SKILup Day: Continuous Testing Highlights
By: DevOps Institute
November 23, 2020
What a month it has been at DevOps Institute so far! To kick things off, we declared November as Continuous Testing month! With everything as code, everything needs to be tested. We wanted to explore testing and IT infrastructure from a people, process and automation perspective to help the community SKILup on all things Continuous Testing. To align with the monthly theme, we hosted several events and shared various new resources.
We also revealed the Global SKILup Festival agenda! The Global SKILup Festival is a week-long virtual celebration of the Humans of DevOps that will take place December 7-11, 2020. The festival is dedicated to DevOps upskilling, a deep-dive into technology trends, and career advancement.
We also continued to highlight contributions from DevOps Institute Ambassadors throughout the month. You can see the latest contributions on our blog, as well as our Medium publication, The Humans of DevOps.
To kick-off the month’s festivities, several ambassadors hosted a Global DevOps Institute Ambassador CrowdChat. The CrowdChat was an interactive social experience that included insights on key Continuous Testing topics such as measuring successful testing initiatives, defining Continuous Testing, use cases, and more:
The live-streamed portion of the CrowdChat backchannel is on YouTube if you want to see the video chat amongst the hosts.
On November 19, we hosted the main event – SKILup Day: Continuous Testing! The one-day virtual conference explored “how-to” knowledge on test engineering for developers, infrastructure, security, and SRE/Ops. SKILup Day featured ‘how-to’ lessons from speakers: Alejandro Debenedet, Orit Golowinski, Cedric Ziel, Eran Bachar, Wolfgang Platz, Itzik Gan-Baruch, Don Jackson, Steen Brahe, Satyan Prakash, Carmine Vassallo, Marc Hornbeek, Niladri Choudhuri, and Andreas Prins.
In addition to a full day of sessions, the event offered yoga, a scavenger hunt, networking lounge, exhibit hall, resource library, and even a DevOps inspired mixology class!
If you missed November’s SKILup Day, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a quick round-up of the key themes that emerged from the sessions and conversations around the topic’s importance.
Why devote a full day of learning to Continuous Testing?
In today’s world, everything is code, and everything needs to be tested. Because of this, everyone in IT must understand Continuous Testing from a people, process, and automation perspective. With a unified understanding across the enterprise, leaders and practitioners can quickly and safely deliver quality products to customers. Thus, we have dedicated a full day of learning to this hot topic to ensure successful adoption across the IT landscape.
The DevOps Institute SKILup Day explored the rise, use cases, benefits, and trends of Continuous Testing now and in the future. SKILup Day speakers explored subtopics including adopting test automation, the power of feedback and using AI-powered intelligent test automation to achieve Continuous Testing. Below we look at key quotes and discussion points from the day.
What is Continuous Testing?
Throughout SKILup Day, many of the presenters discussed the principles of Continuous Testing. They shared that, in DevOps, it is testing software at every stage of the software development lifecycle. Developers can often evaluate software quality at every stage by testing early and testing often.
Marc Hornbeek’s session, “Continuous Testing – The Primary Key to Successful DevOps,” dove into why it is imperative for success. “People say that culture is mandatory for successful DevOps, which it is, but at the heart of DevOps implementation is Continuous Testing,” said Hornbeek.
How do you adopt test automation at your organization?
Steen Brahe’s session, “Test Automation Practices – a practical guide to successful adoption,” shared an approach for helping mainframe teams adopt test automation and methods that can be scaled to an entire development organization. He shared that some paths to failure are defining processes before practicing, giving developers tools and expecting them to start testing, and not listening to other companies who have implemented Continuous Testing. Instead, he shared that it’s important for senior leadership to be committed and understand that change takes time.
“Start small, learn, educate, and then expand,” said Brahe.
Carmine Vassallo’s session, “Getting Continuous Testing Done Right with CD-Linter,” explored how to overcome the challenges of configuring a CI/CD pipeline. “Continuous Testing is a foundation of Continuous Delivery,” said Vassallo.
How do you mature Continuous Testing practices to improve software quality?
During Satyan Prakash’s session, “Continuous Testing – A lifecycle approach,” he shared that a lifecycle approach allows you to fix bugs in cheaper phases, there is less defect fixing and more development, simplifying complex testing.
“If you don’t simplify complex testing, you are going to struggle,” said Prakash.
Andreas Prins also dove into the complexities of testing during his session, “Have you covered all levels of Continuous Testing?” He discussed the various levels that are not covered often and shares how to achieve better coverage. “I think that those of us in the software testing discipline should really start understanding what we can test out before we ship software and before we even start making software,” said Prins.
Tap into the power of feedback.
Orit Golowinski and Itzik Gan-Baruch’s session explored why feedback is important in every stage and what we can do with it. Golowinski started the talk by sharing that we all need feedback to learn what we can improve. We need to understand what’s working and what isn’t to respond as quickly as possible. “With Continuous Testing being part of the continuous integration pipeline, it’s possible to collect analytics and history for every pipeline that ran,” said Golowinski. She shared that you can then use and leverage this information to continually improve.
Remember: AI helps continuous testing “shift-left” to deliver speed, quality, and ROI
Eran Bachar’s session, “Using AI-Powered Intelligent Test Automation to Achieve Continuous Testing,” reviewed how recent advances in Artificial Intelligence and intelligent test automation are helping teams deliver the speed and resiliency required to support rapid application changes within a continuous delivery pipeline, with practical and immediate ROI. “You can reduce 70% or more of overall maintenance costs by leveraging AI in test automation,” said Bachar.
Don Jackson’s demo also showed how AI could help you “Shift-Left” test automation efforts, so that if the development effort is capitalizable, so is the test automation effort. “When we talk about extreme ‘shift-left’, we’re talking about being able to create test automation during the design phase,” said Jackson. Automation is an accelerator for quality elaborated Jackson.
DevSecOps requires Continuous Testing too!
Niladri Choudhuri’s session, “Continuous Security Testing – Mandatory for DevSecOps” examined continuous security testing and why it should be a part of the core testing strategy. Many people overlook continuous security testing, but Choudhuri shared that security testing is incredibly important. “We want to choose when to fail so that we can catch things faster,” said Choudhuri. He added that because Continuous Delivery requires Continuous Testing, our current security testing approach and tools are not suitable for continuous security testing. Security needs to be an integral part of business strategy, and the IT enterprise needs to continue to prioritize security.
Don’t forget, supporting your engineers is critical!
Cedric Ziel tackled the important topic of supporting your engineers in a high-speed environment during his session. He discussed a key set of measures for QA teams to enable specialized engineers. “The complexity that is involved with modern infrastructure with modern applications will only ever go up,” said Ziel. He shared that you can reduce the complexity that engineers have to deal with by providing them insights into infrastructure, technology insights, product overview, bottlenecks, and verification.
The future of Continuous Testing is…
Wolfgang Platz’s session, “Enterprise Continuous Testing: Current Challenges and Future Trends”, indicated that while we continue to understand and expand continuous testing practices, we need to “build automation for the integration and for the system integration tests.” Want to know more about the sessions? For a quick recap of each, check out the sketches below. You can also view the videos and download the slide decks by viewing the DevSecOps SKILup Day on-demand.