It is a combination of DevOps and Continuous Testing. The prime focus of DevOps is development and operations.
The testing process in DevTestOps merges the qualities of Devops and Continuous Testing. It offers ‘testing early, testing often and testing throughout the software development lifecycle’ - qualities of continuous testing and ‘quick and reliable releases’ - qualities of DevOps. DevTestOps has set a culture where software developers, testers and operation engineers work together which adds value to the product, enhances quality and helps in faster delivery.
DevTestOps aims to incorporate the vital role of testing to DevOps increasing the quality and reliability of products being deployed. DevTestOps ensures continuous feedback about application issues from testers to developers throughout the stages of product development. This reduces business risk and the possibility of finding defects at later stages.
As per the DevTestOps Manifesto:
“The goal of DevTestOps is not to silo “Test” from Dev and Ops, but simply to raise the visibility of testers and testing as integral parts of the DevOps quality culture”
DevTestOps, similar to DevOps is a cyclic process of continuous improvement and involves multiple stages to attain a flawlessly developed end product. The stages involve:
Product Management: The process of capturing and listing down requirements and its feasibility.
Software Development: The analysis, design, development, and unit testing of code are carried out during this period
Test Management: An analysis of the system's specification along with designing, specifying and executing test cases that would validate the effectiveness of the system.
Continuous Integration: Developers merge the code changes into a central repository which is available to all. Tester tests recent code by running the automation suite. It is done to verify that none of the commits go untested.
Continuous Deployment: The software is developed in sprints ensuring that the developed software in each sprint after testing can be reliably released at any time. It aims at building, testing, and releasing software with greater speed and efficiency.
Continuous Monitoring: Helps provide feedback when the application is in production. It delivers information about usage patterns and application performance in a production environment. The teams act on the information to eliminate the issues as quickly as possible so that users are no longer affected by it.
A manifesto, as defined in wikipedia, is a public declaration of principles and intentions by the concerned organization. DevTestOps, was also introduced with a manifesto of its own. The five principle guidelines stated in it are:
Manifesto 1: Continuous testing over testing at the end
Manifesto 2: Embracing all testing activities over only automated functional testing
Manifesto 3: Testing what gives value over testing everything
Manifesto 4: Testing across the team over testing in siloed testing departments
Manifesto 5: Product coverage over code coverage
The introduction of DevTestOps technology in the market has bid adieu to the old and traditional way of development where work was passed on to testers after developers completed their coding.
DevTestOps focuses on testing the application from the beginning of the software product development to its deployment until production. This process is known as continuous testing.
Continuous testing has bought a revolution in the market as it helps in providing early feedback about the developed product to the developers and stakeholders which in turn helps in fixing the defects during early stages and reduces the cost of fixing.
The traditional SDLC was designed in such a way that testing was carried out in the end when the entire development was done. Defect detection was done towards the release time which delayed the release by the time taken to fix and verify the issue. Fixing bugs when all the new code had already been merged added to the difficulty, time and cost involved in bug isolation and fixing.
DevTestOps has played a vital role in accelerating product development and delivery as it helps to provide quick feedback early in the development cycle which in turn helps in early fix and deployment.
The DevTestOps technology has also helped bridge the gap between developers, testers and the operation team as all teams play an integral role in product development. Unlike the traditional way, the product is owned by all and all are equally responsible to make it better, not just the developers.
DevTestOps also helps in reducing the communication gap as people from different verticals - developers, operations, testers - work together to make the system - better, user-friendly and efficient - as a whole.
DevTestOps helps merge continuous testing to devops thus giving due importance to the process testing. This has changed the perspective for a tester in the agile software industry.
Now, testers have also become prime members in the development of any software. They play an essential role throughout the process of development. DevTestOps also demands that organizations should not restrict themselves to automation testing but embrace all kinds of testing during application development.
The types of testing should include a combination of below-mentioned testing types:
Exploratory testing: This testing is based on the tester's previous experience of having worked in a similar kind of application. This helps in identifying the loopholes in the application which may have been missed while writing and testing scenarios.
Manual testing: As we all know, a feature cannot be automated before testing it manually and ascertaining that it is stable for automation. And even if an organization tries to do as much automation as possible, there will be cases that won’t be automatable. Thus, manual testing plays an important part for all round testing of an application and cannot be ignored even when processes like Devtestops are in place.
