DevOps and test automation share a common goal: to deliver value faster and more efficiently. Automation aims to accomplish this by streamlining tasks that don’t require human intervention. DevOps serves this purpose by increasing transparency and collaboration between development and operational teams. Combined, they create a DevOps test automation framework. First, let’s explore what that looks like in action. Then, we’ll figure out how to make the most of your automation framework.
Benefits of a DevOps Automation Framework
We’ve established that a DevOps automation framework delivers value quickly. But how exactly do we measure that value? Businesses assign value in various ways, depending on their specific industry, products, or services. Nevertheless, there are several key places where a DevOps automation framework delivers value, regardless of industry.
1. Faster Value Delivery
In software development, value is typically defined by the end-user. Product teams bring value through new features and enhancements. For quality assurance (QA) teams, value means improving the user’s experience with these releases. A DevOps automation framework enhances each team’s ability to deliver value through the build, measure, learn loop:
- Build. This phase identifies what consumers consider to be valuable then builds a minimum viable product (MVP) of essential functionalities.
- Measure. Next, feedback will be collected regarding the success of the release.
- Learn. In the last phase, you’ll analyze the data collected from the first two phases of the loop. Finally, you can use your findings to improve the product in its next iteration until you achieve product-market fit.
The secret ingredient to the success of the DevOps test automation framework is faster feedback loops. Dev, IT, QA, and Operations teams can work together at an Agile pace. As a result, companies can feel more confident when they commit updates to production. DevOps test automation frameworks have normalized continuous integration, testing, and delivery.
Keeping Up with the Pace of Applications
Most modern businesses have migrated to the cloud—in part or in full. The shift towards cloud computing is necessary to maintain application portfolios. For example, CRM and ERP systems undergo continuous updates, which don’t often sync with your release cycles. These conditions require businesses to respond quickly to change. A DevOps test automation framework pinpoints problems as they occur, allowing your development team to address defects in real-time.
2. Incremental Development: The DevOps Automation Safety Net
DevOps test automation frameworks use small, incremental steps during the software development life cycle (SDLC). In simpler terms, they release single parts of features at a time. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to continuous delivery is operational pressure. Without proper test coverage, you risk a domino effect each time an update is released. DevOps test automation ensures that minor errors are caught before they trip up the larger system.
3. Better Insights into User Behavior
One adjective seems to be at the heart of nearly all business trends: data-driven. Businesses generate unfathomable amounts of data every day. Why would we let these massive data sets go to waste? A core functionality of a DevOps test automation framework is its ability to analyze user behavior. This is valuable for a few reasons:
- We can learn how to make test bots mimic human behavior. In the future, we can use this technology to further automate exploratory testing methods.
- The value a specific feature creates for the user can be measured more accurately.
- User simulation based on telemetry data allows us to dive further into performance and quality issues.
Enhancing the Benefits of your DevOps Test Automation Framework
The benefits above are inherent to DevOps Automation. However, we believe that there’s always room for improvement. Here are four fast tips for optimizing your DevOps Test Automation Framework:
- Equip your company with SaaS tools. Many companies have transitioned to hybrid or fully remote working environments. Accordingly, hardware-based solutions are falling out of favor. SaaS requires far less maintenance, allowing you to focus on creating value.
- Adjust your internal processes. Once you’ve migrated to cloud-based tools, you must ensure your business processes are built to support it. Consider approaching this by mapping out your internal processes and essential artifacts (think pull requests, requirements, and tests) and using this map to establish your conventions.
- Build feedback loops around functionality. After you begin working in the cloud, you can set the foundation for your test automation. First, decide what you want to test continuously. Then, build the basis for your automation around those guidelines.
Measure what you treasure. Automation brings a plethora of opportunities for analytics. Decide which metrics to track as early on as possible. This preparation will allow you to find ways to visualize your findings and then analyze them continuously.