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Test Automation - Why Is Automated Testing Recommended For Devops?

By Author: Michael Wade
Total Articles: 65

The word DevOps had been formed by combining the development and operations functions. It is not a technology, rather an IT culture. It emphasizes ways in which development, operations and testing can collaborate more effectively. DevOps can be defined by four key activities:
- Collaborative Development
- Continuous Integration and Continuous Testing
- Continuous Release and Deployment
- Continuous Monitoring
DevOps, to some extent, reduces the need for testing and testing resources. However, this does not imply that DevOps does not require testing. What really happens in DevOps Testing is that it brings testing into the mainstream of development process and avoids the problems created by having the testing left to the end of the cycle which causes release delays and quality issues.
Before code integration, the developers need to test their code. One of the most integral parts of the DevOps process is the regular release or the continuous deployment of the working software. The only way to support this rapid cadence of releases is through automated testing. Faster release cycles put a significant pressure on manual testing. This problem can be resolved through automated testing of the critical aspects.
Continuous testing is the first step in the direction towards DevOps Testing. It is a metaphor for a continuous feedback mechanism that helps to drive the software delivery through the SDLC process. Establishing an ecosystem for Continuous Testing involves the following steps
- Shifting the scripts for automated testing to an enterprise version control tool and establish a common source of automation scripts.
- Integrating the automation suite with a deployment tool to enable centralized execution and reporting.
- Classifying test automation into multiple layers of tests. This enables faster feedback at each check point
Automated Testing, without doubt, is the most important parts of the CI/CD pipeline. Without proper automated testing, there can be no Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment pipeline, which is the most important essence of DevOps Testing. The multiple layers of the DevOps Testing suite can be summarized as follows:
- Unit Tests: These normally test individual classes or functions. These tests are the first to be run before any changes are committed to the code repository.
- Integration Tests: This set of tests verify and validate that the modules comprising an application are compatible and work properly with each other.
- System Tests: This test layer checks the entire system in an environment which is as close as possible to the real production environment.
It should be noted that test automation forms only a part of Continuous Testing process in DevOps. It helps in augmenting software quality processes, ensures speed, quality and risk management.
Conclusion
DevOps Testing plays a key role in orchestrating an infrastructure for Continuous Deployment and Delivery. Through a successful implementation of Continuous Testing, the dots of DevOps can be connected with development and operations, enabling a full cycle of Continuous Testing and Continuous Deployment be established.

Michael Works for Gallop Solutions(http://www.gallop.net), it is a 10 year old, US based Colocated Independent Software Testing & QA Staffing Services Company with offices in Dallas and Philadelphia.

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