Ad-hoc testing: It is informal testing, not based on a set of test cases. The aim of ad-hoc testing is to break the system. The merit of ad-hoc testing is that many errors that usually go undetected when only formal testing methods are used are found by randomly testing the application in no particular order.
Automation Testing: Activities that are time-consuming, repetitive, and are required to be executed on a daily basis are automated first. This helps save time and shift the tester’s focus on other important areas of the application rather than wasting time doing the same task on a daily basis as testing in DevTestOps is implemented at each stage and most of the processes are automated.
The word ‘continuous’ in DevOps means the code is continuously developed, delivered, tested, deployed and monitored. The testers identify all possible scenarios based on requirements and create test cases from the beginning of the software delivery pipeline. The test case execution and automation is done as soon as the code is ready for testing. Feedback from testing is shared with the development team on a continuous basis. The testing feedback also reports the business risk involved for the bugs reported and also, how the system behaves under different circumstances.
The goal of continuous testing is to test early and test often.In DevOps, most of the manual operations and repetitive processes during the SDLC phase are automated which results in faster delivery. As DevOps does not primarily focus on continuous testing, there can be possibilities of defect leakage, missing scenarios and business requirements in the product.
DevTestOps idea was brought forward in which Continuous Testing is implemented as a crucial part of the software delivery pipeline to minimize the possibility of missing defects, functionalities and business risks.
Continuous testing is an uninterrupted execution of automated tests while being part of the software delivery process, facilitating immediate feedback based on the business changes associated with the product and mitigating risks before they proceed to the next SDLC stage.
In Continuous Testing, the code is tested through the software development cycle which blurs the gap between testers, developers and the operations team. The end-to-end automation of tests helps to integrate QA into DevOps processes to maintain continuity and thereby address the overall challenges of quicker development cycles.
The scope of Continuous Testing is very wide. It starts with the validation of the functional and non-functional requirements of the product. It also involves unit, integration, system, and API testing of the software. Most of the testing is done in a simulated test environment with test automation.
The research done by ‘Freeform Dynamic’ in 2017 titled "Continuous Testing as Digital Business Enabler" brings to light how not only continuous testing but the DevOps model as a whole is being adapted by the organizations. The report was published based on the feedback provided by 923 IT and testing professionals worldwide.
The study revealed that over 43% of the organizations are adopting a mix of formal and informal continuous delivery methods. 31% had reported having completely transitioned to formal methods.
Over 49% considered Continuous Testing to be an important aspect in testing and was opposed by 26% who thought it to be tough to implement in their project.
On the implementation of Continuous Testing, 63% agreed that traditional testing tools are complex or expensive.
79% agreed that the adoption of the continuous testing process can be made easier with the selection of the right tools.
72% believed that continuous testing requires a major cultural shift in the organization’s approach to project development.
Template based approach is defining algorithm/methods/ step by step description of how to start with continuous testing. Algorithm or method can be pre-defined or you can make it abstract to be later defined as per implementation required.
There should be a right balance between manual and automation testing to attain success in continuous testing. however, It is really difficult for organizations to adapt to continuous testing as their biggest fear is they do not know how to implement continuous testing and from where to start.
A well-planned and structured templated approach should be practiced by companies to make a cultural shift from the traditional way of testing to continuous testing.Organizations should understand the fact that Manual testing is a time-consuming activity. To automate the process, it is initially difficult to find the right set of tools that would help automate testing and rectify errors. Once you are aware of tools, process and methodology, transition from complete manual testing to continuous testing becomes really smooth.
Continuous testing is achieved by targeting certain parameters. The idea is to find out how would continuous testing strengthen the process as compared to the traditional way.
Some of those parameters that would surely determine whether continuous testing is worth practicing are :
Distribution The location of the targeted users is considered.
Release The frequency of releases and the technology to be used are considered in this parameter.
Scale and Load This category consists of a number of cases to be executed, browsers that would be considered while testing, platform to be used, the maximum number of users who will be using the application at any given point in time.
Environments and Security The parameter consists of various device uses, cross-browser testing, secured cloud environment and approval of releases.
