Quality has become a major focus when it comes to software development because it’s what will impress your customers. And obviously, impressed customers are good for business. With the DevOps approach making the software development process easier and more efficient, the concept of QAOps has now made its way to the industry.
When people from development teams and operation teams first started collaborating, someone must have said, “Why not have QA and Ops collaborate too?” That’s what lead to the emergence of QAOps. So in this blog post, I will explain exactly what QAOps is and how it makes a difference in the software development process.
Before you can understand what QAOps is, it is important for you to know what continuous integration and continuous delivery are. So let me first explain those first.
What Is Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)?
CI/CD is the backbone of the DevOps approach. When you build an application and release its first version, you will see how it performs. After the initial release, you will realize that there are a few (or a lot of) things that can be made better. Once you understand this, you can work on implementing these changes and release them in the next version.
Continuous integration is the practice where changes are quickly integrated into the main branch of the application. Once integrated, you can run automated testing to verify their functionality. When you do this, you don’t have to wait for the release date to merge the changes. You can update the changes quickly.
Continuous delivery is the next step in continuous integration. It is the practice of making the updates available to customers at regular intervals, thus increasing the user’s satisfaction.
Now that you know what CI/CD is, let me explain what QAOps is.
What Is QAOps?
QAOps is the practice of integrating quality assurance (QA) into the CI/CD pipeline. This means that the software testing process should be integrated into the CI/CD pipeline rather than being an isolated process. It requires the QA team to work closely with the development team and the operations team.
Implementing QAOps means giving the testing team a more important role in the software development life cycle. The backbone of the QAOps process is CI/CT/CD (i.e., continuous integration, continuous testing, and continuous delivery.)
Understanding QAOps from an explanation alone can be a little challenging. You’ll understand it better if you know how it can be implemented in the software development lifecycle.
There are four main ways to approach the implementation of QAOps.
With lots of tools and frameworks available in the market today, automated testing has become one of the reliable methods for software testing. Automated testing speeds up the software testing process because it is done by the computer. And obviously the computer is faster than a human being.
Adding automated testing in between continuous integration and continuous delivery is one way to approach QAOps. The QA team should thoroughly understand testing use cases when it builds the automated testing tool. Because there is continuous delivery, any mistake in the testing tool would massively affect the quality of the product.
Parallel testing is used to test multiple parts or components of the application at the same time. The testing process for each component should be independent of the others.
Parallel testing is most effective when you use automated testing. You can use different tools that provide parallel testing features, or you can use a concept of threads to achieve parallel testing, where you’ll write tests in your favorite programming language so that they run multiple processes at the same time.
Parallel testing has hardware dependency. You will need a high-performance system with fast CPUs to implement it. Using cloud platforms will work better than your own architecture in such cases.
Business growth is good for the company. When you develop a product and people start liking it, you will have to scale it. Scaling the product includes adding more features and making the existing features better. With an increase in the product’s scale, there will also be an increase in the scale of necessary testing.
Scalability testing test’s the application’s behavior when it is scaled up or down. Depending on how much the product is being used at any given moment, the number of customer requests can increase or decrease. So scalability testing helps you understand how your product behaves under different request loads.
You don’t want an application to break when you receive a spike in the number of requests. This would result in the loss of business. That’s why it’s important to perform scalability testing and make changes to the product if required.
Integrating Dev and Ops With QA
This approach involves integrating the QA process in the CI/CD pipeline. The developers who are building the process can write the test cases. The operations team, with help from the QA team, can work on identifying the problems or bugs in the developed product.
This will help you get a clear picture of the QA process across teams. And it will help you make the QA and the bug-fix process work more smoothly.
Now that you understand what QAOps is and the different approaches to implementing it, it’s time to explain the benefits and why QAOps matters.
Why QAOps Matters
The software development industry has become a battleground. Every organization wants its product to be the best. And to make your product the best in the market, you have to make sure it has the best quality.
QAOps follows the DevOps approach, which makes the complete software development cycle smoother and faster. With faster software development cycles, you’ll have more time to work on additional features and to upgrade them.
When you implement QAOps, you will also provide a clear picture of the testing process and the product as a whole to the development and operations teams. This will help them fix bugs faster and release the product earlier.
QAOps keeps the testing team continuously engaged because the testing happens continuously. It prevents the QA team from having to wait until the application is ready to be tested again. And because the QA team is not idle and bored, their morale should increase.
Working in collaboration with different teams helps you learn and experience how different teams operate. It also gives you the opportunity to increase your skill level in different areas.
Because QAOps includes continuous testing, your customers will have a better experience when they use your product. With a higher level of quality and reliability, your customers are sure to be much more pleased than they would have been otherwise.
QAOps involves testing the product or a particular part of the product as and when the update is integrated so that the QA team doesn’t have to wait for a new build. This helps the QA team identify problems at an earlier stage, and fixing these problems sooner rather than later can prevent other problems from arising that might occur as a result of these bugs.
Implementing QAOps can give your organization an upper hand over your competitors in the software development industry. Though, implementing it will require investments—in most cases, a great investment—it is completely worth it.
A lot of companies have already implemented the DevOps approach, and QAOps is the next logical step. And as an employee in the software development industry, it is important that you know how it works.
This post was written by Omkar Hiremath. Omkar uses his BE in computer science to share theoretical and demo-based learning on various areas of technology, like ethical hacking, Python, blockchain, and Hadoop.