Test Automation by SMEs & QA Analysts for Continuous Delivery and DevOps

Test Automation by SMEs & QA Analysts for Continuous Delivery & DevOps

As development becomes more complicated with changing business requirements, software teams rely on modern delivery practices from Agile to DevOps to Continuous Delivery.

To accomplish the overall objectives and goals of an organization while delivering quality software at speed, a combined collaboration of different teams with diverse skills is important. 

Roles and Responsibilities in Agile and DevOps

In Agile and DevOps, every IT function must be engaged earlier on, and everyone involved needs to have a broader and deeper understanding of what they’re required to achieve.

It is important to embrace new or redefined roles for a successful DevOps transformation. Organizations assign members to their new DevOps teams before they have fully understood the requirements and goals of the project.

Subject Matter Experts and QA Analysts are responsible for establishing and implementing quality testing and compliance processes for organizations. Subject Matter Experts and QA Analysts can provide strategic and technical advice from their experience to the team members.

They provide guidance and subject matter expertise to programming teams on testing methodologies and approach, guide the testing teams and are expected to closely interact with IT leaders; Development, Testing and production teams to develop and implement a well planned road map, adopt the right tools and approach and implement them. 

 Significance of Continuous Testing in Agile and DevOps

Along with the change of roles, processes, and tools, the testing approach also needs to change. Continuous testing has evolved to meet the continuous delivery needs in Agile and DevOps and has become a must to release quality software faster.

Refer the below article to know the importance of continuous testing.
Extend Test Automation to enable Continuous Delivery

Software Testing is one among the many fields in the Development Life Cycle which a lot of stakeholders get involved to deliver an unmatched quality software. Testers are not only expected to check that if a functionality works as expected but also to validate that the user experience is as expected, across  real devices and environments.

Continuous testing is achieved through test automation which involves complex programming and a deep technical understanding. Continuous testing can only be effective if test automation starts during the initial phases of software development, in parallel with the documentation and planning by Functional Testers, SMEs and QA Analysts. Hence the participation is often limited to developers and automation testers. Novice stakeholders and manual testers, SMEs and QA Analysts cannot take part in the process and wait until development is complete.

Often Automation testers will not have sufficient time to understand the application exhaustively and learn the functionalities as they test.
Subject Matter Experts and QA Analysts should help the automation testers to identify and document the right test cases for automation.

Often, these demands are not met and test automation is pushed towards the end of the development cycle. This limits the early participation of Automation Testers and Subject Matter Experts causing a delay to start. This becomes one of the main reasons for Automation Testing becoming a bottleneck for Continuous Delivery in DevOps practise. 

Importance of SMEs and QA Analysts in Agile and DevOps

While the automation team focuses on delivering quality software faster, your functional team, SMEs and QA Analysts focuses on the quality of your software from a customer’s perspective.

With both the efforts combined it will have a great impact on releasing quality products faster continuously. But, there needs to be a platform where functional team, SMEs and QA Analysts can collaboratively work to discuss on the ambiguities in users stories, automate them without any technical barrier. This way SMEs/QA Analysts can participate in automated testing along with their regular work starting from the initial phases of design and planning or when the team needs a hand in automation.

To ensure the participation of Developers, SMEs and QA Analysts throughout the continuous testing process, the platform should not require any complex tool setup or demand technical expertise.
Anyone should be able to contribute to an autonomous continuous automated testing process.  

Why is it important to involve SMEs and QA Analysts in the process of automated testing?

Let us discuss some of the reasons in detail:

  1. They understand the application functionality customer requirements better than the Automation Testing team.
    If SMEs and QA analysts are involved in automation testing, it would be a great value addition to release your great quality software faster continuously.

2. Agile development practices will thrive in an organization that fosters a collaborative culture and servant leadership with the leader serving the team. When SMEs and QA Analysts serve their team, actively analysing and contributing, they unlock purpose and creativity of the team, resulting in effective automation.

3. Also, if the automation testing process is not implemented properly there would be lots of redundant efforts across functional and automation teams. With one team being in charge of quality, lots of effort can be optimized and its huge time saver considering the time and efforts needed to communicate the information across teams.

4. Timely involvement and effective feedback from the experts.

5. The collaborative approach keeps the team aware of quality standards and procedures and offers necessary suggestions and scope for improvement. 

 What restraints the Subject Matter Experts and QA Analysts from actively participating in the automation testing process?

1. Becoming a productive juggler

Subject matter Experts work on multiple projects and projects/issues of high complexity across multiple technical areas and business segments. Managing between creating test plans on new implementations and upgrades, communicating test progress, test results, and other relevant information to project stakeholders and QA Manager and participating in automation is not easy.

As we know, Automated testing requires scripting skills and knowledge in a particular programming language and may not be the same for the next project. If the SMEs/QA Analysts do not have not sound understanding of this programming language, they may not be able to readily contribute to the project.

The need for expertise in multiple programming languages and tools is also a limitation as the team and the subject matter experts need to be adept in these.

2. Expertise in multiple tools

Since most of the modern applications are built on microservices architecture, and with more than one application type in a single workflow, multiple tools need to be set up. The SMEs and QA Analysts may not have enough time to familiarize with these tools in a short time.

3. Complex setups

With growing number of end user devices, it is required to have enough realistic test environments for application testing. It takes significant time and effort to set the automation testing framework, tools and test beds. SMEs and QA Experts may not have sufficient time to setup the Test Automation ecosystem and maximize or minimize the essential elements as per the changing business needs.

4. Complex ecosystem

Automation testing is not as straightforward as manual testing, it demands high technical expertise, time, and resource. Automation testing ecosystem is a combination of multiple tools, integrations, frameworks. One has to spend significant amount of time to get started with automation testing because of the multiple elements involved in automation testing.

 

Check out the blog that discusses on the Essential Elements of Test Automation

 

By now, we understand the importance of involving SMEs and QA Analysts in Test Automation.
To involve them in testing, the automation testing process should be as simple as writing manual tests.

A unified automation testing mechanism that suits every complex testing requirement and allows for collaboration of cross-functional teams will ease out the existing complexity to actively participate in test automation.

Testsigma’s Approach

Testsigma is a cloud-based continuous testing platform for Agile and DevOps that lets your SMEs, QA Analysts, Developers, Automation Testers, Manual Testers, Managers, stakeholders of the software and anyone contribute to automation testing using simple natural language.
It requires no technical expertise or complex tool setup.

Testsigma provides a platform for all your team members(SMEs, QA Analysts, Developers etc.) to collaborate to deliver a quality software. You can share updates and reports on both Manual and Automation Testing instantly and plan and track the test execution status easily with all those who can contribute to the project.

Testsigma allows Subject Matter Experts and Quality Analysts for easy “changing of hats” to contribute to Continuous Testing in DevOps and to guide the team with their functional expertise.

Testsigma requires no complicated set up and does not require any programming skills but simple natural language to automate complex tests. Authoring automated test cases are as simple as manual tests with Testsigma.

Testsigma is a SaaS unified continuous testing platform with support for Web/Mobile applications and RESTful services and uses a Shift-Left approach to automate testing in parallel with the development.

Testsigma supports automated testing for multiple application types and executes numerous complex tests on multiple device/OS/browser combinations both local and on cloud with different configurations providing a good test coverage. All in one tool!

Testsigma supports collaboration efforts to keep the team informed about execution updates, test progress, etc. Your business analysts, SME’s, stakeholders who can contribute can be a part of the automation testing process working in and out of the office anytime anywhere!

Prioritize your tests, track progress and share valuable feedback among a cross-functional collaboration team irrespective of where you are! 

Try Testsigma now. Start your free trial today!