In today’s technology market, a company’s success depends on its ability to offer new and useful products to customers faster than competitors. For businesses, this means making time to market fast, as to stave off competition. Internally, this means faster workflows and shorter time between development and deployment.
DevOps has always been a way for companies to solve the problem of getting to market faster. This practice integrates developers and operations teams to increase collaboration and automate workflows. This practice also quickens the pace of building, testing, and releasing so the time to market can be shortened.
Automation is central to a DevOps team, from testing new code to reorganizing the project infrastructure. It is also crucial to the success of a project as it maximizes the efficiency of all individuals included in the workflow. With the use of automation, however, many worry a faster product comes at the expense of quality assurance (QA). So with the rise in automation, how does QA fit into the world of DevOps?
DevOps Bring Structural Changes
Before the use of DevOps, developers would write an extensive amount of code and send it off weeks later to be tested. Developers would then move on to other work while they waited to receive edits by the operations team. Developers would receive edits or changes, and work would continue. Weeks to months later, the product would finally be deployed.
A DevOps team can work much more swiftly. Developers send over their work to operations in smaller portions where it is integrated, continually tested, monitored, and deployed in hours rather than weeks or months.
Where Does QA Fit in This Process
Traditionally, QA reviews were contained to after the software was fully built. It was a logical approach for the time. Before automation, receiving QA reviews at every stage of production could have thrown off the team workflow, damaging the end result. There was such a separation between the developers and operations teams that constant monitoring would have easily made everyone inefficient.
Automation technology processes provide consistency and predictability in production. Any process that begins and ends the same way every time gradually becomes easier to accomplish. The operations team grows accustomed to each stage, and they are ready and prepared to receive revisions during any part of the workflow.
Automating processes doesn’t mean that the product can’t be backpedaled to correct an error. With automated processes, the quality assurance team is actively tracking the project through each stage of production and testing. QA reviews and eliminates any obvious software defects starting from the earliest stage of development. In today’s DevOps workflow, the QA team’s process saves time down the line by debugging software that has already been produced. Their constant involvement ensures that every detail is optimized to produce the best quality of work possible.
On top of decreasing chances for error, the collaborative efforts between the Development, Operations, and QA teams also provide a necessary level of transparency throughout the whole production period. Developers sharing small pieces of code on a regular basis are naturally more in tune with what the other teams are working on. Now, these separate areas can check in and work together in real time.
With all these advantages, DevOps teams gradually increase the rate of software delivery from months and weeks to potentially days and hours, gaining an enormous competitive advantage over competitors.
DevOps teams have mastered a workflow that allows collaborators to be meticulous during each phase thanks to QA’s involvement. They’ve implemented a disciplined, iterative process of monitoring an application’s performance to ensure its quality and the customer is satisfied. Not to mention, the great speed of production in the world of DevOps means that application monitoring can happen in almost real-time. So, to answer the original question, QA does have a place in the world of DevOps.