How Can QA Leverage DevOps for Better Quality and Faster Deployment of Releases?
July 31, 2019

Anand Ramakrishnan
QASource

By now, you're probably familiar with the agile way, and why it's a boon to engineering teams everywhere. Agile is practically the only way to keep pace with today's rapidly moving tech landscape; to deliver products to market in a way that prioritizes both speed and quality. And if you know about agile, you probably know about DevOps — or the practice of bringing that same agility to software development and operations teams.

DevOps involves continuous development, integration, deployment, and monitoring of the product throughout its entire life cycle, which is to say that it completely dissolves the silos and start-stop style of working that the waterfall approach is known for. It requires the entire engineering team — devs, QA, IT, and others — to work in conjunction in pursuit of a common goal: high quality, pushed to customers right on time.

DevOps can shape the way teams work in a powerful way. It requires total collaboration and efficiency, and that can mean a lot of changes and tweaks to the way certain teams currently work.

For example, how does the culture of DevOps change the behaviors and processes of the average QA team? Let's look at how QA Leads, QA Managers, and QA engineers themselves can leverage the DevOps mentality to increase the quality and fast-track the deployment of each release.

Continuous Integration as a Rule

In a high-functioning DevOps team, QA works with Development to push daily tests into the continuous integration (CI) system to speed the delivery time to market. To help expedite this, the QA team ensures that the tests require little (if any) manual intervention, and that test data is generated automatically and dynamically.

If CI is the first pillar that supports QA's role in a DevOps team, automation testing is the second. It helps eliminate the tedious manual work, free up a huge amount of time for everyone involved in the product life cycle, and ensure high build quality upon delivery.

QA also works with Ops teams to develop scripts used for backup, restoration, and deployment, allowing them to push code out when it's functioning properly, and roll it back if there's a serious issue.

Increasing Repeatability and Predictability

Ideally, the DevOps process allows for a new release every day, or even every hour. To achieve this, QA teams should aim to automate everything they can, with a goal of totally eliminating manual testing. This requires building strong UI/API frameworks for automation, so that key tests can basically run themselves.

This way, engineers are able to focus on reviewing the test results and snapping into action if anything's not quite right, instead of spending time manually inputting data and running the tests themselves. With automation, the goal is always consistency in repetition and utmost predictability.

Collaboration is Key

The best automated tests are the result of tight, seamless collaboration between the Dev and QA team. Developers lend a hand with their deep understanding of the code, helping to make automated tests more robust. Test engineers leverage their specific testing aptitudes to ensure that tests are run per business requirements.

In both teams, there is an explicit understanding that together they're contributing to a larger effort: a process where there is no need to trade quality for speedy delivery.

Summing Up

As you've learned, DevOps requires QA teams to play ball with Dev teams. The ability to continuously deliver at high speeds requires deep collaboration, careful test planning, full automation of test suites, and a strong push for repeatability and predictability.

Even if your QA team requires some uncomfortable process changes and shifts in the way they work with Dev, it's certainly worth it. And in the end, you'll have a unified, mission-driven DevOps team and a highly productive, collaborative culture.

Anand Ramakrishnan is QA Director at QASource
Share this

Industry News

September 24, 2020

NetApp announced the availability of Elastigroup for Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines (VMs).

September 24, 2020

CloudBees announced a robust new set of DevSecOps capabilities for CloudBees CI and CloudBees CD. The new capabilities enable customers to perform early and frequent security checks and ensure that security is an integral part of the whole software delivery pipeline workflow, without sacrificing speed or increasing risk.

September 24, 2020

Pulumi announced the release of a Pulumi-native provider for Microsoft Azure that provides 100% coverage of Azure Resource Manager (ARM), the deployment and management service for Azure that enables users to create, update and delete resources in their Azure accounts.

September 23, 2020

Puppet announced new Windows services, integrations and enhancements aimed at making it easier to automate and manage infrastructure using tools Windows admins rely on. The latest updates include services around Group Policy Migration and Chocolatey, as well as enhancements to the Puppet VS Code Extension, and a new Puppet PowerShell DSC Builder module.

September 23, 2020

Red Hat announced the release of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.5, delivering Kubernetes-based data services for modern, cloud-native applications across the open hybrid cloud.

September 23, 2020

Copado, a native DevOps platform for Salesforce, has acquired ClickDeploy.

September 22, 2020

CloudBees announced general availability of the first two modules of its Software Delivery Management solution.

September 22, 2020

Applause announced the availability of its Bring Your Own Testers (BYOT) feature that enables clients to manage their internal teams – employees, friends, family members and existing customers – and invite them to test cycles in the Applause Platform alongside Applause’s vetted and expert community of testers.

September 22, 2020

Kasten announced the integration of the K10 data management platform with VMware vSphere and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service.

September 21, 2020

PagerDuty entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Rundeck, a provider of DevOps automation for enterprise.

September 21, 2020

Grafana Labs announced the release of Grafana Metrics Enterprise, a modern Prometheus-as-a-Service solution designed for the scale, architecture, and security needs of enterprises as they expand their observability initiatives.

September 21, 2020

Portshift's Cloud Workload Protection platform is now available through the Red Hat Marketplace.

September 17, 2020

env0, a developer of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) management software, announced the availability of its new open source solution for Terraform users, Terratag.

September 17, 2020

Push Technology announced a partnership with Innova Solutions, an ACS Solutions company, specializing in global information technology services.

September 17, 2020

Alcide achieved the AWS Outposts Ready designation, part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Ready Program.