A Detailed Guide to DevTestOps

What is DevTestOps?

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

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:

stages in devTestOps

DevTestOps Manifesto

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:

DevTestOps – A New Philosophy for Agile

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.

How DevTestOps Works?

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:

Continuous Testing in DevOps

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.

State of DevTestOps survey

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.

Building a Templated Approach to Continuous Testing

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

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:

From DevOps to DevTestOps - A Journey Through Continuous Testing

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:

What is DevOps?

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."

Challenges faced in DevOps

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

  1. 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.

  2. Tool selection: Selection of the best tool which would make the learning process and the change easier to acquire.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Testing in DevOps and how DevTestOps helps

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.

DevTestOps – Adding Testing in DevOps

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.

Role of a tester in DevTestOps

As testing activity is performed throughout the software delivery pipeline in DevTestOps, tester plays a key role in the making of the product.

DevOps Tools

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

Why DevOps?

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

Technical benefits:

Business benefits:

Continuous testing In DevOps

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:

Continuous Delivery in DevOps

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.

Continuous Delivery in DevOps

Benefits of Continuous Delivery:

Continuous Deployment in DevOps

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.

Continuous Deployment in DevOps

Benefits of Continuous Deployment:

Continuous Integration in DevOps

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.

Continuous Integration in DevOps

Benefits of Continuous Integration:

Changed Role Of QA In DevOps

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

Changes in DevOps Testing from the traditional approach:

Tips for DevOps Success

DevOps is the future

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

How does DevOps impact testing?

According to a study in 2018, the below graph shows the stress level of testers during different approaches of testing

impact of DevOps on testing

DevOps+Testing, some scenarios

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.

Adoption rate for modern practices

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.

customer satisfaction

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.

How was testing done?

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.

tester satisfaction

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.

stress levels of testers

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.

What is DevSecOps, and How It Is Helpful?

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.

Merits of DevSecOps Approach

Shift Left, Shift Right: What Are We Shifting, and Why?

DevOps incorporates 2 kinds of testing:

  1. Shift-Left Testing: Where testing is part of continuous integration (CI).

  2. Shift-Right Testing: Where the testing aspect is widened after receiving feedback from the end-users.

Shift-Left Testing

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:

Shift-Right Testing

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:

Final thoughts on DevOps

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.

Why Automate DevTestOps and DevSecOps?

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.

FAQs

How DevTestOps helps overcome Continuous Testing challenges?

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.

How is DevTestOps different from DevSecOps?

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.

How does the future of DevTestOps look like?

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.