“We learned best by getting in the market and then learning, even if we’re less than perfect …”
Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix
Digital Transformation, DevOps, Digital Quality and the Whole Shebang
A little late in the game to sum up 2016 but I’m sure you were saturated last month reading all the closure blogs, yes? So, now we get more of your mindshare to engage with us. The above quote pretty much sums up the mindset of software delivery in 2016. Software delivery learned to be agile and driven by new age paradigms such as DevOps to bring value to customers quickly.
It was not about launching the ‘perfect product’ but about addressing a ‘burning need’ and then scaling it across a large user base. In the world of sharing economies and business disruption by folks like Uber, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter, software development and delivery was completely reimagined.
And, of course, it will be important to mention Digital Transformation as it crossed the chasm to bring impact beyond innovators and early adopters. Digital transformation meant a consistent, seamless experience across all channels from mobile and wearables to kiosks, cars, and Smart TVs. The omnichannel customer experience driven by IoT and hyper-connected world required a new mindset to develop and test software.
Quality initiatives came into the thick of this transformational initiative called digital and supported by the paradigms of agile, DevOps, automation. And hence, an urgent need to innovate from quality to digital quality.
Digital Quality: A Movement from Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering
The Evolution and Ripening of Automation
According to Forrester, software is approaching a zero-day event with applications releasing fast. Quality needs to support this effort, needless to say, with a need to test quicker without compromising on the quality of quality. So the quality DNA had to be rewired to some extent. There had to be a movement away from manual testing to test automation in order to bring cost efficiencies and improved productivity. Over time, we saw the movement of test automation to support device compatibility due to the proliferation of devices, support scale of applications with optimal performance and loads and ensure a thorough testing of all visual elements across all form factors with responsive design.
Most recently, there has been an effort to rope in non-functional test automation parameters like compliance, localization, security, usability, stress and other non-behavior parameters.
The Movement Towards Open Source to Drive Automation with a Difference
Automation can get quite complex with the surrounding infrastructure, integrations and all that, and so the market needed some light weight, transparent options that could drive the speed and agility in automation that most enterprises are looking for when building high-quality software. There was a need for modularized and integration friendly frameworks that provide an ecosystem to do all the heavy lifting with the right UI elements and manage the many environmental dependencies.
Open source test automation frameworks as they are called came into being for this reason. Good open source frameworks support the overall agile methodology, are highly intuitive and can be leveraged by both QA and Dev teams. These open source tools also support omnichannel initiatives with testing on multiple types of devices and provide a reusable, maintainable and stable interface.
TechBeacon covers a wide range of Automation Frameworks that you can leverage without writing your own code. A word of advice – there are tons of frameworks out there, so if you need an open source solution, think of leveraging those vs. building another.
Agile Quality and Focus on Shift Left
Agile became a very important component to driving digital quality. Agile meant bringing the methodologies and mindsets of the scrums and the Kanban. It meant continuous reiteration of code and it meant ensuring an incremental approach. It is important however for us to determine why we are doing this.
One of the most important reasons is to tighten the process in the face of uncertainty and to make sure our assumptions are right and the outcomes are correct. So testing software early and often without building everything is the most essential effort. The state of the agile report provides great insights into how agile is succeeding at scale today and what the future holds for us.
Tied to agile is the shift left strategy, the strategy of testing everything early and continuously. For the same reasons as agile, shift left gained immense traction within testing communities. It is a science with a defined methodology.
There’s a lot more ground to cover on what 2017 will hold, including the larger role analytics will play in digital quality and in the greater world of IoT. We’ll also talk about how some of this intelligence will be driven by AI and machine learning modules and the disruption QMetry is bringing to quality – all in my next blog.