Testing can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of the DevOps process. It can be exhaustive, frustrating, takes a lot of hands-on hours, and people rarely appreciate it. But the test is vital and no developer should just skip it.
A strong trend has recently emerged where DevOps experts have been encouraging developers to automate their testing procedures. Test automation can take your DevOps projects to the next level, save time, and maximize pipeline capacity for continuous testing.
Test automation: definition and benefits
Test automation minimizes the amount of human labor required for testing. In test automation, tools and frameworks write test “scripts” that work to ensure the high quality of your application.
DevOps can use test automation in a variety of different ways, even exploit the test cases and detect bugs in your code. This self-testing procedure speeds up the process, getting your product to market much faster. Automated quality checks can also virtually eliminate the risk of human error in the continuous testing process.
Test automation can also ease the burden of the repetitive nature of some DevOps tests, greatly simplifying and speeding up the process. Finally, automation promotes a high degree of reliability throughout the testing process. Test automation can also streamline the process.
Automation testing in the context of DevOps
DevOps is all about continuous development – the product is built, deployed, tested, and shipped for use by end users.
Ever since it appeared on the scene, quality control (QA) has gained in importance. The traditional approach to QA (waiting for the product to be deployed to go through regression and functional testing) has been greatly improved with the advent of DevOps. DevOps integrates the QA team into the entire development process, bringing all players together into a unified team. This integration requires great coordination between the different stakeholders.
This also allows for a high degree of agility and speed in the process, speed that the DevOps methodology then amplifies through a high amount of automation in continuous tests (which can then be configured to run automatically).
Decide on the best tools for you
To create an effective test automation process, you need to find the right software workflow tools for you and your DevOps team. These tools should support and manage your testing resources from a central location, moving your product through the testing process much faster and maximizing efficiency. That said, while it may be helpful to have an automated testing process to improve software efficiency and effectiveness, using tools that don’t fit your team and goals will present potentially significant issues for your organization. . There are an incredible variety of test automation tools available on the market, and they all have their strengths and drawbacks. No single tool will meet every need for automated testing, so your goal must be to find the ones that will work best with your unique needs and desires.
What to keep in mind when choosing a new tool
Cost (for both license and support): Budget is an eternal tyrant, and your team must tackle this sourcing job with a solid understanding of your financial limitations. If you have strict limits there, there are some types of open source software like Selenium that might be useful. These tend to require a substantial level of technical skill, so they may not be that useful for you if that’s a weakness on your team.
Guy: There are several types of DevOps testing tools. Language is one of the most important factors when deciding on one – make sure the tool works in the same language as your application or at least one in which your team can operate efficiently. The platform intended for the tool is also noteworthy, as is the intended audience (i.e. whether the product is aimed more at developers or testers).
DevOps integration support: It is always important to double check that your tool supports both DevOps tool integration and continuous integration. If you don’t coordinate your tools effectively, it will undoubtedly slow down your process.
Training: Depending on the level of experience within your DevOps team, you will need to ensure that there is adequate training in how to use the team, for the people who will be using it.
Quality Test Reports: Test reports with depth and breadth are critical to success in continuous testing. These help notice defects and their root causes, so they allow you to test the effectiveness of your analysis.
Excellent customer support: We recommend that you use a tool that meets your needs well. This means a tool that understands your specific situation and can help you overcome complications.
The need for automation capabilities
Aside from that, you can’t just rely on the strength of your test automation tools to get through the testing process. If you decide to implement test automation without having people on your team with the skills to handle it, you may find yourself in a difficult and inefficient position.
Here’s what you need from a test automation software engineer: He must have a broad knowledge base that includes test automation tools. Beyond that, they need to understand how to delve into the software’s testing capabilities and the technical complexities behind the project. They should also know how to script development together, collaborating with development and operations teams. That collaboration between test automation, development, and operations will play a hugely important role in writing test scripts and optimizing test coverage.
The skills of a test automation software engineer offer invaluable stability. Indeed, tools are often built on a skill base. If you have a resourceful and capable software engineer, you will be much better prepared for market fluctuations than if you relied on a single tool. If you decide to focus on just one tool, your team risks limiting itself and potentially falling behind the times and needs of your customers.
The dangers of automation
Automation is one of the cornerstones of DevOps success. But even so, you have to find a delicate balance. If you automate too much, you could end up damaging your product.
When you start linking too many different tools to your project, you start risking unwanted outcomes that virtually nullify the investment made in DevOps in the first place. If you try to automatically test things that automation can’t measure effectively (general user experience, for example), you’ll end up with useless data. Various automation tools can start creating more work than they are solving if you need to put a lot of effort into managing them.
That said, if you under-automate, you’ll lose the workflow efficiency your competitors are using, making your team less competitive. Therefore, it is necessary to try to balance the two. The first step to achieving this balance is to have a thorough understanding of your requirements with respect to testing, development, and deployment. If you have this under your belt, you can find automation tools that work best for your goals. Once you have the right combination of automation tools, you are golden.
Furthermore, test automation does not negate the need for manual testing and is not designed to do so. Of course, some types of manual tests can be eliminated by automation (especially repetitive ones).
But you still need manual steering wheel testers that examine your product more thoughtfully and on a deeper level than an automated program. That variety of deep level manual tests can often uncover problems that the automated tests failed to see. It can also provide a deeper level of understanding of the user experience that automated tests will rarely be able to provide.
Benefits of Test Automation
We have covered many profound ideas in this piece. But ultimately, test automation is beneficial for a few simple reasons: it reduces human error, simplifies testing, allows products to be delivered much faster, and leads to a much more reliable quality assurance facility.
That said, test automation won’t be a panacea for all your team’s ills. It will work, but only if you’ve chosen the right tools and have people on your team with the skills to use them effectively. Again, don’t rely on continuous automated testing as the benchmark and end of your quality assurance practice. Several quality control questions show that a human presence is much more effective at solving certain types of problems, and excessive automation can cause significant inefficiencies.
Test automation can be an extremely useful tool if you use it right. These tips will help you take your organization to the next level of efficiency and excellence.