“The definition of our roles has changed, and it will continue to change. The challenge is to understand this and pivot”
The world has changed! So does software engineering! From waterfall to agile, to monolith to micro-services and micro-front ends, Dev to DevOps to SRE, monthly releases to continuous delivery, from data center to cloud. Anything that is related to development has become cloud first!
But one thing that is frozen in time is Quality Assurance and its ecosystem! QA organizations are normally the underfunded group in any organization, where it is always associated with cost rather than revenue generation. Its existence is mostly an afterthought vs a primary function. QA function has always been looked at as manual testing, automation framework building, automating test cases, running those test cases whenever it is demanded. But these items were hardly part of any matured CICD pipeline. Automation suites are mostly never part of CICD pipeline and often the reason is “automation makes the pipeline slow”. In majority of the organizations, the functions of QA are not part of the regular CI/CD pipelines, and it occurs outside of the pipeline, mostly in a manual way. This is mainly because of deficiency in necessary skill set in the QA ecosystem.
This in no way means, manual testing is primitive. Manual and automated testing is going to be there forever, but that is not sufficient. As software engineering evolves, there are new use cases, new use cases create new problems for QA function to solve, new problems require new technologies and new technologies solve problems and as QA function, we should up-skill ourselves to meet these new challenges!
As the entire software engineering ecosystem has evolved, the expectations and the mind set haven’t changed in QA function. This has stagnated the entire QA ecosystem. What is not normal, has become the norm. Even extreme slowness in automation execution time is considered okay. Spending a lot of time on things when you can automate them and save time has become part of life. Building walls between dev and test is not considered counterproductive. What is deficient here? Talent, skill, mindset, or vision? To some extent, all of it. Everyone has lots of unknown unknowns and known unknowns. Unknown unknowns are things you don’t know that you don’t know and known unknowns are things that you know that you don’t know.
To truly become part of Cloud First for Testing, both these unknowns must be cleared. These unknowns may be cloud technologies like Docker, Lambda, container orchestration platforms, simple scripting/coding, cloud pipelines like Azure DevOps, Github Actions, Build as Code etc. Imagine the world of possibilities when you know how to use Docker. You might be spending hours to setup a tool, but with docker, you could spin it up within minutes. Imaging the empowerment that comes when you can combine this with a container orchestration platform? This is when you become a true QeOps! When you become QeOps, you know cloud, you know the big picture, you know your company goals and how your work is contributing directly to the vision of your company. You know how to go about solving QE problems and what technology to use to solve them.
You are hands-on and you don’t need to wait for someone else to come and help you. It could be when you see non-alignment of best practices of testing with the rest of the org capabilities, or about digital transformation of migrating testing to cloud or creating infrastructure to add parallelism to your automation! You become a champion. You are no longer a cost center, but a revenue generating group!
At Digy4, one of our goals is to disrupt the Quality Engineering domain, by creating top notch QeOps through a high-end training program which focuses on technical skill, mindset change, best practices such as Shift Left and much more, that aligns well with the key ingredient of a CI/CD pipeline which are Fail Often, Fail Fast, Test Relevance, Test Fast, Shift Left and Know Faster.
Do you want to be the next QeOps or want to transform your organization’s QE function? Contact us at [email protected]
Digy4 QeOps Training Syllabus