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Time is money. How many times have you heard that?

We are truly a “Startup nation” constantly racing against the clock to deliver multiple features and execute sprint content, to meet our customer’s demands. This intense pace is an everyday reality. As a QA Engineer that has worked with and in different organizations, I have experienced it up-close and personal.

On one side there are owners and investors – they want to see growth. On the other side, there are customers – they want features and capabilities that work. And then there is us, Testers – we want to deliver quality.

But, how do we fit in this never-ending race?

Let’s start by defining software quality and how would you measure it? Well, how would you define a high-quality watch, car, or a clothing item?

Could it be that from using the product you can feel that its creator/maker used good materials (even if it means that the price would be higher)? If you use it for a long time, would it still be preserved from standard wear and tear? Is it designed to be comfortable? Fun to use? Does it break or overheat when you accelerate to a high speeds or drive long distances?

With that said, a Mercedes costs 10 times more than a Honda. Does that mean that a Honda is not a good quality car?

All of these examples teach us that quality is based on a perceived notion of price to value.

  • Does the product serve its purpose in a good way?
  • Can it stand up to our “use demands” in a reliable, long-lasting way?

Price can be interpreted in different ways as well – for example – implementation and maintenance time.  Don’t be fooled,  breaking this perception is a lot easier than building it in the eyes of our users. I can think of more than one car brand that has managed to break our perception of it in the last decade or so.

The farther you run, the more expensive it is to go back.

What I’m about to write will not be a shock to anyone, and still, you will be surprised to hear the number of organizations I see that just don’t seem to assimilate that idea. The earlier you will incorporate quality practices into the product’s life cycle – the less money you will spend on fixing it in the long run. I have seen how a wide aspect feature is being invented, designed and developed, only to understand that it is different from the poet’s intention, or does not serve its purpose the best way.

What can possibly go wrong? Nothing much, just:

  • Features developed contrary to the customer’s tastes/needs
  • Modules that do not carry out the action for which they were designed
  • Time-consuming debates on whether it was a bug or maybe the characterization was not unequivocal and clear enough
  • Going back and forth by working on/fixing the same module for several times
    • As a result: lack of time to perform all of the evaluated “sprint content” = less features, less progress
  • Features that aren’t clear enough for the user and result in complaints or support issues
  • Unsatisfied customers
  • Bad user experience
  • Bugs in production
  • Wasting time = money

Make a decision, start the change!

Start by understanding the importance of having a wide range testing infrastructure in your organization. Sure, it will not happen overnight. Yet still, it is an investment that produces huge value.

Suit up, sneakers on, and start the process:

  • Start designing a work procedure that includes clear written requirements. People never completely understand one another. If there is no written documentation, it can become challenging to examine what to develop and what to test. I am realistic, there is no place or time for detailed requirements in a startup. However, we can design a format which is short enough to be written in our race and clear enough for the developer to understand what to perform.  
  • Implement the use of a knowledge base and management tools that will suit your needs. Lets define knowledge base.  As far as I’m concerned, it can be a Google-Drive but you still need one place that I can go to if I need to know how a feature works. Now, about management tools, lets just say that it is a topic of a whole another article and still what you need to understand is that there are free requirement management, bug management and process driven tools that could help you organize your everyday tasks.
  • Start building a work process which will suit your company’s needs and corporate culture. The same as there are rules to running a marathon, there has to be rules to running a startup. When do you start the run? When can the tester join? What is the criteria that indicates that the lap is over? What can and can’t be done in the middle of the sprint? Every game needs its set of rules.
  • Implement productive communication between product and QA. How? Well for one thing here is personal example. Start by implementing a productive and positive discussion. Every individual requires an approach so they will not “lock up” to a defensive position and observe your words. Take some time to learn your environment and how to approach each member.
  • Assign a quality lead that will provide you with the added value of a productive process.
  • Incorporate quality practices as early on as possible in the concept, design, and development. You will be surprised how effective it is to review requirements (even before one line of code has been written) and how much time it can save you in the long run.  
  • Make an organizational level decision to make quality an high priority issue, and let QA do their job with the appropriate amount of authority.

Two points I would like to add to all that has been written:

  1. It is a process and conception that takes time, but it will return its investment.
  2. It’s not magic, there will always be bugs! The question is in what amount and what severity?

Remember the question we asked at the beginning of the article? (How do we fit in this never-ending race?)

I would like to wrap up this article with a quote by the famous Tester Michael Bolton:

“I wish more testers understood that testing is not about “building confidence in the product”. That’s not our job at all. If you want confidence, go ask a developer or a marketer. It’s our job to find out what the product is and what it does, warts and all. To investigate. It’s our job to find out where confidence isn’t warranted where there are problems in the product that threaten its value.”

Tel Aviv—January 17, 2018—Ness, one of Israel’s leading IT services companies and Testim.io, the fastest growing provider of autonomous testing software, are joining forces today to help companies integrate testing into their CI/CD processes to reduce risk, speed up release cycles and ship higher quality software.

