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Enhancing Test Automation Using DevOps and Agile Methodologies

August 18, 2022


Enhancing Test Automation through Agile & DevOps

Continuous testing can be brought about by combining Agile & DevOps to enable development teams to develop, test, and release software more quickly.

With the world getting digitized, the payment systems have also taken the same route, giving us ample options for digital payments. In the US alone, we are expecting to witness a total transaction value of $1765 Billion in digital payments by the end of 2022. But with digital payments going mainstream, the need for payment security has increased too. Mostly, after the pandemic, the need has accelerated even further as the ways in which people spend and manage their money have changed. For instance, the massive growth in the contactless payments space has ushered in tremendous change. To cope with such rapid innovation in the payments landscape, it is imperative that businesses implement new ways of working.

In this context, we will be reviewing a few novel software development methodologies. Let’s get right to it.

Top Software Development Methodologies

Here’s a rundown of some of the most significant software development methodologies that are powering businesses today and helping them realign people, processes, and technologies.

  • DevOps & Agile Methodologies

Historically, software development has been a siloed endeavor, where the development, testing, and operations teams work independently. This has been true for the payments industry as well. However, with the emergence of new payment methods and rapid product and feature release cycles, these methods are proving to be inadequate. In this context, if a business aims to develop superior software quickly, it must consider adopting DevOps.

The integration of development and operations functions improves the speed, efficiency, and security of software development and delivery. Both businesses and their customers can benefit from a nimbler software development lifecycle.

DevOps stems from Agile, which is among the most important and metamorphic software development methodologies. It focuses on the efficient development of customer-focused products.

Agile is an iterative project management framework that facilitates the streamlining and acceleration of project delivery. Agile places more emphasis on people and conversations over procedures and tools, functional software over extensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan.

  • Continuous Testing & Automation

A considerable number of software teams believe that their test coverage is inadequate or that the related maintenance expenses are excessive. Moreover, business teams find it difficult to legitimize the effort dedicated to creating test cases without tangible business metrics. These problems can be solved by transitioning to Continuous Testing.

We’ll take a deeper look into these concepts to analyze how their full benefits can be unlocked.

The Agile test automation methodology helps QAs to write test cases that are executed automatically for each new code snippet pushed to the code repository of an application.

By contrast, test automation is merely a part of the DevOps lifecycle. It is also vital for rapid and high-quality delivery as well as for ensuring the success of any DevOps lifecycle. So, what is continuous testing?

In conventional test automation, most test teams pull in a user story and create tests to check whether the code appropriately implements the story requirements. These tests range from basic unit tests that are applied to individual methods and high-level tests that are applied to check a workflow from end to end. By contrast, in continuous testing, automated tests are performed as a part of the software delivery pipeline to gather feedback on business risks, as rapidly and comprehensively as possible.

Continuous testing is necessary for multiple reasons, a few of which are listed below:

– With the growing complexity of application architectures, developers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with bugs. Any individual application may consist of multiple APIs and microservices that are interfaced with numerous client apps.

– With shorter release cycles, there isn’t enough time for comprehensive manual testing or ad-hoc automated testing. Moreover, as businesses transition to continuous delivery, it requires them to deploy new software in almost real-time.

– Because of the deep integration between software and business, an application failure can easily translate to a business failure. For software-dependent businesses, any unexpected downtime can lead to business losses, as well as a loss of reputation.

  • Agile Environment vs. DevOps Environment

Superficially, Agile and DevOps appear to be remarkably similar, especially to people not in the know. However, there are stark differences between these two methodologies at the fundamental level, as well as in their implementations.

The Agile development methodology is essentially an agglomeration of scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP), and other methods that developers used in practice in the past. The focus is on software development through collaboration, customer feedback, and quick releases. It emerged at the turn of the millennium in the software development industry to assist development teams in coping with evolving market conditions and customer requirements.

DevOps allows software development teams to develop, test, and release software more quickly and reliably while incorporating the principles and practices of Agile, such as increased automation and enhanced collaboration between development and operations teams. Both Agile and DevOps have the development, testing, and implementation steps. However, traditional Agile does not include operations, which is a core component of DevOps.

  • Deriving the Maximum Benefits of Test Automation

Although test automation is time- and effort-intensive, good implementation can earn it all back and then some. In the test automation process, it is crucial to set expectations with stakeholders and business owners. This ensures that all stakeholders move ahead with a unified vision of success. It is equally important to facilitate communication among all stakeholders after setting expectations of returns. The benefits of the test automation process are listed below:

  • Quicker delivery
  • Identification of a greater number of regressions
  • Development of more testable products
  • A further left shift in testing
  • Easier regression testing
  • Improved tester morale due to less repetition

A few best practices for realizing these benefits are as follows:

    • Automation flows should be developed gradually, and their coverage should be increased with time.
    • The process of Test Automation should be initiated by testing one thing at a time rather than bundling up multiple cases together. This reduces complexity.
    • One should aim to develop independent and self-contained automated tests.
    • The ownership of test automation should be collective, that is, one should select a test automation platform that all team members can work with.

Implementing DevOps & Agile Methodologies

A transition from traditional methods to Agile/DevOps can help FinTech companies push their products to market more quickly. It will also help them be more responsive to customer needs and feedback post-release. However, any such implementation must proceed with consideration of the additional constraints that are specific to the payments industry. This includes high levels of regulation, enhanced security, and heightened compliance requirements. To know more about how you can find success with test automation using DevOps and Agile methodologies, reach out to us here.

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