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Why Devops And Qa Belong Together?
The consumers of today are a smarter lot who want the best quality software with cutting-edge features and functionalities. This changing dynamics of demand and preferences for quality products or services has led to a churning of sorts where staying competitive is hinged on ensuring quick market reach and superior quality of software products. The churning has led to the advent of DevOps process of developing software applications. DevOps is an enhancement of the Agile model of software development where development and testing take place simultaneously with the active involvement of other departments, especially operations. Enterprises, in order to address the rapidly changing customer preferences and level of competition, are adopting the DevOps model. By doing so, they are better responding to the market need for delivering quality products at a quicker pace.
DevOps is also about detecting and preventing glitches in any software application and ensuring all future releases of the application remain glitch-free as well. In other words, DevOps leads to the delivery of better-quality software (and all future releases) in the quickest possible time. DevOps QA does not stop at merely delivering the software application to the customer but ensuring the same continues to work to its optimum level as well. In a competitive business landscape, when customers have plenty of options to choose from, glitch-free software applications can help enterprises to uphold their brand equity and stay competitive.
DevOps and its outcomes
An extension of Agile, DevOps ensures continuous delivery and improvement of software applications in the SDLC. It leads to the below mentioned outcomes –
• Seamless and transparent collaboration between departments, especially Development and Operations (the acronym for DevOps).
• Reduces transaction cost by streamlining the software development and delivery pipeline.
• Quick release of quality software application and maintain consistency in delivering periodic upgrades to meet the market demand.
• Create a stable operating environment.
• Early detection (and prevention) of glitches with DevOps test automation.
Is DevOps queering the pitch for QA professionals?
The DevOps outcomes of continuous improvement and delivery have necessitated creating an automated pipeline where the existence of separate QA departments is called into question. However, this is far from true, for DevOps testing services have become even more important albeit operating with different mindset and objectives. The need to establish a test-driven development environment with continuous testing at its core has rendered DevOps specialists irreplaceable in the scheme of things.
Traditionally, development, QA, and operations worked in their respective silos with different deliverables and objectives. For example, the development team is all about building new software, adding new features, and providing periodic upgrades based on market demand or customer preferences. Similarly, the operations team is about delivering stability and responsiveness to customer services. However, the key department that joins the above two teams is that of Quality Assurance and Testing. It ensures that software application to be delivered to the end customer should not contain any glitch or bug, and all the features run seamlessly. However, DevOps entails integrating all the above teams or departments into one entity and calls for a common DevOps QA procedure in the SDLC. Thus, in the DevOps-led software development pipeline, the role of quality assurance did not reduce but rather became prominent.
Why QA and DevOps are bound together?
Since DevOps is all about achieving continuous improvement and delivery, DevOps software testing becomes an integral component of the whole approach. Therefore, once a software code is written in a sprint, it is simultaneously tested for glitches based on a number of parameters. The DevOps specialists incorporate QA in the sprint and make everyone responsible to achieve a single goal of delivering products or services that offer the best user experience. The notion that in a DevOps setup QA may take a backseat is wholly misplaced. On the contrary, DevOps QA moves into a more strategic space of creating a robust test infrastructure.
The success of DevOps in collaboration with QA will depend on the following factors -
• Executing DevOps test automation in the entire SDLC
• Executing continuous testing
• Adoption of Lean and Agile processes
• Adoption of test virtualization, optimization, and standardization
• Incorporating quality engineering
Contrary to the traditional approach where QA comes toward the end of a delivery cycle, QA comes at every level in DevOps. In the development sprint, the QA team receives the code, tests it, and passes it on to the production pipeline (provided there are no glitches). The DevOps model ensures the incorporation of QA tools and infrastructure to help release the software application with consistent quality.
Moreover, in the present competitive environment where there is a need to release (and update) web or mobile applications quickly, DevOps quality assurance plays a significant role. In the DevOps approach, quality testing is done in real-time instead of testing the code offline. With quality engineering stepping into the whole process, the test infrastructure checks for the performance of every component of an application before its eventual release.
Another dimension of executing QA in today’s software development lifecycle is ensuring security. With threats emanating from malware, trojans, and viruses becoming more pronounced and cybercrime a distinct reality, any software application worth its salt should undergo security testing. Since an application can remain vulnerable to security threats, it becomes everyone’s responsibility to ensure proper safeguards are maintained. For example, if the development and QA team ensures vulnerabilities are done away with, the operations team should ensure incidents like unauthorized log-ins and password sharing should be nipped in the bud. Thus, the SDLC should incorporate DevSecOps where security becomes a collaborative approach.
DevOps without QA will be an unmitigated disaster as the whole approach of delivering quality software application in the quickest possible time will stand defeated. The QA specialists should use appropriate tools to ensure the released application is shorn of glitches and delivers a great user experience.
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