Discussing DevOps QA roles can be confusing – people may not see the difference from the traditional QA positions. How does the DevOps process differ from others for the QA engineers? And how can DevOps test automation bring new value to an organization and product deployment?
The leading testing and quality assurance (QA) principles are changed within a DevOps culture. Gartner’s research defines some common reasons why we need to rethink the QA process:
- You can not reach the speed of product delivery because of the slow QA process. In the case of a highly accelerated development and operations process, there is no way to use a traditional testing approach.
- Traditional testing can consume up to 40% of the budget.
- In the traditional approach of manual testing, it is aimed at optimizing subcomponents. But the real goal is to optimize the broader user experience.
Those reasons define why DevOps QA should shift from quality assurance to quality assistance.
THE ROLE OF QA IN THE DEVOPS PROCESS
DevOps is focused on integration and automation between development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams. It applies Agile practices to QA teams to support faster product validation and deployment.
Testing is one of the elements of the DevOps lifecycle. Continuous testing is a process of automated code building. Every time a new code is pushed, tests are run to verify it. It is the basis for QA in any organization or team involved in the process.
DevOps automated testing requires a reliable testing strategy. At this step, QA usually comes into play. We consider it a bridge between development and operations processes. QA’s traditional main goal is to prevent mistakes and avoid bugs in product deployment. Usually, testers participate in brainstorming and can actively engage in code fixing at a late stage.
The traditional role of QA is different from DevOps QA roles. DevOps QA works on automated pre-testing tasks and aligns them with a continuous integration cycle making sure all tests are automated and achieve 100% coverage. They also need to ensure environmental standardization.
The whole concept of QA in the DevOps process is to ensure continuous improvement in the delivery process. As a result, companies can accelerate software delivery with changes and innovations.
DEVOPS QA AREAS OF WORK
Speaking about QA roles in DevOps, we point to blurred boundaries between the responsibilities of the two teams. A part of quality assurance goes in line with development and operations. It ensures a backup line for correcting product functions.
Here are common areas to pay attention to when implementing QA into the DevOps cycle.
Team Connection. QA is responsible for ensuring product quality during the whole product development cycle. It is critical to consider as team integration will be determinative for quality assurance. A merging team allows the detection of tangible aspects of quality requirements.
Metrics. Another aspect of implementing a QA role for DevOps is detecting quality metrics. It helps you see bugs early and keep an eye on essential details that can be miscommunicated.
Parallel testing. When you implement QA into DevOps, QA teams run tests continuously. Parallel check-ups of the software help QA engineers run test cases under various conditions and deliver valuable results. To be efficient with testing, QA needs to standardize the environment and automate the process.
Continuous testing is a key to the DevOps culture. We need to test early and often to ensure the quality of product delivery.
QA RESPONSIBILITIES IN DEVOPS
The primary concern for QA is how to automate testing in DevOps lifecycle.
- Testing in DevOps should be focused on detecting bugs at the earliest phase of the cycle and preventing repeat bugs.
- QA has an impact on both development and operations while making possible bug detection and finding opportunities to improve the quality of the product.
- Ensure standardized and automated environments, as there should be no room for manual testing.
- There is no way that QA will be focused only on preventing and finding bugs. In DevOps, they should also work on improvement recommendations where necessary. In this case, QA should take ownership of the improvement process.
- QA helps deliver all objectives in DevOps, as all the functions are moving to faster testing and building deployment to meet client demands.
THE QA ROLE AS A CONSULTANT
In traditional processes, developers are not trained to search for bugs. They can only fix them. But it is possible with QA consulting when we speak about the shift to automation testing in DevOps for product improvement.
In this case, testers will spend less time detecting basic bugs in a code. They help developers understand the concept and philosophy of testing. As developers are more focused on testing, the QA role in such processes is focused on instructions.
THE QA ROLE AS A STRATEGIST
If we involve QA at the beginning of the SCRUM sprint, the product growth becomes more effortless. In the DevOps process a QA engineer can also work as a strategist.
DevOps QAs make decisions on high-level standards for the final product solution. Since QA has a better knowledge of end-user interactions, they can provide a strategy for functions that developers should include and common errors to pay attention to in the development stage.
DevOps testing strategy also includes creating the automated test case as continuous testing is part of the CI/CD pipeline. DevOps QA can decide what test will be better to run for different software. A strategist is responsible for selecting the most effective manual or automated testing tools.
The success of DevOps will be highly dependent on the automation process. QA’s strategic planning role should focus on automating significant development and deployment pipeline sections.
DEVOPS AUTOMATED TESTING STRATEGIES AND BEST PRACTICES
How to build a testing strategy for a new environment? Here are some valuable tips for DevOps testing strategy creation:
- Identify the tested cases that should be executed for a particular build.
- The QA testing team should be a part of the technical team. Also, QA and Dev teams need to identify areas affected due to a particular build and execute related test cases.
- Identify all quality needs to meet requirements.
- Standardize all environments required for testing and automate deployment.
- Development, Operational and QA teams should be encouraged to communicate and collaborate.
- It is possible to identify bugs and errors at early development stages with continuous integration. It means that all stakeholders need to integrate their work daily.
- Automated testing processes should be integrated into the software development life cycle (SDLC). It will minimize risks, reduce costs and decrease time to market.
- Run parallel execution of tests to reduce time-to-live.
- QA and testing in DevOps need to leverage tools to automate everything possible.
- DevOps QA needs to achieve 100% code coverage. It is possible to configure specialized code analysis and coverage tools.
- Report and fix blockers and bugs through the same chain of events before the code deployment in the production.
- To increase quality insurance, all the teams need to optimize their goals.
DEVOPS QA AUTOMATED TESTING TOOLS
Below is a brief definition of the most known DevOps automated testing tools.
- Kobiton. This tool prevents bugs before pushing code to test. It can be integrated with Jenkins, Travis CI, CircleCI, etc.
- Zaptest. Great test automation DevOps tool for companies that looks for automating back-office operations.
- Eggplant. This tool is perfect for automating the entire testing cycle and delivering fast software releases.
- Jenkins. The ideal open-source testing tool for DevOps performance testing.
- Bamboo. A continuous integration tool that can be used for DevOps QA testing.
- Selenium. One of the best DevOps automated tools that support automation testing in various browsers.
- SoapUI. A cross-platform DevOps testing tool widely used to perform functional and load testing on the application programming interface (API).
HOW TO START WITH DEVOPS QA TESTING
DevOps testing automation is the key to successful and efficient product delivery. The essential question is how to launch the testing process in a DevOps environment. Here are some common steps to facilitate this process.
- Start with formal training for the team.
- Ensure the current testing process is assessed with the DevOps test consultant and DevOps architect.
- Define a testing strategy by creating a solution roadmap.
- Implement testing infrastructure, solutions and framework based on a roadmap.
- Train cross-functional team members.
- Monitor progress.
The DevOps QA approach is already a standard for efficient product delivery. Continuous testing ensures that the team fixes bugs and errors at early stages and reduces the time spent on development.
It is essential to understand the role of DevOps QA, its responsibilities, and best practices to achieve a goal. Cprime provides support for both QA and DevOps services. We can take the whole DevOps cycle management on us or staff particular specialists to deal with your problem. Contact us to discuss whether your company requires DevOps QA automation or handle an IT staffing situation with specific specialists.