In a DevOps scenario, the development and testing process QA is integrated and takes on a collaborative approach. QA quickly feeds fresh development code into the production environment with the collaboration of the DevOps team. The DevOps team then provides the necessary tools and infrastructure to make the process smooth. In addition, they make sure that all changes function as expected. To ensure quality throughout the delivery cycle, both teams (QA and development) share the responsibility. Therefore, everyone involved in DevOps is responsible for the quality of the product and its timely delivery.
QA and Development
Developers and QA testers both have significant roles in DevOps. Project managers have to ensure that the developers and QA testers have a collaborative approach to deliver high-quality products on time. For example, developers should ensure that there are no bugs in what they develop, and testers should report bugs on time to get them fixed on priority.
QA Responsibilities in DevOps
A QA Engineer has numerous responsibilities in DevOps to provide a successful product. We shed light on a few of them:
They not only detect bugs in the application at the starting phase but also ensure that bugs don’t reappear in the product to ruin the user experience. They also suggest solutions to identified product problems.
Analysts need to investigate product quality and make continuous improvements to boost customer satisfaction.
The Quality Control team is also responsible for automating and standardizing the testing environment. Manual testing should be avoided.
It is the QA team’s responsibility to properly plan, create and manage the overall Quality Planning strategy. This strategy helps engineers improve the quality of the product and detect bugs in the application at different stages. This helps improve the application experience and boosts customer satisfaction.
With more and more organizations adopting DevOps practice to support automated software deployment, we are moving towards a culture where build and testing must happen rapidly, simultaneously and more frequently. This helps maintain software quality checks on a continuous basis with faster time-to-market. High quality is deeply ingrained in DevOps operations and cannot be treated as a separate stage.
The QA as a Consultant
DevOps is all about shifting individual and collective mindsets in more collaborative directions. Developers take on more testing responsibility so that QAs do not have to spend time identifying basic errors in code.
However, to execute this shift, devs will require some training. With devs taking on more testing, QAs will transition to a more consultative role, helping devs create better tests and become better at screening for quality. QAs would also be responsible for helping devs gain a better understanding of testing philosophies and processes. This fundamental shift in the technical approach cannot be performed without serious engagement and input from QA departments.
At the end of the day, developers have not been trained to look for quality issues, only fix them. Even when they care about doing so, they will probably miss issues. In DevOps, QA responsibilities start with imparting knowledge and training to developers.
The QA as a Strategist
The best form of the SCRUM model incorporates QA expertise directly into development blueprints. By involving QA from the start of a sprint, product creation and growth becomes more effortless and evolved.
As a strategist, the QA engineer makes high-level decisions about what standards the software should meet in its final form. Since QAs must have intimate knowledge of how end-users think and interact with software, they are best placed to advise dev teams on what features to include, what common bugs to look out for in unit tests, and what kind of users the software would be targeted towards.
DevOps QA testing also includes crafting the automated test cases that constitute the Continuous Testing part of the CI/CD pipeline. Different software must be tested for different bugs, and it is the prerogative of the QA to decide what tests would be best positioned to identify said bugs.
In successful DevOps environments, QA comes much earlier into the picture. Development sprints do not begin without the specifications being reviewed by the QA team and accounting for their recommendations on questions of security, performance, and stability.
As strategists, QAs are also responsible for selecting the most suitable tools and frameworks for manual testing and automation testing. Remember, successful DevOps implementation relies heavily on automation. It is of utmost importance to use the right test automation frameworks, established in the right toolchains that will automate large sections of the development and deployment pipeline.
QA’s role is changing in the current climate, where we need to ensure the timely delivery of products by focusing more on the needs of the customer. An inherent danger within the increasing demand for speed is releasing the build into production without paying close enough attention to quality assurance at all points in the application’s life cycle. Compromises like this can be nothing short of a disaster.
When the Agile model first appeared, it soon grew in popularity eventually overtaking the traditional model to became the preferred choice for software development. The future belongs to DevOps. It is an ongoing process which continues to bring improvements. In strenuous and demanding scenarios, there is a constant need to test the product along with development to ensure faster times to market by keeping cost-effectiveness in view as well. As can be seen above, everything discussed endorses the role of QA with DevOps, making them inseparable.
In order to enjoy the benefit of QA’s full potential with respect to DevOps, explore working on different automation and various continuous integration tools. Take into consideration how much automation is actually required, because this may vary from project to project, while remembering that ‘Continuous’ automation lies at the core of this concept.