The tools mainly used to test the above scenario are Selenium WebDriver, Selenium Grid, Jenkins, Sauce Labs, etc.
The parameters are verified by running automated test cases. The process includes performing various kinds of testing such as smoke, regression, and integrated automated test execution. The test reports generated after the automated run with properly captured screenshots are validated. Each testing is carried out with different objectives at various stages of the development.
The proven results of the template-based approach used in each stage of testing implementing continuous testing methodology have led to below improvements:
The defects are detected at an early stage hence are easier to fix, ultimately resulting in the timely delivery of the product.
It shortens the regression cycle from weeks to hours by just automating the process.
The developers and testers work together leading to a better understanding of the module and increasing the quality of the product exponentially.
The tester gets a chance to perform all kinds of testing during the phase of product development.
The tester becomes an equal owner of the product as a developer.
Automated build and deployment accelerates the process and avoids any human error and dependency.
Over the last decade, competition in the market has grown exponentially with the introduction of the Agile methodology. The stakeholders are looking for fast-paced delivery, better user experience, and continuous evolution. DevOps has played a vital role in fulfilling the customer’s needs.
As discussed, DevOps is Development+Operations. DevOps helps automate the processes between software development and IT teams, which helps build, and release software faster and more reliably.
The one process that lacked that attention in DevOps was the quality of releases. Hence, it was a need of the hour to build a process that would focus on enhancing product quality. Thus the DevTestOps idea was brought forward.
The concept of DevTestOps merged DevOps and continuous testing, prime goal was to improve the quality and reliability for the builds released. This was achieved by adding testing at pivotal parts of the workflow.
Testing throughout the development phase is termed as ‘continuous testing’. It assures testing for each step of the development process to produce better, bug-free, faster, frequent and quality releases. DevTestOps, continuous testing clubbed with DevOps, has been playing a vital role in faster delivery of applications with the help of continuous delivery, continuous integration, continuous feedback, continuous deployment.
Benefits of continuous testing in DevTestOps include:
Better code quality
Exact state of the system in terms of bugs is known after every check in
Along with time-to-market, continuous feedback now increases the reliability of the builds
The development, testing, and operations teams are made work together and communication gaps are minimized
Test Automation helps maintain the consistency in build quality build after build and release after release
Reduces business risks as now the business requirements are automated and tested consistently
Multiple sites define devops in different ways and it gets quite confusing to pinpoint which one is most accurate. This article here went about dissecting the various definitions and came up with the one that felt best suited to it. It is - "DevOps is a discipline rooted in collaboration and communication, made possible by removing perceived barriers between teams and building trust in a culture of learning and continuous improvement, and drawing from proven technical and management practices that work toward a common goal of shortening software delivery cycles and improving the stability of deployments."
The entire concept of DevOps focuses on collaborative efforts from all teams to produce quality product. Most of the team members fail to understand the concept of DevOps. This gives rise to all problems and complexities.
A few of the most commonly faced challenges
Cultural differences: Some of the differences include
To make people of different mindsets work on a common goal
The cultural difference as many are not ready to adopt the change and many employees find it difficult to learn new processes
Resistance to change
People fail to understand that successful delivery of a product is everybody’s ownership. It's not just specific to a person or team.
Tool selection: Selection of the best tool which would make the learning process and the change easier to acquire.
Lack of transparency in team: Many a times the entire team is not on the same page, usually in terms of the new process and systems being incorporated. This creates a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. To avoid this as soon as a process or new change is made a meeting should be held to let them know what are new changes and how would it help them.
Legacy systems: we must accept the fact that the Devops Is a new concept and it works at a faster pace compared to the old legacy system. Transitioning from old technology to new one at once can be difficult. To make it less confusing and easy to understand, we should not try making the entire process change at one go instead works in phases for smoother transitioning.
Before the concept of DevTestOps was introduced, testing was not an integral part of DevOps. The process formally only included development and operations so testing was left on the organizations, they could integrate testing the way they wanted to. So, the level of adoption of testing varied in different organizations according to how much importance they gave to it.
With the introduction of DevTestOps, where continous testing was formally merged with DevOps - test early, test often, test everywhere, test anywhere - became the norm. The testing was carried out in parallel to the development of the product. This helped finding out bugs soon after they were introduced, reporting them to the developer and getting them fixed. Here, as defects get detected early, finding the root cause and fixing it becomes much easier. DevTestOps helped developers to be more confident about the final product as maximum defects get eliminated during development phase only.
