption of Continuous Testing is much easier with the right testing tools.
If testing processes are outdated or “faux Agile,” businesses will struggle to implement continuous delivery and DevOps principles.
Test coverage, optimization, collaboration and integration are necessary for process efficiency.
Many organizations within the Atlassian ecosystem using Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, Hipchat/Stride, will find that testing tools residing within the ecosystem, provide far more value and efficiency.
Jira integrated tooling, such as QMetry Test Case Management for JIRA provide an important connection between Dev, Test and Ops.
The integration with Jira, enhances collaboration amongst teams, leading to faster testing, continuous testing and release of projects. You can integrate automation results from your test automation frameworks, as well as, with DevOps/CI tools using open APIs, which vastly improve your coverage and reusability, resulting in smarter decisions using comprehensive cross project reporting and dashboards.
There is a prevalent myth, that conventional IT firms cannot embrace DevOps completely, without foregoing what they have built over a period of time. A Continuous Testing infrastructure, is key in overcoming the challenges faced by DevOps.
As per research conducted by Coherent Market Insights, the global continuous testing market, is projected to witness compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1% by the year 2026, owed to the increasing global adoption of IoT enabled devices.
DevOps, without continuous testing, results in faster deployment of bugged releases. This is why DevTestOps has gained credence as the way forward to enhance operational agility and improve the release velocity.