@DevOpsSummit Authors: Ram Sonagara, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Article

DevOps and Test Automation | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

Some of the common hurdles testers face when trying to automate the testing life cycle, and ways around them

Test automation is arguably the most important innovation to the process of QA testing in software development. The ability to automate regression testing and other repetitive test cases can significantly reduce the overall production time for even the most complex solutions. As software continues to be developed for new platforms - including mobile devices and the diverse array of endpoints that will be created during the rise of the Internet of Things - automation integration will have a huge hand to play delivering reliable, multifunctional products that end users want and need.

Of course, test automation is not without its challenges. Let's take a look at some of the common hurdles testers face when trying to automate the testing life cycle, and ways around them.

One of the biggest challenges facing software vendors across the board is interoperability. The diverse array of devices, operating systems and software development kits often result in integration issues that can negatively impact the final product. The same can be said for automation integration. If a testing management tool is incompatible with a software development tool, or has clunky integration, developers and testers alike with struggle through each phase of the process. Unfortunately, this is a challenge that too many software vendors have written off as something that comes with the territory.

In truth, interoperability issues are not inevitable. There are a variety test management tools on the market that provide seamless integration with the most commonly used software development tools - for example, JIRA test management tools. As more development teams transition to DevOps, many will also shift from traditional SDKs to agile software development tools such as JIRA. The best way to accommodate fluid collaboration between DevOps teams and testers is to seek out an automation testing tool that is truly integrated with the best software development technology on the market. This will preemptively solve any problems that may arise as a result of interoperability, while enabling agile testing methodologies.

A blank drawing board is never a good thing when it comes to test management strategies.

Strategy and organization
Even with the adoption of DevOps culture, there is some still some dissonance among test management teams regarding the best way to organize and execute certain tests. While no two solutions are identical - warranting variation in the specific approach to the testing life cycle - testers and developers within a team must agree on test management strategies that ultimately serves the software. This means, for instance, knowing at what point to begin regression testing, and whether or not certain tests should be run manually first.

One way to abate these issues is to focus on what the solution truly needs, rather than be overly rigid in terms of traditional methodology. Test managers must use all the tools available to them, and not necessarily rely too heavily on one method of testing. For example, simple black-and-white tests should always be automated. Exploratory tests, on the other hand, should be manual, as they require a level of creativity and human foresight that a machine simply cannot supply - at least not yet. As for regression testing, it's always a good idea to ensure that any automated tests that directly impact the user experience are very carefully integrated. Simpler unit tests that focus more on whether or not the solution is executing properly can typically be automated from the get-go. But regression tests that ensure deep functionality for the user experience - typically through the use of key test metrics - should be manually stepped through.

Some degree of manual testing will almost always be needed to complement automation integration when it comes to creating a rich user experience. Machines are smart, but they're not necessarily apt at determining what is intuitive. This requires a more human touch.

Similarly, according to TechTarget contributor Gerie Owen, manual testing is heavily relied upon in the making of very young software that is still trying to pin down its value proposition. This can lead to instability between phases of development, demanding a level of variation in test cases and test metrics that automation integration cannot provide.

Challenges to test automation will always arise. But as long development and QA teams are flexible - one might say agile - throughout the testing life cycle, they will be able to get the most out of automation integration time and again.

More Stories By Sanjay Zalavadia

As the VP of Client Service for Zephyr, Sanjay Zalavadia brings over 15 years of leadership experience in IT and Technical Support Services. Throughout his career, Sanjay has successfully established and grown premier IT and Support Services teams across multiple geographies for both large and small companies.

Most recently, he was Associate Vice President at Patni Computers (NYSE: PTI) responsible for the Telecoms IT Managed Services Practice where he established IT Operations teams supporting Virgin Mobile, ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Prior to this Sanjay was responsible for Global Technical Support at Bay Networks, a leading routing and switching vendor, which was acquired by Nortel. He has also held management positions in Support Service organizations at start-up Silicon Valley Networks, a vendor of Test Management software, and SynOptics.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a multi-faceted approach of strategy and enterprise business development. Andrew graduated from Loyola University in Maryland and University of Auckland with degrees in economics and international finance.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading these essential tips, please take a moment and watch this brief video from Sandy Carter.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses. FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.