Testing starts from the beginning of development till the deployment and even after that. All kinds of verification and validation testing are performed during the development phase to ensure the delivered product works fine in all regards.
Agile technology has changed the entire process of product development. Now the client wants a quick and a better quality end product. DevOps has helped in speeding up the delivery by automating all redundant development methods and operation tasks. In DevOps, testing was not considered as one of the vital aspects for successful development of an application. To ensure faster delivery with a better quality, DevTestOps concept was introduced which emphasized on continuous testing. Continuous testing means the testing is performed at each stage of product development.
As testing activity is performed throughout the software delivery pipeline in DevTestOps, tester plays a key role in the making of the product.
Testers are responsible to find all defects and get them fixed, hence they contribute to the development of a stable system.
Tester is responsible to select the appropriate tools for continuous testing, automation and reporting that would help them in automating all redundant and repetitive processes which in turn would lead to faster delivery.
They automate the regression suite, thus shortening the regression task from weeks to hours.
The testers work together with developers leading to a better understanding of the module and increasing the quality of the product exponentially.
The tester gets a chance to perform all kinds of testing during the phase of product development.
The tester is an equal owner of the product as a developer.
DevOps focuses on making life simple by automating repetitive and redundant processes. The automation can be achieved with the help of tools. The essential tools that would help in automating the processes and leading to faster delivery are
Version control Tool:
They help keep track of all changes made in codebase in a special database.
Automatic code deployment tool:
They help in automatic deployment of code on a daily basis without manual intervention.
Configuration management tool:
They configure, manage, Deploy various kinds of services and applications to the system. This helps to maintain the application and computer system being used in a consistent state.
Example: Chef, puppet
Ticketing systems tool:
They help in raising defects and keep track of their current status.
Example: ALM, Jira
Monitoring and provisioning tool:
They help in maintaining the system in large quantities clustered all across the globe. This is achieved by keeping both hardware and software infrastructure homogenous as much as possible.
DevOps demands a cross-functional team where each member can do each other’s job. DevOps helps in increasing the speed of delivery and benefiting the organization in both technical and business aspects Some of the benefits are mentioned below
Continuous software delivery
Less complex problems to fix
Faster and accurate resolution of problems
More organized in all aspects
Less human dependency as most of the processes are automated.
Faster development and delivery of features
Stable and smooth operating environments
Ample time available to add value to the product instead of wasting time in fixing and maintaining.
The goal of continuous testing is to start testing the product from the beginning of the SDLC phase. It helps find out the requirement gaps, the feasibility of the application, the discrepancies at an early stage.
Benefits of CT:
The quality and the pace at which the product is delivered increases.
Early detection of defects.
Faster and quicker feedback on the code.
Boosts the confidence of the team and encourages them to learn and improve continuously.
The process helps in making software deliverable to production at any given point of time. The process involves delivering the software to production in smaller chunks, ensuring that the software is tested and is ready to be released at any time.
Fewer code changes
Better Customer satisfaction
More reliable and better system performance.
Continuous deployment is a strategy for software releases wherein any code commit that passes the automated testing phase is automatically released into the production environment, making changes that are visible to the end-users.
Overall productivity is improved
Easy and Smooth deployment without compromising security
More focus on actual testing by automating the repetitive tasks.
In this practice, the developer merges the new code and code changes on a daily basis in the central repository. This code is accessible to the tester to test the new features and changes in the code and subsequently provide feedback.
Team transparency and accountability gets increased.
Better test reliability
Enhanced Quality of software
In the waterfall approach, QA received builds and environment to test on when the product was ready from a development point of view. After which QA would perform feature testing against requirement specifications. They would perform all kinds of testing, raise defects and once all critical defects are fixed and tested, the QA sign off would be provided. The entire process of testing has changed in the DevOps
QA team is required to be cross-functional.
They have to make sure that all the redundant and repetitive processes are automated.
The process of code deployment is in place.
All their pre-testing tasks, cleanups, post-testing tasks, etc. are automated and aligned with the Continuous Integration cycle.
