Blog: Product Development

Top 3 Elements of a Successful DevOps Testing Strategy

February 11, 2022 - by Synoptek

In today’s world of constant change, updating or upgrading your software is critical to ensure they continue to be relevant and up-to-date. But before you make any further updates or changes to your software, it’s imperative to know the potential bugs or setbacks involved. That’s why having a strong DevOps testing strategy in place is crucial. Read on, as we delve into critical aspects of a DevOps testing strategy and get tips on how you can improve your testing strategy or create a new one from the ground up.

Top Elements of a Successful DevOps Testing Strategy

The aim of any DevOps project is to automate as many manual processes as possible, drive more focus on individuals and interactions, and fuel frequent communication to quickly respond to change. Yet, there are several roadblocks in a DevOps pipeline that lead to slow deployment, especially with respect to timely handoffs between teams. Due to a lack of shared ownership of the end product, there is a general lack of shared responsibility towards the quality of the product or the success of the project.

To overcome these challenges, it is essential that testing in any DevOps project is done as early and as often as possible, and by the entire team – including developers, testers, and operations staff. Let’s look at the top 3 elements of a successful DevOps testing strategy:

1. Test-Driven Development

Writing unit tests for every line of code – even before the code is actually written – is a great way to build a successful DevOps pipeline. An important element of DevOps testing, test-driven development enables developers to think about the desired behavior of each unit of software they’re building including inputs, outputs, and error conditions – right from the beginning. Such an approach allows test cases to be created first, so code can be written in order to pass the test – thus making the underlying code error-free while also avoiding duplication of code.

2. Continuous Testing

If you want to successfully implement a DevOps pipeline, continuous testing needs to be a critical element of your DevOps testing strategy. This shift-left approach to testing ensures bugs and issues are identified and rectified early in the development lifecycle – before the issues transform into bigger, expensive problems. Such quick and frequent testing not only increases the overall quality of the product being developed, it also shortens long testing cycles while reducing the possibility of defects making their way into production.

3. Test Automation

Another essential element of a successful DevOps testing strategy is test automation. Since applications in your DevOps pipeline are constantly being updated via Continuous Integration, your code gets integrated into a common repository on a continuous basis. Test automation eliminates the risk that comes with Continuous Integration while providing teams with quick feedback on application performance and quality. Through automated testing of every new code iteration, test automation reduces the opportunities of errors being introduced into the final product.

Additional DevOps Testing Best Practices

A successful DevOps testing strategy is aimed at building, testing and releasing software faster and more frequently. When done right, it can enable you to bring higher-quality software into the hands of your customers faster than your competitors, and react to business demand and change with far more agility. Whether you are looking to improve your existing strategy or looking to create a new one from the ground up, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Before you embark on a DevOps testing strategy, make sure to resolve all existing bottlenecks including manual, error-prone processes as well as poor-quality code and outdated test suites.
  • Leverage advanced workflow visualization tools like Kanban to break down your current delivery processes, reduce wasted work, and increase productivity.
  • Make sure to thoroughly test every change you make to detect integration errors as quickly as possible and avoid defects from reaching the production stage.
  • Continuously incorporate user feedback into all your existing and successive builds to ensure quality meets user expectations.
  • Ensure testing is looked at as a shared responsibility by every member of the team – and enable high levels of cohesiveness and collaboration between everyone.
  • Embrace automation but also be clear on what tests you need to automate and when; make the decision after evaluating factors such as execution time, test frequency, resource requirement, and the test case characteristics.
  • Adopt the right tools and framework in your DevOps testing strategy to streamline automation and strengthen your CI/CD pipeline.
  • Track and monitor each of your testing processes to get timely notifications on issues and handle them on time.

Build a Strategy for Success

DevOps paves the way for a cultural shift in how software is developed and delivered. Since it promotes collaboration between development, QA, and operations teams, it is a great way to improve the quality, availability, and performance of software products. However, with quality expectations constantly rising, curating a robust DevOps testing strategy is critical to validating the software being developed while ensuring every change or update that is made is checked-in after running a series of tests. Since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for a DevOps testing strategy, it is critical to understand your processes and bottlenecks, embrace the right approaches and tools, and design a strategy that makes most sense for your unique DevOps organization.

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