Since the start of software development, testing has been an indispensable part of the development process. While testing in the Waterfall methodology is a separate phase that occurs after code has been developed, in Agile, it is performed during development. However, because Agile teams work in silos, feedback on bugs has always been rather slow; it usually takes a few hours for development teams to become aware of issues.
DevOps, on the other hand, brings release and deployment activities closer to development and testing – thus making development, testing, and release the responsibility of a single team. However, did you know that there are no DevOps testing tools? If so, you may be asking yourself - how can one enable testing in DevOps?! The answer is by building a robust testing strategy and incorporating the right processes. Read on to know more!
With DevOps calling for testing efforts to occur more often, there is a lot of pressure on teams to transform the way they have been testing all along – at the end of the development process. This transformation requires teams to rethink their approach to testing and to build a sound DevOps testing strategy to ensure relevance.
Here are some tips to enable your testing strategy to evolve with DevOps:
• The role of manual testing: Despite all the hullabaloo about automated testing in DevOps, the fact is that not every testing effort should be automated. While it is a good idea to bring manual efforts to an absolute minimum in high-speed environments, it should not be eliminated. Make sure to automate only those aspects of testing that matter most to your business; for everything else, carry out risk-based testing to deliver your product with the level of risk you think is acceptable.
• Test automation: Testing in DevOps usually takes the automation route, and requires teams to define a robust test automation strategy that prioritizes critical aspects like key functionality and areas of complexity. However, to get the most out of your automation testing efforts, try looking beyond achieving the desired level of automation; think about ways in which you can optimize your testing strategy so that you can achieve maximum results.
• Continuous feedback: When it comes to delivery in DevOps, an application successfully delivered to customers does not guarantee business outcomes or user satisfaction. How customers have received the product is far more critical. While crafting a testing strategy for DevOps, make sure to have a mechanism in place for continuous feedback. Continuous feedback helps evaluate the impact of product release on user experience while sending improvement ideas back to the team to improve future versions.
• Testing in production: In addition to testing code across the lifecycle, successful DevOps implementation also requires teams to carry out testing in production or live environments. Since, in the modern world, frequent changes are needed to be made to meet the demands of users, these changes create a lot of bugs in the application that hamper the overall end-user experience. Testing in production allows testers to detect bugs using real-world scenarios and ensure the application works as expected after the deployment.
• Tracking and improvement: For DevOps testing initiatives to bear fruit, you need to track their progress and continuously plan for improvements. Testing in DevOps can mean different things to different people within your organization. Therefore, it’s essential you define and evaluate metrics across various aspects, including deployment frequency, deployment time, error rates, failed deployments, application performance, mean-time-to-detection, mean-time-to-recovery, and more.
• Continuous testing: In DevOps, testing is never a one-time activity but a continuous one. It focuses on achieving perpetual quality and improvement. Therefore, your DevOps testing strategy should enable you to test early, test often, and test as much as possible. Using test management tools like Zephyr, teams can enable faster delivery with a constant focus on quality.
• Beyond Functional Testing: Testing in DevOps spans the entire software development and delivery lifecycle. Therefore, testers cannot just focus on functional testing or feature verification. They have to look beyond functional testing and be involved in load testing, stress testing, as well as performance testing – to monitor and analyze every aspect code under development at each stage in the life cycle.
As the demands from software products sky-rocket, software delivery teams are constantly under pressure to develop high-quality software. Speed has become a constant force empowering the development community to deliver faster, and that’s why testing in the DevOps world is an entirely different ball game. Your testing efforts must evolve with DevOps to ensure your products meet the needs of the market. When you do so, you can deliver high-quality software quickly and easily. By providing much-needed insight into code quality at every touchpoint, testing in DevOps helps identify and address issues early in the software development lifecycle.
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