Continuous monitoring of the application is managed by QA.
Adopt more test automation: Do not focus only on automating the test cases but also on the repetitive processes. It helps save a lot of time.
Integration of tool: Selection of the tool should be done wisely to make testing effective, efficient, faster and easier
Transparent communication: Communication and understanding between all the teams should be very effective and transparent. It avoids misunderstanding and confusion, thus, yields good productivity.
Performance testing: It should play a vital role during the delivery cycle to avoid any crash issues which may result due to high volume user inflow.
Perform Multilayer testing: All types of testing such as integration, API, GUI, database testing should be incorporated during the delivery cycle and maximum testing types should be automated.
Incorporate security issues earlier in the cycle: Security aspects of an application should also be looked upon seriously. Make security Testing as a part of feature testing to avoid any major security issues later.
Work as a team: Developers, testers, operations personnel should work as a team rather than individuals. All employees involved in the project should be on the same page and must be aware of current project status. To accomplish this team meetings to share every day status can be conducted.
Share a good relationship with the third party service provider: make sure you share a good relationship with the service providers because the success rate of the project depends a lot on the services they provide. Share honest feedback to them about the tools and other services you have used.
In the last few years, DevOps has been a trendsetter in the market, it has completely changed the outlook of product development. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, DevOps is becoming smarter, easier to use and better. Organizations inculcate complete continuous testing methodology for faster releases and accelerated DevOps.
We don’t know exactly what the future of DevOps would be but emerging DevOps trends make us believe that it would change the entire concept of development and testing. Some of the massive changes it would bring in the market are listed below
More emphasis on nonfunctional testing
Introduction of DevSecOps would ensure better security of any application
UX testing and its automation would become among one of the most prime aspects of testing
Cloud will be a must technology to learn and use. It helps in utilizing services from cloud computing such as Amazon, force etc. Cloud computing practices help in better innovation, advanced transformation and enriched user experience. Cloud automation would make experience better by automatically installing, configuration and supervision of cloud computing services. As per Oracle prediction, 80% of IT companies would adapt cloud technology by 2025.
Use of Open source software will grow exponentially. As you do not have to pay for them and it is available free to all users. It has been helping people learn new techniques, efficient ways to solve problems and will continue to do so, thus increasing the skill set of an individual.
Exponential growth in Accessibility testing and performance testing and they would be an essential part of the continuous testing phase.
According to a study in 2018, the below graph shows the stress level of testers during different approaches of testing
According to a study conducted in 2019 studying the organizations that had implemented devops, below were the findings:
Adoption rate for modern practices Majority of the organizations were into the transitioning state who were trying to adapt to DevOps concept with continuous integration and deployment practices. Many of the organizations had completely moved to modern way of product development. Whereas, the handful of them were still following traditional ways of development.
What impacted customer satisfaction? The teams who tend to fix critical bugs faster had more satisfied customers. The team who were happy with the usage of new tools and technology had the most unhappy customers. Most respondents stated that they are often on the search for new tools, practices, and strategies to improve product quality. As per them, If you do not improve your toolset, you would spend all time-fighting with production issues. Teams who did not advance and experiment in terms of their tooling and other solutions to see if better tools and techniques would improve customer satisfaction had reduced satisfaction rate.
How was testing done? As per the survey, the most popular testing performed during the testing phase was Exploratory testing. Behavioral driven, Acceptance testing, specification-based example testing was also widely performed during the testing phase.
What impacted tester’s satisfaction? The survey revealed that the automation ratio and tester’s satisfaction were inversely proportional to each other. The major reason behind dissatisfaction was tedious, time-consuming work of analyzing script failures and reasons for regression tests and trying to fix them.
Levels of stress for testers As per the survey, the tester in an organization practicing the modern DevOps concept goes through the highest level of stress compared to those who are into transitioning state or those who follow traditional methods.
What impacted performance? The survey showed high-performance teams are not produced overnight. It requires proper training sessions, business domain expertise and facilitating skills is a must. They're the result of a nurturing learning culture where they are supported by experts who can help them learn not only the technical tools to use but also the communication and collaboration skills required to succeed together.
