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Testing in the age of Agile and DevOps

Digital Assurance

November 25, 2016

The software industry has evolved into various new development models such as Agile and DevOps, cutting across the product to market and application support landscapes. The traditional ways of testing have also gone through significant changes and are evolving constantly.

We are aware of  the regular responsibilities of a tester in a scrum/agile development model; similar to V-Model, the tester’s contributions start right from the design stage i.e. story grooming stage. The tester is involved in all the development-related communication threads, including bug fixes from unit testing. This ensures the key focus areas to test when the code moves to the QA stage. The tester is responsible for the collection and publishing of all the key project metrics such as ‘story turnover rate to QA’ and ‘story points for bug fixes’.

Below facets would add value to any testing engagement in the long run, enhancing the value-add a tester contributes to the industry. An application/product with 3+ years of development road map ahead, along with the existing production support need, would be an ideal candidate:

  1. A tester wears the business hat and plays the role of a business partner rather than a functional tester, who just verifies if the given requirements are met. A tester, abreast of the business problems, being addressed by client and various solutions available in the market, is the key to it.
  2. In line with the agile philosophy, a working software is given more weightage than the detailed documents; a more iterative RBT[Risk Based Testing] for user stories and focus on the automation of the already developed stories in the previous sprints  would reduce the regression testing efforts during the release hardening phase of that project.
  3. Owning QA test environments and code pushes to the pre-Prod environments would not just make the tester aware of the nitty gritty of IT infrastructure, involved in successful running of the application; it also allows them to carry out the root cause analysis nailing down avoidable code drop issues in future releases.
  4. Testers in agile, own automation/continuous integration, which involves – configuring toolsets for CI/CD, build and tweak automation frameworks to support DevOps, implement, monitor and track continuous testing.
  5. Projects, which have traditionally been draining on DEV efforts and have constantly under-utilized their QA resources, could take up minor configuration and low hanging development work. In case, a project is on DevOps model, based on the testers’ proficiency on that skill-set, the project can own L1 and L2 support in the ChatOps* mode of tackling production issues, where testers initiate the probable solution and close the ticket upon completion, post verification.
  6. Increased emphasis on UX (user experience) has made it a mandatory skill set for all testers; it enables them to partner with UI/UX designers and ensure a more user-friendly end-product.


The focus on ‘effort maximization’ with ‘automation’ and ‘shrink IT cost’ has never been more imperative; an ‘undying will to learn new skills’ and ‘an eagerness to go the extra mile’ are the key to unleash the new age testers.

*More on ChatOps:

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