DevOps and Testing
Why software testing is key to DevOps
Understand how this mindset can be essential for your customers to improve the delivery of your services and products.
We are living the era of Digital Business, where companies need to deal with better-informed customers who expect to receive their products / services faster. So they are basing themselves decisively on software applications that allow them to create a better user experience.
Information technology is already part of the work routine of most companies today. Without it, various activities would be too costly and spend more time than necessary.
In this way, its tools and methodologies improve the results obtained by a business management. DevOps is a practice that aims to improve the integrations and collaborations between software developers and other professionals of you, publishing releases as quickly as possible, but without errors.
However, delivering applications quickly is not an easy task. Development and operations teams need to work together to increase delivery speed and quality. To maximize results, they are adopting a set of practices called DevOps.
Therefore, testing on DevOps needs to be part of your work infrastructure. In this post, you will learn a little more about the importance of efficient testing process in DevOps.
The importance of tests in DevOps
With DevOps, an enterprise can reduce the development time and operations of a product without compromising quality of service.
However well-prepared and skilled your administration may be, contingencies and problems can happen in that course – which is why testing on DevOps should be implemented to instill maximum efficiency in your operations.
This means that having good tools and processes is just a part of the whole. Performing this integration without adopting a continuous set of tests to monitor the performance of the application in production makes the entire DevOps process irrelevant. It is necessary to create a test culture in the corporation, because in order to have an effective testing environment in a DevOps world, it is essential to establish the correct mindset.
In other words, with the automation of tests, it is possible to avoid manual and repetitive activities that overload both the budget and the schedule of a company. In addition, there is still the possibility of creating more comprehensive, elaborate tests that are in accordance with the functionalities and requirements of its products.
Implementing an Effective DevOps Testing Process
In order for DevOps to work properly, it is necessary to align the tests with the quality of the products / services. The checks should be considered throughout the production line and not just as a stage of the process.
This is the role of the person responsible for QA (Quality Assurance). At the development level, the function of QA is to place the maximum number of tests in the Continuous Integration (CI) cycle. While in operation, it is monitoring the entire state of production with the Smoke Test – a set of small tests that are extremely basic but necessary for the smooth running of the entire production.
Carrying out evaluations frequently, and increasingly early in the life cycle, allows the use of a systematic approach to process improvement, and still offers several advantages such as cost reduction, shortening of test cycles and continuous feedback of quality.
This culture goes beyond automation, accelerates process development, and encompasses all practices, including tools and cultural transformations, that help mitigate risks before moving to the later stages of the software development lifecycle.
The team needs to be prepared to vary the approach used to ensure the best user experience. Therefore, it is not necessary to repeat all tests whenever a new characteristic is added. Because of this, continuous strategy can be the best option for promoting enterprise-wide cultural change and reaching critical capabilities such as anticipation, agility, frequency, and automation.
The benefits of testing in DevOps
Feedback is a key criterion for a company’s performance. When testing is part of DevOps process, you may encounter errors that could disrupt the operation of your processes more easily.
Also remember that by getting this feedback in advance, you can solve problems and reorient your team’s performance. In this way, this continuous and automated feedback allows the constant monitoring of your operations.
Better delivery time
As said earlier, a fundamental foundation of DevOps is to enable efficient delivery of releases in a short time. By applying these tests, you introduce new features with agility and no bureaucracy.
Improving customer satisfaction
Satisfying your consumers is also essential for getting positive results, is not it? If your company can find and troubleshoot in advance, optimizing your customer experience will be a consequence, as well as reducing the number of post-purchase complaints.
Process automation is a reality that a manager needs to implement across all business sectors, and could not be different with testing on DevOps. That way, the quality of service increases and you have more time and autonomy in your work routine.
A unit test is basically the least testable test of a program.
If you develop in a language that supports functional paradigm for example, the least testable part of your code should be a function. So a unit test would be the test of any function. In the case of object orientation would be the test of a method of its object.
Unit tests are usually easy to build and inexpensive to maintain. The origin of the name comes from Delphi storing the code in a Unit. For Java, C #, Python, Ruby is the class.
Tools for this are many. Depending on the programming language you are using. Below is a short list of the basic tools for you to start doing unit testing on your products.
● JUnit (Java)
● Visual Studio Unit Testing Framework (.Net)
● PHPUnit (PHP)
● PyUnit (Python)
Other practices like Mock, Natural Language, matchers should also be used.
Integration tests are those that cross the unit of the source code. For example, communication between two or more classes through a method, or communication of the software with the database and even other services. These tests are usually a bit more expensive to maintain as there is dependency between two or more components. Changing one can influence the test of the other. Also, if your test depends on a mass of input data, you must prepare it before the tests and return your database to the original state after the test. The use of Mocks can significantly reduce this interdependence.
The tools that are used for these tests are basically the same as those indicated in the unit tests. However, others can be used here as Postman for integration with APIs (services and microservices), DB Unit for integration with database, among others.
Interface and Acceptance Tests
Interface and Acceptance tests are harder to build and more expensive to maintain, because we need all the preparation to run them. Also called black-box tests that run the user’s full time interacting with the software.
Here the most common automation tools are:
Interface tests tools:
● Selenium (Web)
● Espresso (Android)
● XCode UI Tests (iOS)
● Visual Studio Coded UI Test (Windows)
Acceptance Testing tools:
● Cucumber (Java)
● SpecFlow (.Net)
● PHPSpec (PHP)
● Behave (Python)
In addition to automated testing, I like to add Manual Testing. This kind of test depends entirely on human intervention since the preparation of the database. Besides that, Manual Tests are very expensive to be built and maintained. However they are important to evaluate the user experience.
Automating the testing processes is necessary, otherwise the quality of your software and the speed of deliveries will be affected, making the development process less agile and inefficient. Within the DevOps culture, it is very important that automated testing processes provide a measure of security for frequent deliveries without impacting customers.
A robust agile process with stages of test cycles included during development will strengthen confidence in the product and facilitate the adoption of DevOps culture.