DevSecOps helps to integrate security practices within DevOps practices. It believes in creating ‘Security as code’ Culture with adaptable collaboration between the release team and the security team. DevSecOps helps bridge traditional gaps between IT and security while ensuring quick and safe delivery of code.
Better speed and agility for security teams
An ability to respond to change and needs rapidly
Better collaboration, communication, and transparency among teams
Quality assurance testing
Early detection of vulnerabilities in code
DevOps incorporates 2 kinds of testing
Where testing is part of continuous integration (CI).
Where the testing aspect is widened after receiving feedback from the end-users.
In the shift-left testing approach, tests are defined even before the features are completely built. The focus of shift-left testing is to deliver quality software at speed.
A Few reasons to adopt the Shift-Left Testing approach:
Improved design quality: with the help of continuous Shift-Left testing followed by brainstorming sessions, roadblock areas, bottlenecks - all possible performance failures are identified well in advance.
Defects are Fixed Early-On: It helps in early bug detection as the test is written parallel with product development. It helps find any missing requirements and gaps.
Time and Effort Saved: As the activities are done well in advance it helps save a lot of time during the execution phase.
This testing is based on the feedback provided by end-users. Performance and user experience testing are majorly focused during shift right testing.
A Few Reasons To Adopt The Shift-Right Testing Approach:
Enhancing Customer Experience: based upon user feedback, user stories are written. The developer provides the fix related to each user story and the tester tests it. This helps isolate each issue and improves it, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience.
More Scope for Automation: Daily repetitive tasks are automated which help save time. It helps run the scripts across multiple platforms to check the stability of an application after a fix is deployed as a patch into the existing application.
Better Test Coverage: A Shift-Right approach to testing follows the concept to test more, tests on-time and test late. The possibility of finding a defect in production decreases thus results in a better test coverage and user experience.
As DevOps works on the principle of continuous integration, continuous deployment and continuous feedback, It helps product owners know what type of product customer needs, how feasible it would be to implement, how to make the most retable product as per the customer’s needs. The higher success rate in DevOps culture can be achieved with collaborative team efforts. Each team member with self-realization that he is the equal owner of the product and is solely responsible for all his assigned tasks helps build a product with utmost customer satisfaction.
The main idea of DevOps is to automate as many processes as you can. The flexibility and performance that you expect from DevOps are impossible to attain manually. It is not easy to perform continuous testing with the manual testing approach. That’s the main reason why automation needs to be integrated with DevTestOps and DevSecOps.
Automation helps the organization to improve their continuous integration process and deliver products quickly as per user expectations.
The advancement in automation technologies by using artificial intelligence and data-driven approaches has led to massive business growth. The wide varieties of smart tools available in the market have made the job easier and played a vital role in the continuous delivery of the product.
Before Devtestops was introduced, the testing of product was done after its development which had high chances of missing defects. With introduction of continuous testing to DevOps technology the testing of application is also given equal importance from early stages as development of product. DevTestops concept focuses on performing each type of testing as the product development progresses which helps in finding and eliminating bugs during the time of development. It helps in speeding up the delivery of end products with assured high quality.
Devops when combined with Continuous testing is known as DevTestOps. It comprises a team of Developers, testers, operations personnel working together. DevTestops was introduced with the concept of making testing essential even when other processes were automated as part of DevOps. This helped in defect detection at an early stage, which in turn made it easy to find the root cause and exponentially reduced cost of bug fixing. Through continuous testing it ensures that the final product has covered all types of testing and almost bug free application is deployed to the production.
DevSecOps is about testing applications from a security point of view. Earlier when DevSecOps concept was not introduced, the security of an application was tested at the final stages of project development by a dedicated team. There were many chances of missing defects in many places. By implementing DevSecOps, testing applications from a security perspective became a shared responsibility of each team member. DevSecOps is introduced a few weeks after product development starts. This helps in finding all security related issues at initial level and notifying it to developers to get it fixed.
DevTestOps as a technology would be a game changer in delivering reliable and high quality end products. The application following DevTestOps concept to test would have higher stability, faster delivery and unmatched quality end product delivered. DevTestops would also help testing professionals to have better job satisfaction as it would offer them chances to learn more about new tools, practices with each passing cycle of testing.
In short, DevTestOps can be challenging many times with continuous delivery, testing and deployment but it would result in continuous learning for each member involved.