Analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, maintenance.
That was the typical sequence of steps followed in the software development process, prior to Agile and DevOps. Known as the Waterfall Model, testing only commenced at the end of software development life cycle, Test automation which had its share of downsides. One key disadvantage was the process resulted in bugs, which delayed the release time of the software/product.
When software testing is performed in parallel with development, organizations can achieve continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD) and continuous testing (CT), which are also integral to DevOps Test automation. Each process helps get your product to the market ahead of your competition, while allowing you to add new features and release bug fixes to ensure existing customers are happy.
Test automation and DevOps
In DevOps, where development and operations are integrated within the same cycle, the development, QA and operations teams must align together to ensure continuous delivery of software.
Test automation, whether it is selenium Test automation or another framework, is a prerequisite for success in terms of continuous delivery of software.
It also predicts and simulates business scenarios, improves speed of test execution, helps achieve accurate test results and more.
To achieve unattended automation from code to production, teams must provide multiple levels of automated tests to ensure the quality of delivery and quickly know the status of the software. It is, however, essential for DevOps to build a mature Test automation framework to help script test cases.
Test automation and cloud
Moving to cloud, applications are increasingly becoming cloud-based to ensure better productivity with scalable resources. In fact, the cloud offers several key benefits which help overcome the limitations of the existing QA infrastructure. One significant advantage of cloud is it helps simulate actual system behavior to remove system test dependencies and the need to set up traditional test environments.
The speed of Test automation process is accelerated with the help of cloud, which also speeds up software delivery and enables scaling up or down of resources at any time. Cloud testing also facilitates iterative deployment, wherein new code is deployed faster than ever.
Cloud computing, in addition, enables organizations to align automation with resource capacity. Companies must, however, ensure that this capacity satisfies their business demands to strike the balance between optimal workload and overall cost.
What you should know
It is essential for organizations to employ automation effectively and in a scalable way. Otherwise, it could easily become unmanageable.
For example, if your automation process does not cover a high percentage of tests, the method is possibly flawed. Because when Test automation is based on well-defined, unique guidelines, its success is measurable.
Automation should also not dominate the entire process of testing. Automation development and maintenance, more significantly, should only consume limited resources and time.
An automation approach that focuses on an effective test design together with an Agile test development process helps achieve better results. When organizations get the balance right, the result is a set of automated tests with quick adaptability, capable of meeting the requirements of testing in the cloud.
Role of Testing tools
Tools play a key role in the Test automation process but often become the center of attention as organizations turn their focus to buying and learning to use the tool instead of giving their time and effort to revisit the test design.
Because if the process of test framework and test design is not properly established, tools are unlikely to achieve the desired results.
Tools, however, must have the flexibility to handle sudden changes during testing. More significantly, tools must have the scalability to handle workloads during development, continuous deployment and continuous testing phases.
In other words, organizations must adopt tools that adapt to the DevOps way of working. It should enable testing teams to perform iterative releases while being capable of handling the incremental code changes.
In this era of rapid software releases, quality can be achieved with the help of a DevOps-led pipeline that ensures continuous integration, continuous testing and continuous deployment. Test automation is an indispensable part of developing and releasing quality software. For it helps achieve faster Test outcomes, delivers consistent results, streamlines regression testing, effectively utilizes human resources and, in the process, optimizes workload and reduces cost.
Suhith Kumar is a digital marketer working with Indium Software. Suhith writes and is an active participant in conversations on technology. When he’s not writing, he’s exploring the latest developments in the tech world.