DevOps Testing Challenges

  • Devops teams aren’t on the same page when it comes to test automation – Across devops teams, there unfortunately is a stigma of “it’s not my problem” when it comes to test data. Explained further, most believe that it’s the test data team’s job to provide all the data and insight. However, as devops continues to evolve within agile organizations, these silos are starting to disappear. The first step is ensuring all teams agree when it comes to the process you choose, whether it’s BDD, ATDD, or agile. In addition, perhaps most important, leave shadow continuous integration (CI) processes in the past to ensure teams have access to a single view of the quality per code commit. Finally, keep in mind that each department has a different persona and set of needs. Because of this, it is important to provide them with the tools that best match their skill set, while still integrating with the overall CI and continuous development (CD) stack.
  • Unified Reporting and Collaboration – Test automation in DevOps demands consolidated timely reports to provide actionable insights to foster collaboration in cross-functional teams. Testing teams also need to ensure that they introduce intelligence into the existing test automation set up. This is to proactively address scalability challenges that may slow down testing speed. Analytics and intelligence can also play a key role in implementing intelligent regression models and establishing automation priorities. This is essential to test what is needed, and only what is needed, in the interest of time. Ensuring easy maintainability of the automation architecture has always been a priority but it may now become necessary to have a central repository of code-to-test cases for easier test case traceability. Prevailing test practices are not necessarily tuned to this level of reporting and analysis and this is a significant challenge to overcome.
  • Testing Tools Selection and Management – Traditional testing tools may be misfits in a DevOps environment. Some testing tools can be used only once the software is built, thus failing the whole purpose of DevOps. Some testing tools can only be employed once the system has evolved and is more settled. DevOps testing teams thus, need to use those tools that help them explore the software still being built. They must test in a manner that is unscripted and fluid.
  • Testing culture – In the context of DevOps, quality requires a change in how it is being conducted. This also implies an intense transference in the organizational culture as well. It is very important and also challenging to think of innovative ways of identifying unique techniques to test the software quickly and efficiently. This will enable to continuously ensure quality while also growing and evolving the testing services provided.
  • Facilitation of quality – From a DevOps perspective, testing team needs to understand the business for the system being verified. For this to happen, the testing team should partner with business experts, including the product owner, to understand how the system being tested needs to function in order to support the business. testing teams will be disabled if not involved in those initial discussions. This involvement helps testing to become the facilitator of quality.
  • Collaboration – testing is the binding entity between development and operations. So, the testing team should be involved right from the early stages of development. This will enable them to collaborate to have software developed and supported more effectively. Also, testing should be considered as the responsibility of the entire project team rather than the responsibility of the dedicated testing team.
  • Early testing – One of the main objectives of testing in DevOps is early detection of defects in the development cycle. For this to happen testing must begin very early in the cycle. testing should begin testing with whatever code is available even if the features are not complete. This requires a lot of maturity in documenting self-sufficient user stories that do not depend on another for testing.
  • Build verification – As DevOps encourages frequent builds, there is a higher possibility of code breaking existing features. For this reason, it is not practical to have testers do this verification manually. It is recommended to rely on automated testing for these smoke tests.
  • Test coverage – In DevOps, there is a rush to deliver software quickly with the techniques like continuous integration and deployment. Also, because of rapidly changing requirements, there is a possibility to miss testing critical functions. To overcome this challenge, a thorough and detailed traceability of requirements to test functions should be maintained.

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