Testing can be one of the most time consuming aspects of the DevOps process. It can be stressful and frustrating, requires a lot of hands-on hours, and is rarely enjoyed by people. But testing is vital, and no developer should simply skip it.
Recently, a strong trend emerged as DevOps experts encouraged developers to automate their testing procedures. Test automation can take your DevOps projects to the next level, saving time and increasing pipeline capacity for continuous testing.
Test Automation: Definition and Benefits
Test automation reduces the amount of human labor required in testing. In Test Automation, tools and frameworks write test “scripts” that ensure the high quality of your application.
DevOps can use test automation in many different ways – and they can Take advantage of test cases and discover errors in your code. This automated testing procedure speeds up the process, resulting in your product getting to market more quickly. Automatic quality checks can also virtually eliminate the risk of human error in the continuous testing process.
Test automation can also ease the burden of the repetitive nature of some DevOps tests, greatly simplifying and speeding up the process. Finally, automation promotes a high degree of reliability throughout your testing process. Test automation can also improve your process.
Automation testing in the context of DevOps
DevOps is all about continuous development – the product is created, deployed, tested and sent for consumption by end users.
Since its emergence on the scene, Quality Assurance (QA) has gained importance. The traditional approach to QA (wait for product to be deployed to perform regression and functional testing) has been greatly improved with the advent of DevOps. DevOps integrates the QA team into the entire development process, integrating all players into a unified team. This integration requires a great deal of coordination between the various stakeholders.
This also allows for a high degree of flexibility and agility in the process, the speed of which the DevOps methodology then amplifies through a great deal of automation in continuous testing (which can be configured to run automatically).
Determine the best tools for you
To build an effective test automation process, you must find the right software workflow tools for you and your DevOps team. These tools should support and manage your testing assets from a central location, pass your product through the testing process much more quickly and maximize efficiency. However, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your software can be as beneficial as having an automated testing process, using tools that don’t match your team and your goals will pose potentially significant problems for your organization. There is an amazing array of test automation tools available in the market, each with its own strengths and drawbacks. There is no single tool that will meet every need for automated testing, so your goal should be to find the tools that will work best for your unique needs and desires.
What to consider when choosing a new tool
Cost (for both licensing and support): Budget is an eternal tyrant, and your team needs to get into this buying business with a solid understanding of your financial limitations. If you have strict limitations out there, there are some types of open source software like Selenium that can come in handy. These tend to require a significant degree of technical skill, so they may not be useful to you – if that is a weakness on your team.
Type: There are several different types of DevOps testing tools. Language is one of the most important factors when deciding on one – make sure the tool works either in the same language as your application or at least one in which your team can work efficiently. The intended platform of the tool is also noticeable, as is the target audience (i.e. whether the product is aimed more towards developers or testers).
DevOps integration support: It is always important to double-check that your tool supports DevOps and Continuous Integration. If you don’t format your tools effectively, it will undoubtedly slow down the process.
exercise: Depending on the level of experience within your DevOps team, you will need to make sure there is an appropriate degree of training in how to use the team – for the people who will use it.
Quality Test Reports: Test reports in both depth and width are essential to success in ongoing testing. These help notice defects and their root causes, and then allow you to test the effectiveness of your analysis.
Excellent customer support: You’ll want to use a tool that serves your needs well. This means a tool that understands your specific situation and can help you overcome complications.
Automation skills required
Regardless of all this, you can’t just rely on the power of your test automation tools to complete the testing process. If you decide to implement test automation without having people on your team with the skills to manage it, you could end up in a difficult situation riddled with inefficiencies.
Here’s what you need from a Test Automation Software Engineer: They must have a broad base of knowledge that includes Test Automation tools. Furthermore, they need to understand how to dive deep into the software testing functions and technical complexities underlying the project. They must also know how to write scripts along with development and collaborate with operations and development teams. This collaboration between test automation, development and operations will have a very important role in writing test scripts and maximizing the coverage of your tests.
Test automation software engineer skills provide invaluable stability. In fact, tools are often built around skills. If you have a resourceful and capable software engineer, you will be more prepared for the vagaries of the market than if you depended on a single tool. If you decide to focus on just one tool, your team risks limiting itself and possibly falling behind the times and needs of your customers.
Automation is one of the foundations of DevOps’ success. But nevertheless, you must strike a delicate balance. If you automate too much, you could end up ruining your product.
When you start to associate many different tools with your project, you start to risk unwanted outcomes that practically cancel out the investment you made in DevOps in the first place. If you try to automatically test things that automation can’t effectively measure (general user experience, for example), you’ll end up with worthless data. Various automation tools can get you started on creating more work than you solve if you need to put a lot of effort into managing it.
However, if you work with less automation, you will lose out on the workflow efficiencies your competitors are using, making your team less competitive. Hence, it is necessary to try to strike a balance between the two. The first step to achieving this balance is to have a thorough understanding of your requirements in terms of testing, development, and deployment. If you have that under your belt, you can find the automation tools that work best for your goals. Once you have the right set of automation tools, you’re golden.
Also, test automation does not eliminate the need for manual testing – it is not designed for that. Of course, certain types of manual testing can be eliminated by automation (especially repetitive types).
But you still need manual testers behind the wheel to examine your product more thoughtfully and at a deeper level than automated software. This variety of manual tests can often detect issues that an automatic test failed to see. It can also provide a more comprehensive level of insight into user experience that automatic testing is rarely able to provide.
Benefits of Test Automation
We’ve covered a lot of deep ideas in this article. But at the end of the day, testing automation is useful for a few simple reasons: it reduces human error, simplifies your testing, allows you to deliver products more quickly, and leads to a more reliable QA structure.
However, testing automation will not be a panacea for all of your team’s ailments. You will succeed, but only if you choose the right tools and have people on your team who have the skills to use them effectively. Again, don’t rely on continuous automated testing as the everything and the end of all your QA practices. Many quality assurance questions show that human presence is much better at solving certain types of problems, and excessive automation can lead to significant inefficiencies.
Test automation can be a very useful tool if you use it well. These tips will help you take your organization to the next level of efficiency and distinction.