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TestOps: That’s What Your IT Needs Now

Remote working is at an all-time high, and it will only continue to increase in the months to come. The demand for digital applications from industries like Education, E-Learning, Travel, and Entertainment are at its peak with a surge in access to these applications from remote. IT teams are swamped with tickets that are 7-8 times higher than in normal conditions.

With new code deployment happening and high loads in user access, it is difficult to do thorough testing, especially with reduced staff and limited time. Setting up TestOps teams can come in handy now, to help deliver good application quality.

What is TestOps?

Back in 2016, the google testing blog discussed how two separate testing roles emerged at Google when manual testing transitioned to automated processes:

  • Test Engineers (TEs) — With their in-depth product knowledge and test/quality domain expertise, TEs focused on what should be tested.
  • Software Engineers in Test (SETs) — Originally software engineers with deep infrastructure and tooling expertise, SETs built the frameworks and packages required to implement automation.

It can be said that the foundation for TestOps was laid based on the role of Software Engineers in Test as described by Google.

Though a formal TestOps role is still not very prevalent, Test Engineers in many organizations today go beyond the traditional definition of their role. In fact, more than writing automated tests, they perform coding work on setting up infrastructure, monitoring it, testing microservices, running them locally in the Docker environment and so on.

The Need for TestOps

In order to understand TestOps, it is important to understand DevOps. DevOps (Development Operations) originated as a software development methodology that promoted close interaction between developers and IT professionals (e.g., system and network administrators) to reduce development time and improve quality.

For instance, a developer’s work might not be limited to writing code, as developers might also need to instruct on how to launch the software on the server, how to configure it, and where to find the logs. Similarly, an operations engineer might be involved in debugging, as well as setting the server. Today, DevOps has become a role in most organizations and the need to have a team member who can provide a full cycle of development and operation is considered a necessity.

With DevOps teams helping to accelerate release velocity, it is a general complaint that QA and testing time is high and considered a bottleneck in delivering releases quickly. Naturally, the time taken by QA is due to checks and gates that are part of the QA process. Now, having a “TestOps” team can help other teams (particularly DevOps) in the release process, since they can create a seamlessly deployed testing environment alongside DevOps build and deployment infrastructure.

How TestOps can help

As mentioned earlier, TestOps helps other teams involved in the software delivery process, and TestOps complements DevOps. It promotes close collaboration between QA, Dev and Ops, to reduce development costs and ensure quality. While each organization can identify and plan its initiatives within the purview of TestOps, here are some key activities that can be planned with TestOps:

  • Functional E2E testing, including:
    • Integration testing
    • Transactional testing
  • Automation
  • Load, Performance and Reliability Testing
  • Asynchronous work scenarios
  • Security
  • Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery setup

5 reasons why TestOps is needed now more than ever

  • Code deployment continues as remote access to applications are extremely high.
  • Spike in IT incidents witnessed as organizations rush to deploy applications to ensure business continuity without thorough testing.
  • Omnichannel access to applications from remote has increased the need for Performance, Security testing, which can be addressed well with TestOps.
  • IT teams are working with reduced staff and embracing best TestOps practices can help them in multiple ways, including “spending time with family.”
  • Effective “TestOps” practices can support everyone stay productive

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Vasudevan Swaminathan

Bibliophile, Movie buff & a Passionate Storyteller. President @ Zuci systems

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