DevOps and the Future of QA

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DevOps has been the talk of the town for some time now (although it’s been in existence for a while – per Gartner, almost 30% of Global 2000 companies use DevOps) and a lot has been said and written about it. From insane articles that almost killed QA ‘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 really DevOps is 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. 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.Traditional waterfall model gave way to agile and now DevOps that allows 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 of 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 (or velocity) 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 team 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.

So what does this mean to QA engineers?
 

1.    As DevOps brings in more and more automation to the fore, the need of 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, they will also need to understand the business and the end-customer. The end customer is a lot closer 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. For e.g. I would expect an automation QA to reach out to a developer (proactively) and say ‘Hey, for each UI element, you really need to put an identifier and not have us rely, for example, on the X-Path that’s going to change. That will make tests more robust’.

4.    Automation as a science is 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 the technology than they were a decade ago.In summary, DevOps has opened up an exciting and intriguing world of self-aware, self-remediating, analytics-driven automation and a paradigm shift in the QA mindset.

This is the future of testing, and it is beginning right now.The original post was published on LinkedIn. Read Here

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