The definition of DevOps differs from one practitioner to another. Some organizations implement DevOps as a practice, whereas others adopt it as a culture or movement. But each organization has to implement a number of changes while switching from conventional software development practices to DevOps. They further have to build an environment where all software development activities - coding, testing, deployment, and release - are integrated seamlessly into a single cycle.
DevOps further requires enterprises to facilitate constant communication and collaboration among programmers, testers, and operation staff. The practitioners further need to use specialized tools to unify development, QA, and operations smoothly. At the same time, an enterprise also has to focus specifically on implementing DevOps testing to evaluate the quality of the software from the planning phase to the deployment phase of the project. Hence, each enterprise has to focus on many factors to implement DevOps testing efficiently.
Key Points to Focus on while Implementing DevOps Testing
While implementing DevOps, the practitioner needs to ensure that all testing activities are aligned to a single cycle. The organization must explore ways to automate all the test cases and achieve 100% test coverage. It needs to automate both pre-testing and post-testing activities to facilitate continuous integration and delivery. Hence, the enterprise needs to invest in robust software testing frameworks and tools to automate the entire testing process and run the tests repeatedly throughout the DevOps cycle.
DevOps emphasizes on continuous and rapid delivery of software applications. To facilitate faster delivery of software modules, the practitioner must facilitate continuous integration (CI). CI will enable QA professionals to perform unit tests regularly to evaluate the quality of code being added to the centralized code base on a daily basis. They can further get the bugs or defects identified through unit testing fixed immediately by coordinating with programmers.
The CI process will reduce the additional testing time as the code is evaluated continuously. However, the testers still need to perform code performance and white box security tests to evaluate the quality of the application code more efficiently. That is why; it becomes essential for the practitioners to facilitate CI, and invest in robust continuous integration testing tools while implementing DevOps testing.
Additional Tests and Checks
CI will help enterprises to evaluate the quality of code being added to the centralized codebase. But the enterprises still need to perform a variety of tests to evaluate the software's functionality, performance, usability, and accessibility. The QA professionals need to perform load testing under varying user loads to check the performance of the application while being accessed by a large number of users simultaneously.
Likewise, they need to perform compatibility testing to check how the application works with other devices, operating systems, and browsers. QA professionals also need to perform elaborate usability testing to check if the application is simple and easy to use. An enterprise has to provide robust tools to enable QA professionals to perform compatibility, usability, and performance testing repeatedly throughout the DevOps cycle.
Production Environment Monitoring
A single DevOps cycle covers all software development activities - coding, testing, and operations. Hence, the practitioner needs to get the software testers throughout the development and deployment process. In addition to performing the required tests, the QA professionals also need to monitor the production environment continuously. The constant monitoring of the production environment will help the testers to identify the bugs before make the software crash. Also, they can assess the real-time user experience delivered by the application by setting up specialized counters like server response time and CPU/memory utilization in the production environment.
Parallel Test Execution
While implementing DevOps, enterprises need to ensure that a variety of tests are performed repeatedly and continuously. Hence, it needs to explore ways to enable QA professionals to perform the tests efficiently without extending software delivery time. The practitioner must standardize the entire testing environment and automate the deployment process. At the same time, the organization must execute the manpower and resources required to facilitate parallel test execution. The parallel test execution will help QA professionals to run the test cases under varying conditions and deliver more reliable test results.
Smooth and Constant Communication
DevOps require practitioners to unify software development, QA and operations. Hence, the programmers, testers and operation staff need to work as a single team throughout the DevOps cycle. The practitioners must create an environment where the programmers, testers and operation staff can stay connected and communicate with each other without any barrier or restriction. For instance, the programmers and Software QA testers must collaborate with each other to identify the areas affected during the specific build and get the issues removed immediately. It is also important for the practitioners to convey the business requirements and product features clearly to each stakeholder in the project to reap the benefits of DevOps testing.
On the whole, DevOps testing will help the enterprise to resolve production issues and fix software defects almost immediately without affecting continuous product delivery. But an enterprise has to focus on many things to implement DevOps testing successfully. It must implement a robust plan to manage both testing resources and tools in the new environment. Also, it needs to combine skilled professionals and robust tools to facilitate continuous testing and delivery.