Influence of DevOps on Quality Assurance

DevOps gained a lot of traction last year, with many companies deciding to adopt the increasingly popular software development methodology.

So what is it exactly?

As mentioned before, it’s simply a software development methodology that combines, like its name suggests, Development and Operations. What it does is basically integrate every software development operation from development to deployment and delivery.

The principle behind it is a close and effective collaboration between all the stakeholders who are part of the software development process. It’s just that the emphasis is on combining development and IT operations, which brings us to our subject.

DevOps is all about continuous development, continuous integration, and continuous delivery. This generally gives the users a wrong notion that DevOps culture reduce the need for testers. But that’s not the case. DevOps assures that the product delivered meets the requirements of the customers, and is of the best quality. That means, software testing will be contributing a lot more.

DevOps without Integrated Testing

Organizations that adopted DevOps did it to achieve smooth and seamless operation of a continuous delivery model. A DevOps environment that doesn’t count on what QA can do will ultimately fail to achieve that ‘smooth and seamless’ operation. If the developers take their time doing just the unit test to check the functions alone, and then pass the responsibilities over to the QA to continue, it clearly creates a rift between development and operations which in turn will hinder the progress to meeting continuous delivery goals.

Role of Testers in a DevOps Culture

A successful DevOps environment will have testers involved in every phase of the development process. The QA and development operations should be closely knit, i.e. they should operate in parallel. Testers should work with developers during coding itself instead of waiting for the developers to provide a coded product. The developers, on the other hand, will have to share early testing responsibilities with the tester while the QA team determines and acquires the most effective tools and technologies to ensure that early testing is performed with the least disruption.

This approach actually benefits if the team faces challenges and failures. The developers and the testers can work together to overcome the challenges and rectify the issues, while ensuring that the requirements of the customer have been met.

The testers basically:

  • Use automation to make their job a bit easier
  • Integrate development and QA operations to increase stability in the continuous delivery phase
  • Use automated tools for development infrastructure acquisition and provisioning
  • Discover defects and evaluate customer requirements

Continuous Testing

One of the major benefits of early involvement of testers is that they will be able to implement test scripts and determine test cases while the coding’s being done. Experienced testers can provide immediate feedback to developers on the defects identified during the development phase. In addition, they will also get an idea on the effects of their implementation choices on later stages of the delivery pipeline.

So to conclude, testing should be ubiquitous, as in ‘present’ or ‘integrated’ in all the central processes in a DevOps environment.