The need for scale is what I like to call a good problem—i.e., a problem that, despite the headaches it causes, is usually a sign of good things happening. Needing to scale means you have a growing userbase, which is awesome news. The need for scale doesn’t manifest itself only in regards to infrastructure or application architecture. A growing organization also needs to scale its testing approach, and many struggle to do so. This is exactly the scenario where TestOps and TestOps tools come in handy.
Maybe you haven’t heard about TestOps. Maybe you have but you’re still not sure how it can help you. Either way, this post is for you. You’ll learn the definition of TestOps and why it matters to organizations that need to scale their testing strategies. Having covered those fundamentals, we’ll walk you through a list of five TestOp tools you might want to adopt. Let’s get to it.
TestOps: What It Is and Why It’s Important
Though we usually cover the “what” before tackling the “why,” we’ll turn that approach on its head in this case. We’ll explain the pain TestOps is meant to relieve before prescribing the medicine.
Test Automation Scaling: Here Be Dragons
Scaling your test automation can be an incredibly challenging task. There are many potential obstacles to consider.
For instance, if your testing approach or tools result in fragile tests, you’ll likely have difficulty scaling your test automation due to the sheer maintenance needed. If your organization doesn’t adopt strategies to determine the adequate distribution of testing approaches, the execution time for the tests can be high, which will also hinder scaling.
To sum it up, we can say that scaling testing presents similar challenges to scaling the application in general. The more people, tests, and releases you have, the more difficult it’ll be to manage. At some point, you might need to add people to help keep track of the testing or maintain flaky tests, increasing costs and lowering the return on investment.
However, we already know that software testing is essential. Issues with scaling test automation—if left unchecked—essentially can limit your ability to release quality software fast.
TestOps to the Rescue
TestOps, or “Test Operations,” is an answer to the challenges we’ve just discussed. Here’s how Testim defines TestOps:
The discipline of managing and scaling test automation to maximize efficiency, delivery speed, and application quality.
TestOps is essentially a new approach to testing that, in the same spirit of the DevOps movement, attempts to break down silos between the different actors involved in software testing to achieve a more efficient software quality approach.
You can think of TestOps as an approach comprised of three main pillars: control, management, and insights.
We don’t use control here in the sense of rigid and oppressive rules. Rather, by “control,” we mean fostering an environment that incentivizes people to make good and consistent choices that lead to an outcome of higher quality. That includes standardization of processes such as the changes made to test cases, clear definition of roles and responsibilities, and incentives toward good standards and best practices.
The second main component of TestOps is management. In our context, “management” means using tools and strategies to organize your teams and tests, distribute the workload efficiently, and ensure that the teams can trust the tests.
The third and final pillar of TestOps is insights. Through analytics, reporting, and dashboards, you can learn from your testing approach and identify progress as well as areas that need improvement.
5 TestOps Tools To Be Aware Of
Having covered the fundamentals of TestOps, we’re ready to deliver on the promise made by this post’s title. We’ll walk you through a list of five tools that can help your organization on its quest to scale its test automation approach.
Puppeteer is a testing and automation tool created by the Google Chrome team. It allows you to automate most of the actions you can do with a real Chrome browser. Puppeteer is a flexible tool that you can use in a variety of ways, including end-to-end testing.
In our context of TestOps/test automation scaling, we can consider the capabilities of Puppeteer to be used for smoke testing. Smoke testing consists of verifying whether a recently deployed application is available for the user and running properly.
Developers and teams that subscribe to the testing pyramid will probably agree that unit testing is highly important. Having many fast and reliable unit tests is a great way to ensure your tests’ robustness and quick execution. Employing unit tests efficiently is a valuable option for you to scale your test automation approach.
Testim has recently announced its new TestOps capabilities. Its valuable features help organizations achieve the three main pillars of TestOps, as discussed earlier. Using Testim TestOps, teams will achieve control by using branches and pull requests to regulate changes to test cases. Through the test owner feature, organizations can assign owners to tests, filter, and report results by test owner.
Organizations will evaluate how one or more tests will behave in production without impacting a build using the test status feature. You’ll be able to keep tests in the state of “draft” or “evaluating” until you feel you’re ready to run them in the CI.
By using folders, labels, suites, and organization forms, teams will manage their tests easily and efficiently. They can align their tests to their sprints, features, or user types to determine testing readiness and release status.
The final cherry on top is insights provided by charts and reports that give you data on each test and team.
TestOps Tools + Mindset Change = Test Automation Success!
With each passing year, more and more terms make their way into the large lexicon of test automation. In this post, you’ve learned about yet another one of those terms: TestOps. You’ve seen what TestOps means and why it’s so relevant for any organization wanting to scale its test automation approach. More specifically, we’ve walked you through a list of five TestOps tools your organization should look at.
Now you know about the importance and challenges involved in scaling your testing approach. You also know some of the tools that can ease your journey. Testing now happens all the time, and everyone is responsible. The more efficient you can make the testing approach, the better it is for the whole organization.