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What is DevTestOps?

“The key to following the continuous delivery path is to continually question your own assumptions about what’s possible”Jeff Sussna.

DevOps is doing well, and it’s like the cool trend everyone’s jumping on to speed things up. Adopting DevTestOps means going to the next level by integrating continuous testing within continuous development and delivery. It’s all about adding testing into the mix and smoothing the process. Just like adding extra gears to your bike – you just ride faster, smoother, and avoid accidents and breakdowns!

In short, DevTestOps = DevOps + Continuous Testing. This article will help you dive deep into all these details about DevTestOps. Let’s start.

What is DevTestOps?

DevTestOps is a framework to adopt DevOps and Continuous Testing attributes to test early (Shift Left) and test often. This process helps to deliver a product faster (DevOps), has excellent test (product) coverage, and is bug-free (Continuous Testing). The focus here is to provide continuous delivery quicker and with impeccable quality embedded into it.

This process requires an amalgamation of ideas and effort from developers(Dev), testers(Test), and the operations(Ops) team to provide the best within the delivery framework. DevTestOps focuses on bringing everyone together for early and continuous feedback, aiding in low cost, good quality, and fast delivery.

How to Practice DevTestOps?

DevTestOps can be harnessed by following these steps in your Agile project.

Product Backlog and Requirements

Catch up with the product people to make sure you are all on the same page about what your product needs and what your users want. Tidy that to-do list and ensure the most important stuff is at the top!

Continuous Planning

Do not just plan once and forget it! Keep grabbing coffee with the product managers and chatting about what’s next for your product. You want your testing to match your big-picture dreams, after all.

Continuous Development

Implement continuous development practices involving coding, reviewing, and committing changes. It’s all about writing, checking out each other’s code, and making tweaks here and there. It’s like a team huddle where everyone shares ideas and keeps updating the code play-by-play.

Define Test Strategy

Start by defining a comprehensive test strategy that outlines the testing objectives, scope, and types of tests (e.g., unit tests, integration tests, performance tests) required. Here is a good test strategy template to use.

Shift Left Testing

It encourages developers to take more ownership of testing by performing unit testing and writing automated test cases early in development. This testing helps in catching defects at the code level. Use code analysis tools and static code analysis to identify potential issues in the code before it is even compiled. Read about shift left testing in detail.

Continuous Integration (CI)

Continuous integration ensures that code changes are integrated into a shared repository and tested automatically. Imagine if every time you made a tweak to a recipe, you got to taste a bite right away to make sure it’s still delicious. That’s what continuous integration does for coding. Every time you change a bit of your code, immediately check to see if it plays nicely with the rest.

Test Environment Provisioning

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) can help automate the provisioning of test environments that mirror production as closely as possible to ensure consistent testing across different development stages.

Automate Testing

Invest in test automation to execute many tests quickly, in parallel, and consistently. This automation testing includes unit tests, integration tests, regression tests, cross-browser, cross-platform, and more. Implement continuous integration (CI) to automatically build, test, and validate code changes when pushed to the repository.

Continuous Deployment (CD)

Implement continuous deployment to automatically deploy code changes to production or staging environments after successful CI/CD pipeline testing.

Imagine you just baked some cookies and had a magic oven that could instantly get them into the hands of eager friends as soon as they were ready. That is what continuous deployment is! After making sure everything’s good to go with your code, it gets sent out either for everyone to enjoy or for a select group to taste-test first.

Continuous Monitoring and Analytics

Implement continuous monitoring in production to collect data on application performance and user behavior. This monitoring helps in identifying issues in real-time and resolving them quickly.

Now, once those cookies (or your app) are out there, you have got to make sure they are being enjoyed and are not causing any tummy aches. So, you need to constantly keep tabs on how everything is running and what people think about it.

TestOps

Integrate the principles of TestOps, which involves applying DevOps practices to facilitate test automation scalability for complex applications. TestOps includes scaled automation, collaboration, and measurement of testing activities. Utilize tools like test management systems, test automation frameworks, and reporting dashboards to streamline test operations. Know in detail about what is TestOps here.

Collaboration and Communication

Foster collaboration between development, testing, and operations teams. Promote open communication channels to address issues and improve the feedback loop quickly. Get your amazing teams to huddle up and tackle any pesky issues together. It’s all about making sure your work shines and is the best it can be.

Continuous Delivery (CD)

Continuous delivery focuses on automating the deployment process to make code changes ready for production. It includes the final deployment steps, such as approvals and release scheduling.

The Continuous Delivery(CD) is having your code changes prepped and ready to roll out whenever you decide. Of course, there is some behind-the-scenes magic, like getting thumbs up from the right people and picking the perfect time to serve up the new updates.

Shift Right Testing

Continue testing in production (shift right testing) to identify issues that may only manifest in the production environment. Use techniques like canary releases and A/B testing to mitigate risks.

Feedback Loop

  • With Developers: Create a feedback loop that provides developers with immediate feedback on the quality of their code through automated test results, code analysis reports, and defect tracking. Think of it as a quick chat about how things are going so all stay in the loop.
  • With Product Managers: Establish a feedback loop between testing teams and product managers. Provide feedback on usability, user experience, and any issues discovered during testing. Share notes and make sure you are crafting the best journey for your users.
  • With Customers: Facilitate the integration of customer feedback into the development process. Taking their feedback and weaving it into your plans helps you grow and make things even better for them. Product managers can use this feedback to prioritize feature enhancements and bug fixes.

