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DevOps - QA & Automation
Posted by Unknown
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:50
I have taken a number of questions recently on fitting "Automation" into Agile Sprints... 1) Are there any benefits to Manual QA, 2) Can Automation be estimated at requirements, 3) Is maintaining Automation flows or scripts sustainable? Before I answer those directly....I wanted to revisit a core belief that culturally Agile and DevOps are about braking down the Silos of the Waterfall-only era and exploring new ways to be more efficient and collaborative, to lower-risks, and enable the business to "make money" with new Apps quickly...which keeps us all employed and happy at profitable companies. To that end, Automation (especially when provided by HP Operations Orchestration) is a great enabler for an Agile methodology if the App and "team"... 1) Have a short list of requirements that are low risk, 2) If QA expertise is represented in the Dev effort flagging "test needs" and advising the team away from past failures, 3) And if "Automation as Code" is in place to benefit the whole organization & process (QA-Automation, Delpoy-Automation, Monitoring-Automation, Feedback-loop Automation...) with controls and tracking of re-use, and limiting the editing access. The role of QA in an Agile Organization has more flexibility to work with (Pre-release) Dev teams (leveraging the needed amount of Manual QA), or across the Process-flow (at Deploy and early Ops) using what ever QA tools are needed to enable a business-ready App at the earliest possible time...and/or Roll-it-back functions with all the failure/QA data captured, using "Canary Testing" best practices. No one has all the answers but if 1) your organization is adopting Agile (and/or DevOps) as a standard, 2) the IT culture (your peers) sees value in collaborating and breaking down the "silo expert hand-off" approach, and 3) you can create an environment of Contiuous-Learning where QA can capture the needed data to improve...than Automation (with Code Controls for re-use) can benefit QA experts who are willing to use all the tools to help the business. Are there proof-points? Enterprise companies with the highest QA standards - innovating 70% faster, with 300+ simultaneous small agile teams globally (1,800 Dev & QA), saving $20M+ in their IT budgets....yes. But its not for businesses types, nor is it for IT organizations that are comfortable established legacy practices.

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