Digital transformation has led to increased connectivity and development of innovative software products. It has added value to businesses and has impacted the lives of customers in a big way. Thanks to its impact, tasks that were in the realm of science fiction in a not so distant past have become a reality. Furthermore, the penetration of mobility solutions has brought the fruits of digital technology to the people at large. For example, mobile apps are being used to pay for utility services, get health and news bulletins, buy groceries and tickets among other things.
Even as digital transformation (on account of IT-enabled products and services) has helped to enhance the quality of our lives, it has increased the risk of product failures as well. With the functioning of entities and individuals increasingly underpinned by digitization, any failure of a product or service can bring everything to a standstill. Imagine a scenario where a snag in the banking or reservation software can leave thousands of customers high and dry.
What is DevOps?
The need to develop quality products at a faster rate that meet the criteria of performance, functionality, usability and security among others has brought in the concept of Agile testing. In other words, the testing of a product is to be executed at the development stage itself rather than in later stages of the SDLC. To implement Agile or shift-left testing and prepare the product for future rollouts, DevOps has been thought of as a QA culture.
It is a culture that combines two important departments of an enterprise namely, Development and Operations. DevOps calls for an increased collaboration between the two departments by breaking silos and reconciling conflicting priorities. DevOps testing enjoins upon the two departments to deliver quality products in a reliable, safe and rapid manner. Moreover, to ensure a product works to its potential and provides an optimum user experience, the two departments need to support each other. DevOps software testing aims at providing value to the business through Continuous Delivery. It combines the twin concepts of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment.
Why should DevOps become the preferred software testing strategy?
Digital transformation requires the development, testing and delivery of quality products at a faster pace to offer a seamless user experience and achieve ROI. DevOps software testing precisely does that by facilitating continuous development, testing and integration in the SDLC.
1 Quicker innovation and roll out of products: When the development and operations teams work in harmony there is a quicker identification of glitches and delivery of products. Hence, should the development (and testing) team builds quality products quickly, the operations team ensures the same is delivered with reduced lead times. Moreover, customer feedback is rightly taken into consideration by the operations team to improve the product even further (if needed).
2 Reduces the risk of failed products: Continuous testing as a part of DevOps quality assurance ensures that glitches are identified early on in the development process. It helps as any code change during the development process can increase the scope for errors. If left unchecked or checked in the later phases of the SDLC, the cost of rectification increases not to speak of impacting the turnaround time negatively.
3 Better test consistency: DevOps specialists use test automation to carry out various functional and non-functional tests. The process builds a consistent and robust test environment that ensures a coordinated functioning of various systems and sub-systems. The robust test automation environment can later be reused for similar types of testing thus saving costs.
4 Improves test coverage: Continuous testing by the DevOps testing specialists invariably makes use of test automation. This approach provides a better feedback mechanism, transparency and achieves a more test coverage area. It helps to identify and eliminate the glitches better leading to the deployment of a better quality software.