Ness has completed thousands of process management, BI & Analytics, software development and testing and QA projects for more than 500 organizations throughout Israel. Testim’s autonomous testing solutions are used by more than 100 global customers to automate UI testing for web and mobile software. Together, Ness and Testim.io offer customers a combined professional services and smart software solution to make software quality an organizational initiatives.

By joining forces, Ness and Testim.io will help customers accelerate their digital transformation journey achieving exceptional quality at reduced cost as well as better organizational collaboration.

“We are constantly looking for ways to help software delivery teams to release faster without compromising on quality,” says Omer Dror, Testing & Validation Business Division Manager for Ness . “Testim’s test stability and smart locations convinced us that together we can help customers gain more test coverage, accelerate their release cycles and improve productivity and time-to-market.”

On February 5, 2018 Ness and Testim invite software delivery professionals to participate in a free 1-Day conference located at Ness Headquarters in Tel Aviv.  

About Ness Technologies
Ness is the leading IT services company in Israel. With more than 65 years of successful management experience, Ness helps its customers with the most complex IT projects. 

About Testim
Testim leverages machine learning for the authoring, execution and maintenance of automated test cases. We use dynamic locators and learn with every execution. The outcome is super fast authoring and stable tests that learn, thus eliminating the need to continually maintain tests with every code change. NetApp, Gett, Wix and others run over 300,000 tests using Testim every month.

DevOps is a term that refers to the evolving professional movement that supports a collaborative relationship between IT Operations and development, leading to the fast flow of planned work that has high deploy rates, and at the same time increasing the stability, resilience, security, and reliability of the production environment. DevOps came into view in 2009 when a squad of Belgian developers hosted DevOps Days, which supported collaboration between developers and operational staff.  As the cloud is in buzz these days, most developers have readily accepted it that ultimately impacts Ops. DevOps and cloud are closely connected to each other that this post maps out in detail.

DevOps is great as a concept, but it is difficult to execute in reality. As DevOps has grown widespread and differentiated, it has become critical to know how to reach the next level of advancement and truly develops a DevOps driven organization. On this note, have a look at IDC’s recently published DevOps 2.0 MaturityScape.

There is no doubt in saying that DevOps builds a closer working relationship between dev and ops teams, but more significantly it necessitates collaboration with groups spanning QA & testing, security and architecture. To sum up ,  this recommends, DevOps is likely to become everything – which according to my view is right –  DevOps is way better when it integrates cross-functional teams with the aim to deliver high-touch customer experiences quickly.

Implementing and accelerating DevOps are an important topics of discussion; and within this automation, the role of QA & testing, and how to align with security driven DevOps are key considerations. There is a rise in experimentation and utilization of containers and microservices; and more investments in hybrid cloud management, consistent integration/continuous delivery, automated code testing, application performance management have become important to promote the development of a DevOps driven organization. The idea, of course, is to know what investments will support fastening of your organization’s DevOps journey.

As per a recent stats, by the end of 2018, 90% of IT Projects will depend on the principles of experimentation, speed, and quality.

Though operational models and technology investment strategies are still progressing, we begin to observe a widening gap between those businesses in experimentation mode contrary to those that know the benefits and quickly deploying DevOps to speed up a business change.

IDC’s DevOps Conference will make you understand how to accelerate and navigate the DevOps journey and is the right opportunity to know more about this.

How DevOps dictates a new approach to the cloud.

1. Cloud is not always a great solution for systems

DevOps and Cloud offer various potential benefits for companies, but many of them have larger investments in infrastructure, for instance, a mainframe. In the 1990s, the “Death of the Mainframe” has been touted, but the general fact is there is no business case to change many of the systems they host with Cloud-based solutions. The value of these systems can be increased with the help of DevOps techniques and future-proofed to make sure they do not turn into a bottleneck in difficult end-to-end customer journeys.

2. Cloud Native is not many organizations’ first-term goal

Most of our clients are planning to migrate to Cloud, and plan to do so over a two year period, but few have made a move now. Cloud migration is a continuous process, and the decision to do so should depend on business requirements. This involves whether the enterprise shifts entirely to Cloud or selects a hybrid, whichever option they pick, they have to deliver high business value from their current systems up to the point they are replaced or migrated.

3. DevOps tools are interchangeable

DevOps allows businesses to centralize their working practices and culture to gain transformational speed along with the quality of delivery. The tools that support this are interchangeable throughout system types, providing long-lasting benefits no matter how business systems are operated. While simply migrating to Cloud can allow enterprises to scale, it does not increase delivery speed or quality by itself.

4. To maximize the benefits of Cloud in the future

To make the most out of Cloud, businesses need to accept new ways of working. Different services available from main Cloud providers are “DevOps” tools in their right, for instance, AWS CodePipeline. But as mentioned in the previous point “tools support working practices and culture”. With the right working practices and culture in place, you can make the optimum use of tools.

5. Can the Cloud run without DevOps?

As mentioned above, cloud computing offers various benefits. These benefits are particularly useful when strengthened by the DevOps approach, but does the cloud have much to provide if we take out DevOps?

Undoubtedly, “yes”—but not much. You can still use machines in a flexible and scalable manner without DevOps. You can also take advantage of the pay-per-use business model, in which you have the authority to turn off unused resources to stop unnecessary spending.

