DevOps and the Future of QA
DevOps has been the talk of the town for some time now. The evolution and execution of the tools and procedures that facilitate its use are still growing. From insane articles like ‘DevOps will Kill QA’ to QA pundits coming out to the rescue of testers saying that ‘QA will be an integral part of DevOps’, the internet is full of information around DevOps and how it affects QA. Here is a quick look at what DevOps is all about and what it means to QA folks. In simple terms, DevOps is a methodology where Software Developers (Dev) collaborate with IT (Ops) that involves automation of software delivery and infrastructure. A decade ago the responsibility of QA was to find the bug and document it and that was it. This was a more casual approach.
Throwing the siloes to the pasture, DevOps seed time to market, and we can only hope that more and more enterprises adopt this in the coming decades. As more companies open their doors to collaboration, DevOps is also transforming testing methods and routines. The short development cycle normally associated with agile is also aiding in this mind shift. Therefore, DevOps and Agile can no longer be ignored as a passing trend.
Emergence of DevOps and Rise in Popularity
DevOps symbolizes a change in IT culture, concentrating on prompt IT service delivery through agile adoption, lean practices of a system-oriented approach. DevOps seeks to improve collaboration between development and operations teams. DevOps implementations make use of technology particularly test automation tools that can leverage more programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective.
Over the years as CIOs and CTOs have been forced to bring down the ‘Cost of Quality’ and hence the focus of QA has shifted from a ‘casual’ approach to ‘a value driven’ approach. It’s now more about preventing defects than finding defects. The traditional waterfall model gave way to agile and now DevOps that allow frequent build and releases to production. As the digital transformation continues to accelerate into more industries, there is an increase in the adoption of agile and DevOps principles to ensure organizations can achieve the speed, quality, and scale needed to succeed. Security, performance, customer experience, and quality are more important than ever. At ImpactQA we have been seeing a growing demand for security, performance and UI/UX testing from our customers.
While organizations are struggling to find the answer to the question of how to achieve speed with the right level of quality, DevOps seems to have provided a solution. The shift-left approach would allow QA to be directly embedded into the sprint team or the scrum teams right from the inception where they’re involved from the word go and start writing the test cases as soon as a user story is complete. Also, a striking development in the approach to QA is the uptake of continuous monitoring with predictive analysis, along with the increased adoption of more cloud-based test environments. This shift-right approach would allow QA engineers to take product feedback from the end-users. The Shift-Right approach to testing also empowers the test engineers to test more, test on time and test late.
For those who doubt, here are some additional DevOps statistics to take you over the top regarding enterprises that employ DevOps:
- 38% report a top quality of code production
- 63% experience upgrading in the quality of their software deployments
- 63% release new software on a frequent basis
- 55% noticed improved collaboration and assistance
What does this mean to QA Engineers?
1. As DevOps brings in more and more automation to the fore, the need for traditional manual QA will decline sharply. However, manual functional QA would not cease to exist.
2. Not only would the QA need to understand the technology, but they will also need to understand the business and the end-customer. The end customer is a lot close to the business than ever before, with profound implications for the Quality Assurance and Testing functions.
3. QA will have to change their mindset and start helping people instead of providing a transactional service to them. E.g. I would expect an automation QA to reach out to a developer (proactively) and say ‘Hey, for each UI element, you need to put an identifier and not have us rely, for example, on the X-Path will change. That will make tests more robust’.
4. Automation is still evolving and there is a growing trend to higher levels of intelligent automation, largely driven by data-rich digital applications. QA engineers will have to be much closer to technology than they were a decade ago. In summary, DevOps testing service has opened up an exciting and intriguing world of self-aware, self-remediating, analytics-driven automation and a paradigm shift in the QA mindset.
What Can We Expect for the Future of DevOps?
DevOps has come a long way. Initially, waterfall methodology was the way of the world. Then tester teams learned to shift left and test soon. They turn out to Agile. However, when DevOps accelerated, it scaled to fit the needs of bigger and bigger software testing teams. And now DevOps is growing and becoming smarter, thanks to new-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Teams today chase continuous testing for rapid releases and accelerated DevOps. The future of DevOps holds how DevOps will look entirely different in the coming years.
Change is exciting and the future of DevOps is bright. There is no shortage of it on the horizon for web and mobile app testing!!