The Increased Role of Testers in DevOps
While manual testing is still used in DevOps, testers will find themselves doing and learning much more.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
With the main principle being collaboration across all the stages in DevOps, it has become quite challenging for developers, managers, and testers to make the shift from Agile siloed operations to one in which there is constant involvement of all the members at all stages.
Traditionally, testers were given codes and their task was to test the codes for errors and report back the findings to the development team. But with DevOps, the testing has been spread across the entire development lifecycle and is not just sidelined to the conventional testing phase.
While many argue that testers are no more relevant as processes get automated, DevOps doesn’t necessarily mean the end to manual testing. It is just that the testers have to be more adaptable and need a change in their testing strategy. How?
Previously, the only thing that mattered to the testers was the testing. But with DevOps, the definition of testers has changed to encompass their role in software coding and development.
For example, is essential that they learn the basic coding skills and understand how the software works on a deeper level so that they can give their testing input in various levels from the initial coding stage to the final deployment stage.
This helps the process to move faster through all the cycles and produce a higher quality final output.
Increased Collaboration Skills
DevOps gives importance to the merging of all the stages and so it is important that the teams collaborate with each other. This requires that the testers improve their quality of communication with other teams so that they know when and what they are required to test.
Collaboration can be achieved by having team meetings that will help the testers break from their comfort zones and foray into the development and operation stages.
The testers until now have only been concerned with the bugs and error reports. But DevOps necessitates the shift from metrics to a more progressive level that includes conveying the value to the other teams.
The testers can report on how efficient a particular automation tool is or they can ask for an increased role in the participation of overall progress.
Automation tools help in increasing the efficiency of the processes and output. But the testers need to focus on the larger picture and try to optimize the testing processes.
They can report on the automation tools, manual testing, and best processes so that the result of the test execution is fast and improved.
DevOps relies on the continuous mode of operation and when this is the case, testers have to be fast enough to test and report bugs in codes.
Bottlenecks, if allowed to fester for a long time, delay the final outcome. Of course, DevOps works on the basic principle that testing is done at all stages rather than waiting for the coding to get completed. But frameworks have to be built so that automated tests are carried out in the initial stages of coding so that errors are fixed easily before they move into production and operation.
The monitoring tools have to be implemented that allows for new test scenarios needing automation. The tests can then be added to the library so that the work goes on in a continuous pipeline.
Increased Testing Maturity
DevOps includes continuous testing and monitoring in addition to continuous integration and delivery.
The test automation, test design, and test case development processes ensure that the code change works and that they do not break the product.
Testing maturity helps in automation and orchestration of DevOps processes. The testing team can become actively involved in the testing and automation process from their own perspective, thus readying it for automation.
Increased Testing Success
In order to have a successful DevOps testing strategy, there are some things that are to be identified.
• First, the test cases for individual builds have to be identified.
• The test execution should be so that it eliminates waste and improves the flow.
• The development and the quality assurance team should collaborate and identify areas affected in a particular build. The test related cases should be executed.
• Specialized code analysis ensures a complete error-free code in the entire build.
• The provisional builds can be passed to the QA department to create test scripts and run automation tests. When the code becomes stable, it can be deployed to the production stage.
• Once the test scenarios have been completed, they can be standardized and automated.
• The automation techniques should be such that they allow runs across various cross-platforms and cross-browser environments.
• The tests should be run parallel so that time and effort are saved.
• Once the automation for testing is set, it becomes easy to have a go/no-go decision to the next production stage.
• When the bugs are reported and fixed, the code is to be passed through the same chain of events prior to sending it to the production environment.
With automation in pre-testing tasks, cleanups, post-testing tasks, alignment to the continuous integration cycle becomes easy.
Challenges When Implementing Automated Testing
Industries with a high amount of regulation may face obstacles for the implementation of DevOps. Here the traditional software deployment continues and runs parallel to the experiment on DevOps implementation till the time it is not tested and approved. Then deployment or the switch to DevOps becomes easy.
How Much Testing Should Be Automated?
With automation absolutely necessary in DevOps, the question arises of whether the aim should be automation for everything. The answer is that automating everything is not the goal. But automating what matters the most to the business should be the aim. The manual testing will be required and this is to be performed regularly.
DevOps stresses on automation to bring speed in the process and increase the quality of the final output. Automation systems ensure that quality standards are maintained.
But not all processes can be automated. Many of the long-operating scenarios need quality testers. Good testers identify problems in a structured and efficient way and communicate these risks so that quality can be maintained. Great testers understand and describe what they observe. They interpret and communicate in a clear way.
But, it is in the best interests of the company to automate processes wherever possible. This will free the test resources and they can be utilized to perform other pre and post-deployment testing.
In short, testers advocate quality and influence both development and operational processes.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.