Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Article

DevOps and Test Automation | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

Some of the common hurdles testers face when trying to automate the testing life cycle, and ways around them

Test automation is arguably the most important innovation to the process of QA testing in software development. The ability to automate regression testing and other repetitive test cases can significantly reduce the overall production time for even the most complex solutions. As software continues to be developed for new platforms - including mobile devices and the diverse array of endpoints that will be created during the rise of the Internet of Things - automation integration will have a huge hand to play delivering reliable, multifunctional products that end users want and need.

Of course, test automation is not without its challenges. Let's take a look at some of the common hurdles testers face when trying to automate the testing life cycle, and ways around them.

Interoperability
One of the biggest challenges facing software vendors across the board is interoperability. The diverse array of devices, operating systems and software development kits often result in integration issues that can negatively impact the final product. The same can be said for automation integration. If a testing management tool is incompatible with a software development tool, or has clunky integration, developers and testers alike with struggle through each phase of the process. Unfortunately, this is a challenge that too many software vendors have written off as something that comes with the territory.

In truth, interoperability issues are not inevitable. There are a variety test management tools on the market that provide seamless integration with the most commonly used software development tools - for example, JIRA test management tools. As more development teams transition to DevOps, many will also shift from traditional SDKs to agile software development tools such as JIRA. The best way to accommodate fluid collaboration between DevOps teams and testers is to seek out an automation testing tool that is truly integrated with the best software development technology on the market. This will preemptively solve any problems that may arise as a result of interoperability, while enabling agile testing methodologies.

A blank drawing board is never a good thing when it comes to test management strategies.

Strategy and organization
Even with the adoption of DevOps culture, there is some still some dissonance among test management teams regarding the best way to organize and execute certain tests. While no two solutions are identical - warranting variation in the specific approach to the testing life cycle - testers and developers within a team must agree on test management strategies that ultimately serves the software. This means, for instance, knowing at what point to begin regression testing, and whether or not certain tests should be run manually first.

One way to abate these issues is to focus on what the solution truly needs, rather than be overly rigid in terms of traditional methodology. Test managers must use all the tools available to them, and not necessarily rely too heavily on one method of testing. For example, simple black-and-white tests should always be automated. Exploratory tests, on the other hand, should be manual, as they require a level of creativity and human foresight that a machine simply cannot supply - at least not yet. As for regression testing, it's always a good idea to ensure that any automated tests that directly impact the user experience are very carefully integrated. Simpler unit tests that focus more on whether or not the solution is executing properly can typically be automated from the get-go. But regression tests that ensure deep functionality for the user experience - typically through the use of key test metrics - should be manually stepped through.

Some degree of manual testing will almost always be needed to complement automation integration when it comes to creating a rich user experience. Machines are smart, but they're not necessarily apt at determining what is intuitive. This requires a more human touch.

Similarly, according to TechTarget contributor Gerie Owen, manual testing is heavily relied upon in the making of very young software that is still trying to pin down its value proposition. This can lead to instability between phases of development, demanding a level of variation in test cases and test metrics that automation integration cannot provide.

Challenges to test automation will always arise. But as long development and QA teams are flexible - one might say agile - throughout the testing life cycle, they will be able to get the most out of automation integration time and again.

More Stories By Sanjay Zalavadia

As the VP of Client Service for Zephyr, Sanjay Zalavadia brings over 15 years of leadership experience in IT and Technical Support Services. Throughout his career, Sanjay has successfully established and grown premier IT and Support Services teams across multiple geographies for both large and small companies.

Most recently, he was Associate Vice President at Patni Computers (NYSE: PTI) responsible for the Telecoms IT Managed Services Practice where he established IT Operations teams supporting Virgin Mobile, ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Prior to this Sanjay was responsible for Global Technical Support at Bay Networks, a leading routing and switching vendor, which was acquired by Nortel. He has also held management positions in Support Service organizations at start-up Silicon Valley Networks, a vendor of Test Management software, and SynOptics.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Microservices Articles
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.