Four Factors for Successful QA and DevOps Integration

For software development companies looking to code, build, test, and deploy software as a continuous process, DevOps is the most preferred methodology in the current agile age. It creates a fast-paced, result-oriented and collaborative environment that encourages cross-functional capabilities and self-improvement. Most importantly, DevOps ensures faster deployment, saving valuable time-to-market.

Quality Assurance is an essential pillar for building an effective DevOps ecosystem. Following are four factors that play a critical role in enabling QA to fit in seamlessly within the DevOps process.

1.  Ensure Thorough and Critical Testing

A primary function of QA is testing; therefore, relevant and experienced testers must be part of the team. The team must focus on risk, and think critically around the functional and non-functional aspects of the application, not losing sight of agile use cases. End-user experience tests should be thoroughly tested by working closely with the user community.

2.  Understanding of Tools and Frameworks

While generic critical thinking and exploratory approach are essential, a sound understanding of the specific development environment is equally important. This ensures testers are adding value to the discussions from the design stage and are on-board with the development team on possibilities and limitations. Some of the team members should also have a firm grip on test automation and the testing tools required. It is crucial to have complete clarity on the use of tools to avoid delays at any given stage of development.

3.  Agile Testing Practices

DevOps integrates development, QA, and operations. It is a developed take on the agile methodology. The QA lead/manager must ensure that the right time and resources are aligned to the right risks, so that the Agile/DevOps environment thrives at its optimum. To implement this, at least some of the team members must have experience of working in dynamic environments. Also, the processes should be able to integrate into cross-functional, distributed teams to ensure continuous integration, development, testing, and deployment.

4.  Relevant Industry Experience

Relevant industry experience ensures that the testers involved are familiar with user experiences, possible impact on business and can anticipate potential bottlenecks. Industry knowledge not only increases efficiency but also guides testers to prioritize testing with the highest level of business impact.

To conclude, synchronization of the three pillars (Development, QA and Testing, and Operations) is critical for software products to meet expectations, ensure smooth transitions, and deliver substantial business value in the DevOps and software delivery cycle.