The minute you buy a high-end phone, it probably ceases to be one of the top products in its category. Same is true for cars, bikes or any other gadgets.
This is simply because engineering products, be it software or hardware, which make these gadgets, are evolving at a frightening pace taking into account the multitude of customer complaints, feedback and criticism. The evolution is primarily to keep pace with the rapidly growing demands, expectations and aspirations of the consumer.
“The speed of applications has changed; earlier it was monthly, now it has moved to daily and can also be on-demand. There is an evolution in various software processes. New processes and tools are driving faster releases for organizations,” said an expert and senior manager at Sauce Labs, the American company offering cloud-hosted automated testing platform.
Enterprises or developers have just two options: keep pace with this or run the risk of rapid obsolescence. One cannot sacrifice quality at the altar of speed; the final product or the latest update has to retain all the best features of the previous version without any errors and the fresh update should be similarly built. Or else the customer will just move on. Options are aplenty.
This is why in software development processes, evolving based on customer feedback is paramount.
DevOps, short for Development and Operations is a methodology which incorporates this philosophy in the software development process. The idea is to integrate all software development processes like development, operations, and testing within one cycle.
Usually, older methods involve testing the software for defects only after it is completely delivered.
But DevOps, just like Agile, envisages testing at every micro stage of the process so that bugs are identified on the go.
Across the software world, DevOps as a concept is increasingly being adopted by organizations.
Using DevOps, businesses can easily cater to customer aspirations of software updates within a short period of time.
Understandably, DevOps involves repeating a set of testing procedures which if done manually will be time-consuming and errors will creep in due to the cumbersome nature of work.
Hence, Test Automation and DevOps are inseparable; without TA, DevOps will not achieve its stated objectives.
Here are some benefits of incorporating Test Automation with DevOps:
1) Quicker release to market: The core philosophy of DevOps is integration of all processes including Testing to ensure a faster release. Customers today expect quick resolution of bugs or upgrades in software based on their feedback. The combination of DevOps and Test Automation caters to that.
Test Automation enables quick test outcomes even if the test scenarios are complicated, say in case of a specialized update to the software or if multiple tests have to be run parallelly. For example, Aspire’s Selenium-powered framework AFTA allows project teams to manage multiple automation components under a single framework for effective functional and non-functional testing needs.
2) Stable software: Though quicker delivery is at the heart of DevOps, Quality Assurance (QA) teams have a responsibility to ensure that upgrades to existing products don’t develop glitches in features that ran well in the earlier version. Stability of software with progressive updates has to be balanced with the time-to-market new versions.
It is imperative that not only is the delivered product robust, the upcoming updates should not be at the cost of defects in the already functional systems. Incorporating Test Automation in the DevOps pipeline helps identify and rectify defects to achieve this.
3) Easier communication across teams:
Incorporating Automated Testing into the development and operations cycle is not just a fancy statement; on the coding desk, this translates into regular and close communication between various teams, as their roles often overlap or are inter-dependent. For instance, engineers working on development can get an idea of the product expectations from the initial stage, as compared to when it is ready for delivery. This helps them incorporate suggestions and possible pain points while coding, thus directly impacting the quality of the product.
4) Consistent Test Results:
In DevOps, similar tests will have to be run many times over, especially when there is a demand for a number of updates; for example, in a multiplayer video game.
Manually performing these tests will be cumbersome, time-consuming, and hence prone to human error and fatigue.
Automating these tests will speed up the process but with proper frameworks, provide consistent results, even for a wide variety of test cases. This is the most important reason why DevOps and Test Automation go hand-in-hand.
In conclusion, to leverage the complete benefits of DevOps methodology, Test Automation is a must-have. Though it is a Hobson’s choice, the additional benefits actually optimize the process to deliver best results.
Aspire’s framework for Test Automation, AFTA 3.0 has been an enabler for many Enterprise DevOps teams across the globe with their continuous testing process. Click below to schedule a demo of Aspire’s AI and ML-powered Selenium-based Test Automation Framework, AFTA 3.0 for multi-layer testing.
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