Process

Articles

Testing feedback loop 5 Key Factors to Achieve Agile Testing in DevOps

Part of the path to DevOps requires adoption of agile methodologies. What does it mean for testing when you switch from the traditional waterfall model, with a few long release cycles per year, to the agile model, with changes occurring every two weeks? Here are five key factors to achieve the agile software testing necessary in DevOps.

Denise Rigoni
Graph showing how testing earlier costs less and means fewer overall defects The Shift-Left Approach to Software Testing

The earlier you find out about problems in your code, the less impact they have and the less it costs to remediate them. Therefore, it's helpful to move testing activities earlier in the software development lifecycle—shifting it left in the process timeline. This article explores the shift-left methodology and how you can approach shifting left in your organization.

Arthur Hicken
Dial with the needle moving from red to green A Better Way of Reporting Performance Test Results

Reporting the results of functional tests is relatively simple because these tests have a clear pass or fail outcome. Reporting the results of performance testing is much more nuanced, and there are many ways of displaying these values—but Michael Stahl felt none of these ways was particularly effective. He proposes a reporting method that makes performance test results easy to read at a glance.

Michael Stahl
Code on a computer screen Testing a Software Rewrite

Suppose we’re looking at a system rewrite where the stakeholders have none of the original engineering documentation. (This isn't surprising; documentation becomes obsolete—or even misleading—as the system changes, and corresponding docs don't get updated.) What can we do? Here are some tactics to use—and risks to anticipate—when testing a system rewrite.

Steve Poling
Circle made of arrows Why You Need Continuous Testing in DevOps

DevOps is more than adopting the right set of tools; it's a cultural shift that incorporates testing at each stage of the agile project lifecycle. Continuous testing is key to unlocking this culture change because it weaves testing activities into every part of the software design, development, and deployment processes, which helps everyone involved communicate more, collaborate better, and innovate faster.

Tom Alexander
Hand holding black rotary telephone When DevOps Gets Lost in Translation

The waterfall method of developing software is a bunch of translation activities: The design is a translation of the requirements into the language of architecture, the code is another, and a formal test process is a third. And with each translation, there’s the opportunity to introduce error. When your DevOps team is isolated, it creates another handoff, and another point of failure.

Matthew Heusser
A police officer stands on a street with his back to the camera The Quality Police: Testing like a Law Enforcement Officer

After ten years as a police officer, Adrian Oniga became a software tester. He was expecting a dramatic change, but he soon discovered that there are many similarities between testing and police work, including questioning, investigating, exploring, and analyzing. Here are some ways you can test like a law enforcement officer.

Adrian Oniga
Icon showing clipboard with passed and failed tests Teaching Acceptance Test-Driven Development

Acceptance test-driven development is a whole-delivery cycle method that allows the entire team to define system behavior in specific terms before coding begins. These conversations align the expectations of the testers, developers, and product owners, forcing any silly arguments to happen before someone has to create the code twice. Here are some great beginner exercises for teaching ATDD.

Matthew Heusser
Row of cupcakes decorated with blue frosting and rainbow sprinkles, photo by Brooke Lark Shifting Testing Left Bakes In Quality from the Start

“Shift left” is one of the latest buzz terms in software testing. Movements like agile and DevOps recommend that testers shift left, but what does that mean, exactly? Here's how one tester became a believer in the shift-left movement; how he got his team's developers, analysts, designers, and managers on board; and how his entire organization has benefited from the shift.

James Espie
Lines of code, photo by Markus Spiske Reduce Technical Debt by Using Unit Tests as Documentation

Technical debt is an inevitable side effect of legacy code. Some code can (and should) be pruned, but institutional memory fades—what if there's a reason certain lines were included that may not be immediately obvious? Done right, unit tests can serve as documentation. Later on, these tests can illuminate what the developer was thinking when they created the code.

Steve Poling

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