DevOps is defined as the next level of agile software development that enables coding and testing to take place simultaneously and powers timely collaboration amongst all concerned functions/departments. Organizations today are in a transformation mode, progressing from traditional methodologies and best practices of software development and testing to the most contemporary approach of DevOps. The underlying reason is to fast-track time to market and be in a better position to respond to ever-evolving customer needs.
With the total market for DevOps tools reaching up to $2.3 billion in 2015 (up by 21.1% from $1.9 billion in 2014), Gartner, Inc. expects strong growth opportunities for DevOps toolsets… By 2016, DevOps will evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25% of Global 2000 organizations.
From the above statistics and growth projections, it is evident that DevOps trend goes much beyond implementation. It focusses on effective organizational change, as people, process, information and technology form the core of DevOps.
As we see the market inclining towards DevOps, it’s just a matter of time that many more organizations will sooner or later implement this software release model with a prime intention of enabling automation in software deployment. The success of DevOps owes to the framework that enables teams to speed up software releases and gain speed to market by ensuring quality.
Most of the software development organizations consider Quality Assurance (QA) as a separate function in the overall development scenario. Generally, developers and testers have their set of own roles and responsibilities to cater to. With DevOps it becomes a necessity for QA and development teams to sync up to achieve common objective of delivering robust application that works as per agreed standards and gives the desired outcome.
With more organizations stepping forward to adopt DevOps practices to enable automated software deployment, we are rapidly stepping towards a fast-paced culture, where build and testing must happen rapidly and simultaneously. This approach helps maintain quality checks on a regular basis with a faster time to market and cost-effectiveness. High-quality assurance is deeply rooted in DevOps and cannot be separated from the process.
Role of QA in the world of DevOps
In traditional approaches, QA has effectively played the role of a gatekeeper for many successful software deliveries. In DevOps environment, QA plays a pivotal role in thinning the boundaries between development teams, operations teams, and testing teams leading to faster deliveries.
In a DevOps environment, role of QA is to feed new development code to production environment. DevOps teams provide necessary infra and tools needed to make deployment easier and at the same time ensure that changes are functioning as per the defined need.
Traditionally, the role of QA is to detect bugs. But in the DevOps age, the prime responsibility of QA is to prevent the bugs from occurring in the first place. This approach helps gain speed to market and helps reduce the test cycles. Test automation is specifically recommended in the DevOps environment.
For example, in an e-commerce portal release environment, hourly releases are very common. In such cases, load, security and stress testing becomes important, DevOps approach can help deliver faster releases by ensuring quality. It helps to identify and fix issues before the new code goes Live and the performance is evaluated.
Summarizing the Discussion
DevOps helps achieve process improvements throughout the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), as QA can simultaneously identify issues in process and recommend improvements necessary all through the cycle. There is a paradigm shift in development and QA with the rising popularity and acceptance of DevOps across enterprises. The role of QA in DevOps has gained more significance and has become more critical than ever before.
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