Continuous Testing is required for DevOps projects, allowing businesses to have confidence in the quality of the software they deliver, even as the pace of delivery ramps up. Businesses dedicate considerable technical resources to testing, putting professional testers to task, but do they need to? Should all testing “shift left” to developers, and how would that impact the testing process?
We presented this hotly contested topic to an expert panel consisting of Tricentis Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Wolfgang Platz, Jason Steele, Senior Executive at Accenture, and Mik Kersten, Co-Founder of Tasktop. What followed in The Great Debate: Testers’ Role in DevOps Continuous Testing was a half hour packed with candid and thought-provoking discussion. It’s well worth a watch for anyone following the changing roles and requirements in modern enterprise-level testing, but here are 7 key points and questions to get you thinking:
- 21 million people consider themselves developers, while barely 1 million call themselves testers, according to an IDC report. Clearly there is a perception that being a developer is more prestigious, but testers should be proud of the skills they bring to the table.
- Employers are looking for SDETs with deep technical skills and experience with automation as they try to crack the automation problem. Throwing bodies at the problem alone isn’t enough and organizations will also need to set up the right tooling, strategy and environments to take their automation efforts to the next level.
- Manual testers may feel under threat, but their functional testing skills remain valuable in the market, with their understanding of business functions. Manual testers should supplement their functional testing skills with knowledge of automation, artificial intelligence and business analytics.
- Superb testing practices require investment. Though many organizations attempt to leverage open source frameworks to run a lightweight operation, ‘shifting left’ is more than embedding a tester into scrum teams. Companies like Tasktop dedicate half of their technical staff to testing, and think of quality as a product.
- How far left should you shift? If weeks of testing are still needed at the end of a sprint, keep working to continue integrating testing into the process. Delivering code quickly, regardless of quality, should not be your measure of success. Aim to deliver code which is fully unit tested, has functional coverage, and has undergone some integration and regression testing.
- Digital transformations are daunting, so many make the mistake of zooming in too closely and only optimizing a tiny part of the end-to-end process, often starting with the low-hanging fruit, or the easiest metrics to improve. It is common for teams to unwittingly optimize for how quickly they can turn the crank on delivery instead of actually improving the end-to-end process.
- When testing is sourced to third parties, it is healthy to ensure the organization retains enough technical knowledge of the architecture and of what the tests do, and not lose sight of how the application works. Know what you expect artifacts to look like, and be able to run the tests yourself if need be.
For the final word, the panelists were asked to share their advice for testers. Some tips: testers should feel confident in leading the conversation on quality, driving automation, encouraging developers to test more thoroughly, and taking proactive roles at driving the agenda in their organizations.
Listen to this fascinating discussion in its entirety by watching The Great Debate: Testers’ Role in DevOps Continuous Testing now.