Agile and DevOps Testing - the Essential Duo for Digital Success
October 19, 2020

Akshaya Choudhary
Cigniti Technologies

Enterprises going for digital transformation are finding themselves hamstrung by silo-driven processes, legacy software applications, and dated technology infrastructure. Unless these are sorted, enterprises cannot address the challenges born out of changing customer preferences, a plethora of device platforms, the presence of omnichannel environments, the advent of new technologies, and rising competition.


One of the foremost considerations enterprises need to embrace is delivering quality applications, quickly and consistently. Traditionally, the waterfall method of testing would come a cropper while addressing these challenges. It is prone to ignoring glitches in the software given its underpinnings on manual testing, which can be excruciatingly slow — a severe handicap in today’s software development process.

With superior customer experiences becoming arguably the most critical deliverable for a software development company, the traditional way of development-testing-delivery in the value chain needed a change. The result was in the form of enabling Agile and DevOps testing where development and testing are not separate silo-driven processes. Rather, they are part of a single sprint where both activities are conducted simultaneously resulting in faster delivery of quality software. If in Agile, the duo of development and testing was distinctively separated from operations, DevOps unified everything.

The adoption of Agile has helped enterprises to improve customer experiences and in the process influencing brand awareness and their credibility in the market. Further, it has been helpful in improving the core goals of enterprises, namely, accelerated time-to-market, innovation, and quick detection of glitches in the value chain. In fact, the Agile software development methodology impacts both the business and IT sides of an enterprise. Let us mention them to understand the context better.

Business side impact

■ Improved decision making

■ Innovation and accelerating the speed to market

■ Delivering superior customer experiences

IT side impact

■ Timely feedback provided to the development team regarding the presence of glitches in the code

■ Reducing the pressure of software release or upgrade due to the use of short iterative cycles

■ Better coordination between the development and testing teams

■ Reducing the overall cost of development by eliminating or minimizing rework

With Agile-led development and testing, IT agility did not extend beyond the realm of development. Even though streamlining the development process is an important pre-requisite, the next phase cannot be ignored from the overall equation of delivering superior user experiences. This is about getting the software application into the hands of the end-user thereby involving the operations team. To ensure the software application is adopted by the end-users, the entire end-to-end value chain involving every process needs to be made accountable to the aspect of imbibing quality.

In most cases, the operations team gets involved until the application in use changes or is upgraded. And to ensure quality, speed, and timeliness, the operations team needs to be agile as well. This brings into the equation DevOps implementation where Development and Operations are involved in enhancing the quality of the build. Upon incorporating DevOps QA along with Agile testing, the following benefits can accrue to businesses:

■ Increased frequency of the delivery of products or service

■ Better alignment between IT and business

■ Enhanced quality of features and functionalities

■ Continuous integration and delivery

■ Greater predictability of glitches in the code build with AI-driven test automation

■ Superior customer experiences

It is a given that organizations need to utilize the benefits of both Agile and DevOps to develop a quality software application and continue to upgrade it for omnichannel environments or any new requirement. The best part of aligning DevOps quality assurance with agile testing is that a functional feedback mechanism becomes part of the value chain. The mechanism with a fast feedback loop helps in achieving alignment between what the users or market demands and what the business has planned.

How to Drive End-to-End Agility with Agile and DevOps Testing Strategy

The link between better agility in software development and IT operations is evident. Thus, many organizations are already opting for DevOps implementation as the next step in their digital journey. In the end, it is the combination of Agile and DevOps, which is going to usher in attributes like flexibility, digital readiness, agility, and responsiveness for enterprises.

Besides, with the rising menace of cybersecurity challenges, security as an integral aspect of software development needs to be underpinned. This calls for enabling DevSecOps in extension to Agile wherein every member manning various processes in the SDLC has to be sensitized to the need for upholding security. Accordingly, QA specialists, be it as part of the Agile sprint or belonging to the IT operations setup, have to identify and plug any vulnerabilities in the application under development and post delivery as well. Also, based on the feedback loop, the security aspect, besides quality, should be constantly monitored and upgraded.

The ability of the IT infrastructure to respond quickly and effectively to the changing business and customer requirements means agility should be baked into the SDLC comprising processes like design, develop, test, deploy, and refinement. Thus, a combination of Agile and DevOps methodologies is critical to cover and transform both development and operations. The two-way process allows the development of software by considering the challenges of real-world operations. The Agile and DevOps testing ensures developers get the relevant feedback from operations to fix bugs quickly and improve the quality of services to the end-customers.

Conclusion

In the highly competitive business landscape of today comprising omnichannel environments and multiple device platforms, Agile and DevOps testing helps enterprises to achieve digital success. It enables a culture change where quality does not remain the sole prerogative of a specific team but of the whole organization.

Akshaya Choudhary is Content Marketer at Cigniti Technologies, an Independent Software Testing company
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