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Is DevOps Complete Without Automated Testing?

Author: Tom Moore | | January 20, 2022


 

Over the past few years, the process of ‘digital transformation’ has been the technology industry focus, as developers evolved programs beyond legacy, on-premises systems to embrace the promise of cloud computing.

 
The COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated that drive, pushing more organizations into the cloud so they could remain in business after their workforce went fully remote. The convergence of the two phenomena – transformation and cloud adoption – sped up everything technological. Today, global development teams are churning out new programs and systems as fast as their nimble minds can invent them.

However, with this über-swift development speed comes an escalated risk of error and failure. Whole companies have gone down when their proprietary software suites failed to accurately service their demands, protect their customers, maintain compliance standards, or (fill in the blank). In too many cases, the underlying cause of the failure was a software glitch that had gone undetected throughout the development cycle. And in too many cases, the cost of those errors was catastrophic; in 2020, poor software quality caused over $2 trillion in losses, just in the U.S. alone.

So how did those glitches go undetected? In every case, there was some level of inadequate testing.

Why Testing Is Critical To Software Development

Short answer: To assure quality, quality, quality, every step of the way. Each element of code written into a software program plays a fundamental role in its function, and each of those functions must work together to provide the service that the program is ultimately designed to produce. When a single element of that code is off in any segment of the overarching program code, it can disrupt the function of the entire program. Consequently, assuring the quality of each operation with each process of any program requires testing every element to be certain it performs as expected every time.

Long answer: Today’s complex digital universe mandates equally complex computing capabilities. Often, every aspect of every business relies on its software suite to facilitate – flawlessly and endlessly – every function needed to deliver service and reap profit. Rarely, however, are all those corporate departments also deeply invested in the software development project. When they are not, it is often inevitable that developers will overlook some crucial function or process in the company’s app development project. That lack of inclusion causes gaps in performance, leading to failures, breaches, and other unwanted outcomes.

Ergo, testing software development every step of the way ensures that the inclusion of all corporate standards into the program and that the program’s ultimate design quality meets its intended purpose.

Why Is Automation Critical to Software Development?

Short answer: Volume, speed, accuracy. The eruption of the COVID-19 virus escalated the implementation of robotic process automation (RPA, colloquially known as ‘bots’) in 2020 to manage billions of routine digital tasks so that developers could focus on keeping their company and its remote workforce afloat. Bots are coded to automate repetitive tasks that humans previously handled. Freed from these tedious duties, developers and administrators could turn their attention to more critical corporate demands. Automated programming now runs many enterprise-level services, providing reliability, improved efficiencies, and higher quality performance than a human workforce can maintain.

Long answer: Operational resiliency. The coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to make an almost overnight transformation from entrenched legacy protocols to cutting-edge, all-digital processes. The mandate disrupted years or decades of established practices and support and supply systems and required previously unimaginable adaptations in business models, workflows, and service delivery systems. The explosion of new programming, software, data types, endpoints, etc., swamped many companies because they couldn’t master all the new tasks demanded of their systems.

Those companies that survived the 2020 transformation storm almost certainly used automation to facilitate the process. Having automated many of their processes meant their IT professionals weren’t focused on simply maintaining the suddenly overwhelmed status quo but could turn their attention to managing the deluge of technological challenges brought on by the virus. The automated services ensured that critical corporate functions continued unabated while the IT experts brought the company forward into the emerging COVID reality.

Automated Testing Is a Critical Element in Azure DevOps Systems 

The only answer: marrying testing and automation into a single, pervasive function of the DevOps process ensures that every iteration of every app will function properly and meet its mandated requirement when it is finally released into production.

DevOps automated testing combines the function of each process into a single operation and is applied incrementally, one operation at a time, as the process of developing the software evolves.

  • Previously scripted code sequences perform specific tasks automatically regardless of the ultimate purpose of the program. Developers code in the sequence, knowing it will also automatically flag if an error arises.
  • Testing tools execute the sequence automatically, again without regard to the nature or purpose of the ultimate program.

 
Successful early tests provide a strong foundation for subsequent work, which, after successful DevOps automatic testing, builds an even stronger foundation for the final product. In application development using DevOps protocols, every incremental step of the design process is entered and tested for accuracy (and reconfigured or repaired if it doesn’t work) before the team moves onto the next development step. When complete, each iteration of the app has been thoroughly vetted throughout its development process and is ready for reliable deployment when needed.

Using automation to manage standardized testing throughout the development process allows human developers to build the unique and proprietary elements that set their enterprise apart from its competition.

Developers use DevOps automated testing script to test the accuracy of almost every digital function, and they often design their tests around specific aspects of coding:

  • Unit tests check the accuracy of the smallest bits of code, often called ‘subroutine’ bits.
  • Integration tests check how well code interacts with an existing system, including how it will write code to a disk or connect with an API.
  • End-to-end, ‘System,’ and ‘User Interface’ automated tests are more complex because they will run through all the functions of an entire program to determine if it meets its intended purpose.

 
Besides freeing IT professionals to perform more critical tasks, automated testing also saves time and money by ensuring higher accuracy of test results, speeding up the testing and delivery timeline, and reducing costly errors post-deployment.

COVID-19 has accelerated the speed at which programming performs. DevOps Automated testing of embedded coding throughout the DevOps process ensures that those emerging programs operate at peak efficiency after deployment. Datavail’s Azure consultants can help with all your DevOps, testing, CI/CD, and app development projects.

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