What is DevOps Testing?
DevOps testing is about implementing various testing strategies. This way, testing speeds up the build-to-test cycles through automation. In DevOps testing, teams continuously and collaboratively test the application. The shift-left testing approach ensures that everyone in the team collectively contributes towards the common goal of delivering software to the customer with agility and quality.
DevOps testing detects and fixes defects and supports continuous development, integration, and deployment. As a result, when an application comes out through the DevOps process, it undergoes multiple iterations and stages of testing, it works as a high-quality, error-free, and value-adding solution for the end-user.
Types of Testing in DevOps:
- Unit Testing: Unit Testing: In unit testing, you test the individual units of software. The unit is the smallest testable part of any software. It usually has one or a few inputs and usually one or a few outputs. In procedural programming, a unit may be an individual program, function, procedure, etc. Unit testing is important because it provides a level of isolation and focus, which allows you to determine if the logic of a program does what is intended of it.
- Functional Testing: Functional testing has a business focus, unlike unit testing, which has a developer focus. Functional tests ensure business requirements are implemented as expected. It more closely matches what a user will experience while using the software. The software should do what users expect ultimately and what the business expects the software to accomplish.
- Regression Testing: Regression testing is used to ensure tests that previously worked continue to work as expected after changes have been made. It helps you determine if the new code has unknowingly broken the existing code or not.
- Non-Functional Testing: Non-functional testing is used to test how a system behaves rather than how it operates. This type of testing includes performance and scalability testing. These tests verify that your software is fast enough to get the job done when needed and verify that it can support any specific number of users required by the business needs.
- Integration Testing: It ensures all components of your software systems work together. It should be obvious, but it means all coding for all the components in your system must be complete and together to do this type of testing.
- System Testing: System testing ensures all your software systems solutions work together. This means not only testing the code your company requires but also testing that it works with the production version of the operating system, subsystems, and third-party components your software depends upon.
- User Acceptance Testing: User acceptance testing (UAT) is usually done late in the process or after integration testing and system testing have been completed. This type of testing is a chance for the end-user to verify in the near-production environment that the system behaves as needed.
While understanding the types of testing that are critical to a successful DevOps strategy, the first thing you should realize is that DevOps requires more shared responsibilities. Hence, testing tasks should not be assigned to one or two roles in your organization. Developers, testers, QA, and operation people should contribute to testing.
The second thing to realize is that DevOps testing requires automation, a shift left testing approach, and modern testing tools.
Various DevOps Testing Tools
As we have read in the previous paragraph that to successfully implement a DevOps testing strategy, you need tools. So, here is a list of tools that will help you in your DevOps journey.
- Jenkins: It is an open-source DevOps testing tool that can be used to automate all types of tasks such as building, testing, and deploying software. It allows developers to quickly pick and solve defects in their codebases.
- Apache JMeter: It is an open-source load testing tool. It is designed to measure the performance of websites and can be used to implement a successful DevOps methodology.
- Selenium: It is the most popular automated testing tool that is designed to support automation testing for a wide range of browsers.
- Appium: It is an open-source automation tool for mobile applications. By using it, users can test all kinds of native, mobile, web, and hybrid apps. Further, it supports automated tests on emulators and simulators.
- SoapUI: It is a cross-platform free, open-source API testing tool for SOAP and REST. It is commonly used as a DevOps testing tool to perform functional and load testing on API.
- Vagrant: It is used for building and managing virtual machine environments in a single workflow. It offers an easy-to-use workflow and focuses on automation. It reduces development environment setup time and increases production congruity.
- Docker: It allows DevOps teams to build, ship, and run distributed applications. This tool allows users to assemble apps from components and work collaboratively. This platform is good for managing containers of an app as a single group.
- Puppet: It eliminates manual work for the software delivery process and helps developers to deliver great software quickly.
DevOps Testing Best Practices
By now, you know about the advanced testing tools, and types of DevOps testing approaches. However, you might still face some difficulties if you don’t know how to implement the best DevOps testing strategies. If you also want to incorporate those strategies in your business then take a look at the following section:
- Automation: Most of the DevOps practices emphasize automation or roles that don’t require human intervention. Any task that is repeated is a perfect candidate for automation. This way the many aspects of testing can be successfully automated to increase the speed and reliability of testing processes. However, this doesn’t mean that all kinds of testing can be successfully automated.
The best way to employ automation is to explore the tasks that are the right fit for automation. By integrating QA experts into your DevOps teams empower the teams to decide which aspects of testing can be automated and which ones are best tackled with the human touch. Automation works better for machine errors while human testing is better for usability and release readiness.
- Rapid Iteration: When you work on live systems while utilizing the SaaS structure, CI/CD becomes your ultimate goal and you can reach there through iteration. Deploying regular and impactful updates for the customer adds to the perceived value of your service and ensures their continued satisfaction with the subscription fees they pay.
Placing a focus on smaller iterations allows the DevOps team to tackle one project at a time that leads to faster and stable updates. Development in chunks is easier because deployments can be made easily in smaller sizes. Small changes usually don’t result in complicated issues that can lead to setbacks in the software development life cycle (SDLC).
- Documentation and Key Metrics: DevOps is known for improving SDLC speed and optimization through effective communication and transparency. Documentation provides each team member an insight in respect to what they need to iterate upon the existing system. Without proper documentation, teams struggle to understand the system and the reasons why the changes are being made. Strong documentation improves the stability of the project and team members do not struggle to comprehend the how and why of the changes.
Besides this, transparency and thorough metric tracking empower management to understand how the changes they make to the teams and their processes impact the output of the enterprise’s work. If you don’t track the changes you make and their impact on production, you can’t find what’s wrong or right.
DevOps promises to deliver quality products faster, but implementing a successful DevOps strategy is not as easy as it seems. You need to constantly innovate, and ensure you’re sticking to the core principle of DevOps. Of many essential principles of this methodology, DevOps testing is the most crucial. You should employ a habit of continuous testing. Wherever possible, take full advantage of automation tools, and try to keep the human intervention to a minimum.
By implementing the suggestions mentioned in the article above, you will ace DevOps testing with ease.