According to James Bach, “Testing is an infinite process of comparing the invisible to the ambiguous in order to avoid the unthinkable happening to the anonymous.” The Testing process plays an important role in the software development life cycle (SDLC) and it is mandatory to test software to achieve quality. Today, enterprises in their quest to achieve shorter time to market and quicker releases are increasingly adopting Agile and DevOps development methodologies. Agile is focused on getting smaller teams to collaborate with each other (iterative approach), while DevOps aims to bring the Development, Testing and Operation teams together to work hand in hand. Primarily, both these methodologies revolve around the concepts of building, testing and releasing quality software at a greater speed.
Interestingly, software testing plays a vital role in the delivery of quality products. Now, let us see how does the software testing process play a significant role in Agile and DevOps adoption?
During the SDLC, software testing checks software reliability and certifies the software to be defect free. Any product that is released into the market should be defect free, perform well under varying loads and thus should be tested well. Earlier, with the Waterfall model of software development, after the entire code was developed, the process of software testing would come into place. This sort of end phase testing resulted in many defects and also led to obvious delays in the product release thus affecting the time to market.
Typically, under the Agile and DevOps adoption models, it necessitates the testing process to go mainstream along with the development. With these models, the testing process sets in early along with the product planning; as soon as the code starts rolling out, it gets tested thoroughly. With Agile and DevOps, evidently, testing has been brought into the mainstream, or rather to the beginning of the SDLC and not done at the end of the release cycles. Hence, testing plays an important role as the DevOps QA has the visibility and directive to push code out when it is working and roll it back when it is not. Developers and system engineers enable the code in the right environment for Continuous Testing and Continuous monitoring. Finally, it is the QA engineer(s) who validates that the team has built the right application, after thorough testing to check if it functions and performs as designed.
What Underlies the Actual Testing Process for Agile & DevOps Methodologies?
Optimizing test automation is an excellent way to achieve faster releases. With automated tests in place, it is possible to allocate scarce testing resources to high-value activities. It also helps to reduce time spent on test execution and increase the number of test cycles possible in a shorter amount of time. The impact of these changes can be realized immediately with reduced efforts, cost savings, and dramatically improved time-to-market.
Thoughtfully, enterprises have been adopting these two methodologies to help teams collaborate better with shift left and shift right testing approach to ensure quality. Earlier, there were systems that framed up and used to have a unified pipeline that ended up with a QA as being the “gatekeeper” between environments. But, today, with DevOps under agile environments, QA can quickly and easily verify the environments as “infrastructure is code” in these.
Key Benefits Software Testing Ensures for Agile and DevOps Environs
- Ensures reduced rate of failures, quickens ability to recover from failures with a due testing process in place
- Continuous testing provides immediate feedback on vital business risks
- Helps organizations get quality products and meet the ever changing customer needs
- Enables quicker release cycles due to task automation
- Software releases are faster and frequent
- Ensures faster time to market
- Ensures quicker ROI
Undoubtedly, large enterprises are embracing DevOps principles and patterns to become more agile, such that they can address varying market needs with quality products enabled through continuous testing practices. Organizations can achieve significant advantages such as quicker ROI, shorter release cycles, quality products that significantly leads to increased customer satisfaction.