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Why DevOps Makes Your Test Role Even More Important

DevOps Testing

DevOps is one of the latest software development movements. If you aren’t familiar with it, the high level summary is that it’s essentially the integration of IT Operations with the development process. This requires significantly more than just inviting Ops to your SCRUM.

It’s a bit of a vague term, and everyone seems to use a slightly different definition, but here are a few key principles that are commonly understood to be included in DevOps:

1) Deploy often!
2) Develop and test on a system that is as close to your production environment as you can get
3) Continuous validation of performance and other quality measurements
4) Automate as much as possible (without overautomating) – and keep deploying!

So where is Test’s role in all this? EVERYWHERE! I think DevTestOps is just harder to pronounce.

In a DevOps world, Test is the pervasive, persistent paste that holds the entire cycle together.

In other methodologies, Test is handed the product after it is coded and when it reaches some definition of ”Done”. If they are lucky, the product has been made to a specification or set of requirements that they can write their test plans against prior to receiving the code. If they are REALLY lucky, those requirements have been updated as the product is coded.

Not in DevOps. DevOps calls for involving Test early and constantly, completing the shift of Test that started with Agile and other current methodologies. This means that a DevOps shop needs skilled testers involved in all stages of development. Test increasingly becomes a specialized kind of developer valued for their ability to ensure the released product satisfies the customer’s needs. Using the wide variety of tools and techniques at their disposal, they become an essential member of the team. Contrast this to how many shops still view Test, an obstacle to release, or worse, a “cost center” to be minimized as much as possible.

Current Test professionals should be excited about DevOps! It might call for testers to up their game and learn new tools, but the value of a skilled Test professional is rising.

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