DevOps as a service is the furthering of the agile software development approach by enabling software development and testing to occur simultaneously with ongoing collaboration of all stakeholders. Today, enterprises, driven by DevOps consultants, are rapidly adopting DevOps so as to accelerate time to market while responding to customers in a better way and meeting their ever changing needs. DevOps is the solution to the necessity of businesses to quickly respond to changes in the market and achieve rapid business growth and competitive advantage.

Not only does DevOps as a service improve the regularity of feature releases but it is also intended to minimize defects. DevOps as an approach is meant to highlight small, rapid, iterative development and deployment of applications. If an enterprise needs to match pace with the relentless speed of business growth, then DevOps is the answer. It is responsible for streamlining and speeding up the delivery of applications while taking care of innovation and changes. The idea isn’t only to ensure continuous delivery, but also to ensure overall continuous improvement of software.

The Strategic Role of QA in DevOps

The DevOps approach gives equally important roles to both the testers and the developers. In DevOps, it appears as though the job responsibilities of a tester and a developer overlap one another. QA is responsible for tying together operations and development while enabling them to collaborate so as applications and software are up & running. Stability and quality are the responsibility of everyone in the organization as is the success of the business.

A developer has to think more like a tester and keep checking his own code for possible errors. Similarly, a tester, who is primarily responsible to test the software/application by employing different types of methodologies and testing tools is also responsible for fixing the code. In such cases, organizations that do not have a definite and strong QA & testing strategy that is required to “continuously test” in DevOps, experience problems in meeting the goals of accelerated speed of delivery.

Infallible continuity in the delivery cycle is ensured when continuous testing is diligently implemented. The time from development to operations is reduced. According to DevOps consultants, QA now has a more strategic role and helps build robust software testing infrastructure along with tracking quality across the SDLC.

It has become increasingly important to have a QA strategy in place, that goes hand in hand with best practices, especially as organizations are taking on the DevOps movement that enables effective software development and operations while achieving superior user experience and quality.

The Development and Operations teams have differing goals, and QA plays the all-important role of being the key enabler in delivering business value. All the three functions, Dev, Ops and QA are seamlessly integrated by DevOps such that they come off as a single IT body that delivers value. DevOps is responsible for breaking down the organizational silos that used to be between the operations and development teams. DevOps lays heavy emphasis on the fact that QA is everybody’s responsibility. QA & testing plays the role of a bridge between all disciplines i.e. from business and clients to operations and development in DevOps. Within DevOps initiatives, QA & testing is one of the most important levers that accelerates time to market.

Something to keep in mind is that in a DevOps environment there is no time for a dedicated and separate testing phase. But, by no means does this imply that manual testing is not happening. What is actually happening is that manual testing, in the form of performance testing, exploratory testing, usability testing etc. is being done continuously over the course of the project, not simply at the end. The employment of techniques such as “Feature Toggles” ensures that despite having a continuous stream of deployed artefacts it doesn’t mean that you are giving users features before they are actually ready. A tester’s role in DevOps is to explore, discover and give feedback about the product design and quality, as early in the process as possible, not simply at the end of the project.

In today’s landscape testers should be required to learn to effectively leverage automated testing, because automated tests are invaluable at all levels and there is absolutely no way to be completely confident about your code and be able to deploy several times a day. However, testers alone shouldn’t have to be responsible for automation. For best automated tests, there needs to be tight collaboration of testers and developers, whereby developers take advantage of their understanding of the code so as to make automated tests increasingly efficient, while testers take advantage of their testing aptitudes so as to make sure that the tests are testing the correct thing.

In conclusion, when it comes to DevOps as a service one must note that testers have not been made redundant just because the enterprise has the technical capability to deploy over ten times in a day. In fact, DevOps consultants say that QA and testers play a very important role in making sure that the application/software that is deployed over ten times a day is actually worth deploying