Retrospectives and Continuous Improvement

Improvement is possible by regularly reviewing and assessing your testing processes’ effectiveness. Use metrics and feedback to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments accordingly. Here is a detailed article- QA Testing KPIs: Driving Success Through Measurable Metrics.

DevOps vs. DevTestOps

Let us see a comparison between the definition, scope, and activities performed in DevOps and DevTestOps:

DevOps

  • DevOps is a cultural and technical approach emphasizing collaboration and automation across development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams. It aims to streamline and accelerate the software development and delivery process. DevOps is a broad framework encompassing all software development stages, including testing. It focuses on the entire software development lifecycle.
  • DevOps aims to break down silos between development and operations, automate manual processes, and optimize the entire software delivery pipeline, from code development to deployment and monitoring.
  • DevOps encompasses many activities, including continuous integration, continuous delivery, infrastructure as code, and continuous monitoring. It also includes cultural aspects, such as improved team communication and collaboration.

DevTestOps

  • It emphasizes automating and integrating testing processes throughout the software development lifecycle through shift left testing and TestOps.
  • The primary goal of DevTestOps is to break down silos between development and testing activities. It ensures that software is thoroughly tested at every stage of development, from code commits to production releases. It aims to catch defects early and provide fast feedback to developers. Here is a Strategy to Handle Defects in Agile Methodology.
  • Includes test automation, continuous integration, and continuous delivery. It also involves test environment management, test data management, and monitoring of test results. Focuses exclusively on testing activities, ensuring testing is integrated seamlessly into the DevOps pipeline.

Challenges to Achieving DevTestOps

  • Toolchain Complexity: Managing and integrating a wide range of tools for continuous integration, delivery, test automation, and monitoring can be complex and challenging.
  • Tool Selection: Choosing the right DevTestOps tools and platforms to support automation, reporting, and collaboration can be challenging. Here are some required tools.

For continuous testing, intelligent tools like testRigor help you execute intelligent testing effortlessly with the expansive integrations it supports. It is an AI-powered no-code test automation tool that requires no programming knowledge to write and run test cases. Just write the test steps in plain English and get going!

Alternatively, use the generative AI capabilities to automatically generate the test steps within seconds, or record your actions on UI and quickly generate the test cases in plain English.

  • Skill Gaps: Teams may lack the necessary skills and expertise in areas such as automation, infrastructure as code, and containerization, which are essential for successful DevTestOps adoption.
  • Legacy Systems: Organizations with legacy systems and processes may face difficulties modernizing and integrating them into the DevTestOps pipeline.
  • Security Concerns: Ensuring that security practices are integrated into the DevTestOps process is a challenge for which DevSecOps can be adopted.
  • Test Automation Complexity: Developing and maintaining automated tests can be complex, time-consuming, and costly, especially for applications with intricate workflows or rapidly changing requirements. Use simple but powerful tools that minimize your effort, time, and cost, such as testRigor. See a sample test case in testRigor:
click "Cart"
check that page contains "Cart Is Empty"
enter "TV" into "Search"
enter enter
click "TV"
click "Add To Cart"
check that page contains "Item Added To Cart"
check that page contains "Cart (1)"

With testRigor using plain English for test steps, there is no requirement for programming knowledge or CSS/XPath locators. Use the text on UI as locators in the test cases for element identification. With these capabilities, everyone in your team- Business Analyst, Product Manager, Sales, Marketing, etc., can create and execute automated tests in the DevTestOps process. Turn your manual testers into automation experts today with testRigor!

  • Scalability: As software scales, so does the volume and complexity of testing. Ensuring that testing scales effectively can be a challenge. Here is an informative article about test scalability.
  • Test Maintenance: As code evolves, tests must be updated accordingly to ensure that tests remain relevant and accurate. This test maintenance takes a tremendous amount of time, cost, and effort.

Intelligent tools such as testRigor solve this problem for you as they do not use unstable CSS/XPath locators for element identification. Instead, testRigor uses the text visible on the UI as a locator. Whenever there are changes to the application or an element, its self-healing capabilities automatically incorporate them in test cases and minimize your maintenance effort.

See the list of testRigor’s top features.

  • Process Integration: Integrating continuous testing seamlessly into the CI/CD pipeline requires careful planning and execution.
  • Performance Monitoring: Ensuring the DevTestOps process performs optimally and provides actionable insights can be challenging.

Conclusion

DevTestOps fosters a culture of collaboration and automation, breaking down silos between development, testing, and operations teams. It streamlines the entire software delivery pipeline, including testing, enabling organizations to respond rapidly to market demands and customer feedback.

While these practices offer tremendous advantages, they have challenges. Some might be a tad resistant to change, others might need to upskill, and finding the right tools can feel like hunting for a needle in a haystack. With some solid training, open chats, and a clear game plan, you are on track to sail smoothly through any bumps on the road.

Adopting DevTestOps is more than just a technological shift; it represents a holistic transformation in how software is conceived, developed, tested, and delivered.

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