Where Testers and QA Fit in the Story of DevOps [Webinar Recap]

We had over 1,700 registrations for our webinar, Where Testers and QA Fit in the Story of DevOps. Sunil Sehgal and Ryan Yackel gave us a great overview of the current state of DevOps, addressed how testers need to adapt and fit within DevOps and provided practical tips to and takeaways for testers.

Sunil and Ryan answered a lot of attendee questions at the end of the webinar (starting at the 51:36 mark), but because some went unanswered, they have answered more questions at the bottom of this blog post.

Big thanks to everyone who attended and, as always, let us know if you have topics you would like us to consider for future webinars by tweeting us at @QASymphony or emailing marketing@qasymphony.com.

You can learn more about Sunil Sehgal and Techarcis on their website or on Twitter @TechArcis.

View the on-demand webinar here.

View the Webinar Slides Below

Where Testers and QA Fit in the Story of DevOps: Webinar Q&A with Sunil and Ryan

Q: Would a tester being part of the development team be the same as DevOps?

Ryan: “Yes and No. DevOps is a set of practices and principles that drive a culture shift in your organization. How your team make up is constructed, should be based upon whether or not your can adhere to these principles and practices. Therefore, by just inserting testers into the development team, doesn’t necessarily make it ‘DevOps’.

Dan Ashby does a great job in his article “Continuous Testing in DevOps…” by explaining where testers should be in the DevOps infinite loop.  Tester can add tremendous quality validation and input at every stage in DevOps.”

Q: What should be the priority or investment in automating UI versus micro services with regards to CD?

Ryan: “This is a question that we get a lot from the testing community.  Many see automating the UI as low hanging fruit that counts toward their test automation transformation.  Also, there are an enormous amount of functional test automation tools on the market that make UI automation extremely attractive.

While UI automation is certainly a component of your overall test automation strategy, it’s actually a lower priority than service and unit level test automation.  On the webinar, I mentioned that there is an test automation pyramid that lays out where your focus should be based on speed and investment.  Be sure to refer to this diagram and the pros and cons of doing UI automation.”

Q: What advice do you have for a QA Automation Engineer with a year of experience who wants to shift to DevOps?

Sunil: “Take initiative and volunteer to be part of DevOps. Pair up with developers and show them how your automation skills can help in DevOps. You are in a good situation and having automation skills is a big plus.”

Q: I agree that QA is on par with Dev in a DevOps environment, but at some point I feel like I was left behind. How do I fill that gap/what should I focus on?

Sunil: “Invest in yourself, and take control of your skill development. Do some research, learn, read, etc. There is a lot of learning material available. Again, take initiative and volunteer to be part of DevOps. Pair up with developers and show them how your automation skills can help in DevOps.”

Q: Some user stories require a change of only one line of code, yet it requires a lot of testing. How can testers meet the deadlines of a DevOps environment?

Ryan: “Deployment automation seems to be the biggest impediment. QA are essentially automators within the process, but the challenge is separation of incoming defects versus the speed of new feature work.”

Sunil: “The key is in-sprint automation. For other regression testing, regular automation works fine. Have your strategy aligned to both sprint/new feature and incoming defects.”

Q: How does DevOps as a set of practices apply to a team or teams that are titled as DevOps?

Ryan: “I recommend reading up on this article by Rouan Wilsenach. Martin Fowler, who is basically the grandfather of continuous delivery and deployment has an entire website devoted to continuous delivery and DevOps.

Rouan makes the point that “’Even with the best tools, DevOps is just another buzzword if you don’t have the right culture.’” Even if you have the right job titles but not the right culture, this same quote rings true as well.”

Q: Are Jenkins and DevOps are same?

Ryan: “Jenkins and DevOps are not the same thing.  This get into the DevOps word soup slide (see slide 14) that I showed from Jenkins World presentation by Brian Dawson. There are a lot of words under the umbrella of DevOps, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. Jenkins, Bamboo, CircleCI and Bamboo are tools that are used in your DevOps pipeline.

Jenkins is a continuous integration build tool that monitors code check-ins to branches of code and takes action based off those check-ins.  This allows you to instantly run a build process that will verify the code check-ins are working correctly and deploy automated tests to make sure the build doesn’t break.”

Q: What coding language(s) do you suggest learning as you recommend that we learn basic coding on the webinar?

Ryan: “For basic coding, start with Python.  Python is one of the easier languages to learn and is the base for one of the most popular automation frameworks, called Robot.

Also, look at Joe Colantonio’s blog on all things test automation.”

Q: Have you seen a true CI/CD org? For DevOps to happen, you need a high level skill set, which includes a good amount of programming for developing frameworks. What is the skill sets that the testers have out there?

Sunil: “Yes. In a true CI/CD, testers also should become technical. There are roles like SDET (Software Design Engineer in Test), and having these skills helps in implementing DevOps. Testers can play an important role by leveraging their technical skills.”

Looking for more great webinars on software testing? Check out all of QASymphony’s upcoming and on-demand webinars here.

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