In today's competitive software development environment, DevOps enables smooth interaction and cooperation between development and operations teams. The two groups collaborate in DevOps, sharing responsibilities to achieve their primary objective: frequent & faster delivery of rising software that meets customers changing needs.
DevOps practices in collaboration with relevant tools and techniques, motivate organizations to complete tasks as effectively as possible. To meet the goals of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) and modern software delivery, the approach known as "DevOps" promotes collaboration between development and IT operation teams. However, this union of the two teams is only partially complete; testing must also be integrated into the continuous delivery chain to benefit from DevOps fully.
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Traditional Software Testing
Software testing is not a novel concept. However, checking in a traditional environment appears to be a unique DevOps testing environment. During the traditional waterfall methodology, software testing looked like the following:
- Just one stage of a life cycle was covered.
- Begun after the software was thoroughly developed.
- It was a manual system that was prone to errors and took ages to complete.
A significant difference is that, traditionally, test engineers managed a separate team from the development team, creating a communication gap. Thus, if a defect was discovered during testing, making the necessary changes was difficult and costly.
Testing in a DevOps Environment
In practice, DevOps testing is a delicate balance of goals, skills & communication among developers, QA testers, and operations teams.
DevOps testing has been integrated into the development phase, combining skill sets, toolkits, and kits for the most effective software app development. These apps are built on comparable frameworks and pool many resources inside the unbounded terabytes in the internet clouds. DevOps emphasizes collaboration, cooperation, and communication among all teams.
DevOps Testing Strategy
Continuous integration or continuous delivery (CI/CD) is an essential aspect of DevOps. There should also be continuous testing between CI and CD. If continuous testing is not implemented.
- Defects will escape.
- Software delivery will be delayed.
- Customers will be dissatisfied.
As ETL code is written, unit tests are written and executed by the development team enabling immediate testing when code is decided to commit. Thus, it enables fast identification of flaws in the ETL code and reduces remedial costs.
The QA team creates and runs tests throughout the development cycle to give developers immediate feedback on each ETL build deployed and aid in identifying where bugs emerge in the code. Following ETL execution, the operations team runs tests daily.
DevOps Test Automation
Automation is critical for a DevOps team. A DevOps-focused automation team's goal should be to "Automate Everything."
Continuous Integration & Continuous Testing are two components of DevOps test automation. Automated tests should be run continuously for each build, and all tools should work together to achieve the best results. There is a need for quicker automation development and a faster turnaround time for script maintenance. Automation tools such as Selenium, Cucumber, Lean FT, and others are preferred over traditional tools.
The best 5 DevOps Automation Tools are as follow:
Jenkins is an open-source DevOps automation tool that is a market leader in the field of CICD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery). It employs a java-based strategy and is used to check the effectiveness of repetitive tasks.
Docker is a software containerization platform that enables us to run multiple applications on a single server without interfering with each other. Because the containers are made to be isolated from one another, the impact is eliminated.
Puppet in DevOps Automation Tool
Puppet is a configuration management solution used to configure servers, deploy changes to them, and manage them. Puppet is written in Ruby, and its structure is based on the agent/master model.
Ansible is an accessible configuration management tool used as an IT automation engine. It can automate various tasks such as provisioning (similar to setting up several servers in your organizational infrastructure), application deployment (which it can automate), and configuration management.
It can also initiate server-side actions such as starting or stopping the server, pushing an update or even implementing new security measures to the applications.
Jira as a DevOps Automation Tool
In Agile project teams, Jira is a popular project management tool. It is an excellent user interface for modules that track and plan projects. It was developed by a company called Atlassian (An Australian Company). This program makes project planning, issue tracking, resolution, and bug tracking easier. It is also a platform-independent tool that can be used on various platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac.
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Features of Testing in a DevOps Environment
After Agile gained popularity, software testing evolved significantly. Since then, new testing concepts, tools, and technologies that are faster and more collaborative have been introduced into the testing world.
- Continuous testing is an automated process that allows for continuous and faster software delivery.
- Each step of the software development process is tested (SDLC).
- Each stage of SDLC includes various types of testing. It reduces backtracking if an error is discovered.
- Testing is no longer the responsibility of a single team. Sharing testing responsibilities allows everybody to understand the implications of each change.
Changed Role of QA in DevOps
Before beginning the functional and regression testing, the QA would traditionally receive a build deployed in a designated environment. Before approving, the body should ideally sit with the QA for a few days. DevOps modifies all of these steps:
- QA must coordinate their efforts throughout the DevOps cycle.
- They must make sure that every test is automated and has almost total code coverage.
- They must guarantee that their environments are standardized, and that the deployment of QA boxes is automated.
- For instance, they can use the Continuous Integration cycle and automate all of their pre-testing, cleanup, and post-testing operations.
A high level of cooperation among different components of the realizable chain is entailed in DevOps. Additionally, it suggests a blurring of the distinct roles of the contributors in the chain. DevOps chain encourages participation from every team member.
Deployments could be configured, for instance, by a developer. Deployment engineers can add tests to the QA repository, and QA engineers can configure and add automation tests to the DevOps chain.
DevOps Testing Best Practices
Automate Testing Where Possible
No matter how meticulous, manual tests are prone to errors and take a long time, especially for fully grown products requiring extensive regression analysis. As a result, the release is delayed, or bugs make their way into production. Automated tests verify software more quickly and consistently.
Unlike humans, test suites are unbiased and do not tire or make mistakes. Once written, they can be repurposed as many times as necessary. They are also less costly to keep running.
Write End-to-End Tests
Unit tests are frequently brought up in discussions about automated testing. However, in addition to unit tests, it is critical to write end-to-end tests that cover functional areas that a particular unit or component tests do not cover.
These tests ensure that a flow or highlight works and keeps working as the team adds new code, and when done correctly, they give the confidence that regressions would be detected.
Adopt Pair Testing for Manual Testing
Some test cases may be too complex to automate. Pair testing is an appropriate approach in such cases. Pair testing like programming, involves 2 team members working together to test the software. It could be a combination of team members, such as a tester and a developer, two testers, or a project leader and a tester.
The main point is that these parties test the software on a single workstation. One party conducts the testing while the other investigates and analyzes the results. This method also aids in the interaction of team members and helps in finding the appropriate solution.
DevOps Testing - Key to High-quality Software Delivery
DevOps is the ideal solution for many businesses to become or remain more competitive in their market. Continuous testing is an essential component of CI and CD pipelines that aids in delivering frequent, high-quality software. The success of testing depends on the best practices you implement in your DevOps culture.
Automation and related tools are central to DevOps testing strategies. Aspire for the best standard in every project and ensure that professional QA specialists are ready for it.
It is easy to conclude that DevOps is the future. The V model was replaced by the Waterfall model, which returned an agile model, and now DevOps is being added to Agile. A fascinating feature here is that to survive with DevOps and automation, you must be willing to fight and learn by embracing DevOps testing, which is the crux & core of the entire DevOps lifecycle.
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