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Posted by Diego Lo Giudice on January 16, 2013
DevOps is a movement for developers and operations professionals that encourages more collaboration and release automation. Why? To keep up with the faster application delivery pace of Agile. In fact, with Agile, as development teams deliver faster and in shorter cycles, IT operations finds itself unprepared to keep up with the new pace. For operations teams, managing a continuous stream of software delivery with traditional manual-based processes is Mission Impossible. Vendors have responded to DevOps requirements with more automation in their release management, delivery, and deployment tools. However, there is a key process that sits between development and operations that seems to have been given little attention: testing.
In fact, some key testing activities, like integration testing and end-to-end performance testing, are caught right in the middle of the handover process between development and operations. In the Agile and Lean playbook, I’ve dedicated my latest research precisely to Agile testing, because I’ve seen testing as the black beast in many transformations to Agile because it was initially ignored.
On the other hand successful Agile teams do focus on testing up front: while they continuously develop, continuously integrate, and continously deliver they also continuously test. Actually, they even tend to lead development with testing. In other words, Agile elevates testing to the rank of a first-class citizen, just as development and operations are in DevOps. So I think we need a new buzzword that makes sure proper attention to testing is given. It could be TestDevOps or DevTestOps — a debate I’d like to hear your opinion on. The first new buzzword conveys the concept that testing is highly ranked as development and operations but also leads both; the second that testing is just as important as the other two and deserves more attention, especially to succed with Agile.
But the real important findings are that companies interviewed for this research went through some dramatic changes in the way they do testing. They claim that, to be successful with Agile, you must fully integrate testing practices into your development life cycle, increase automation, and change testers’ and leaders’ missions and day-to-day jobs to bring them closer to the needs of the Agile projects. There will also be change for development and developers. Here’s a summary of the takeaways from the report:
Focusing just on the last key takeaway, about automation in Agile, here are some recommendations:
Forrester readers can access the full report here. I am wondering what everyone else thinks: Should we include Test in DevOps to make it clearer that testing is a full part and key enabler of the Agile journey? Have you made testing a key area to change in your Agile journey? What successes or challenges have you had? If you don’t want to share this information publicly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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