Though both the cloud and DevOps functions well separately, they are stronger when they are used jointly. You will need to use the cloud model for DevOps to achieve its full potential for flexibility and agility. Similarly, when using the cloud, knowingly or not, you will automate processes and store configuration in version control before you experience that you are really following DevOps practices.

Netflix’s Simian Army is a great example to know about the success that can result from the integration of cloud and DevOps. You might consider this is not right for your company as it follows “on-premises only deployment policy.” Nevertheless, there is a way to get benefited from the cloud approach.

Bottom Line

DevOps and the cloud help businesses to transform user interaction with software delivery strategically. Enterprises no longer struggle adaptation but instead improve adaptability. Consider the cloud as an instrument, then take DevOps as the facilitator. If DevOps is a means, then the driver is the cloud. DevOps and the cloud together foster the development and IT leaps from ‘wait for the right time’ to ‘active frequency’. If you want to learn more about their relation then you can take DevOps training from experts to master its concepts.

Danish Wadhwa


Author bio:

Danish Wadhwa is a strategic thinker and an IT Pro. With more than six years of experience in the  digital marketing industry, he is more than a results-driven individual. He is well-versed in providing high-end technical support, optimizing sales and automating tools to stimulate productivity for businesses.

2017 has been a phenomenal year for Testim, full of exponential growth and product enhancements.

We are proud that so many teams across the globe are utilizing our products to support their software quality initiatives. We want to thank our customers for helping us in making 2017 a huge success! As the leading provider of autonomous testing for Agile teams we would like to recap some of our shared accomplishments.  

100+ Customers Worldwide– Earlier this year, we earned the trust of our 100th customer. Our customers span across a dozen countries, executing more than 1M automated tests per month. We are thrilled to support their CI/CD efforts; reducing risk, faster time to market and releasing higher quality software.

Lightspeed Venture Partners Invests $5.6 Million in Testim– Lightspeed, a Silicon Valley-based early stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors invested in Testim this past year. This is Testim’s second round of funding in 12 months. The funds will support Testim’s mission to help engineering teams make application testing autonomous and integrative to their agile development cycle.

Testim Delivers Many Highly Requested FeaturesOur customers are the ones that make the Testim community so special and inspire us to innovate. Some of the years most requested customer features include:

We want to express our utmost appreciation and gratitude to our customers, partners and peers in the industry for their continued support. We are thrilled to welcome 2018 and look forward to even more shared success together. Keep your eye out for mobile native, company structure, advanced reporting and much, much more.

This is the third and final part of our series of interviews with Jake Kaldenbaugh, Strategic Exit (M&A) Advisor at GrowthPoint Technology Partners. In the first part of our video series Jake answered questions around players in the DevOps space, the constant evolution of software and the vast growth in mobile. In the second interview, Jake shared his perspective on the DevOps strategies of enterprise giants CA’s, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft and Atlassian. He also touched on what the sale of HPs impact will mean to the industry as well as testing’s role in continuous delivery. 

In this interview Jake covers:

  • Next generation platforms; containers, APIs and microservices
  • Testing’s role in the next generation of platforms
  • Digital transformations challenges
  • Up and coming startups in testing

Checkout the two previous interviews:

About GrowthPoint Technology Partners

GrowthPoint Technology Partners is an emerging growth investment banking boutique that helps growing technology firms with great technology create strategic value. Our team identifies leading companies in the areas of data, analytics, infrastructure, virtualization, security and systems management and helps lead them through successful value realization strategies that enable entrepreneurs and investors to achieve their best results.

Last week we released the first video in our three part series with Jake Kaldenbaugh, Strategic Exit (M&A) Advisor at GrowthPoint Technology Partners. In the first video Jake answered questions around players in the DevOps space, the constant evolution of software and the vast growth in mobile. Checkout the first video in the series.

In the second part of the interview Jake covers:

  • CA’s, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft and Atlassian DevOps strategies
  • The sale of HPs impact on the industry
  • Testing’s role in continuous delivery

About GrowthPoint Technology Partners

GrowthPoint Technology Partners is an emerging growth investment banking boutique that helps growing technology firms with great technology create strategic value. Our team identifies leading companies in the areas of data, analytics, infrastructure, virtualization, security and systems management and helps lead them through successful value realization strategies that enable entrepreneurs and investors to achieve their best results.

Introduction

We work hard to improve the functionality and usability of our autonomous testing platform, constantly adding new features. Our sprints are weekly with minor updates being released sometimes every day, so a lot is added over the course of a month. We share updates by email and social media but wanted to provide a monthly recap of the month’s latests enhancements, summarizing the big and small things we delivered to improve your success with the Testim.

Test Reruns

What is it?

An easy and fast way to rerun a test with the exact parameters used in another run.

Why should I care?

When running large suites, many times you want to rerun a smaller subset of those tests that failed. Since tests fail for a number of reasons, this new capability allows you to test temporary errors or fixes. Reruns let you run a test with the same parameters as a previous test run with a click of a button. This will include all dynamic parameters, from the CLI, Test Data, and parameters exported from tests that ran before this one (via exportsGlobal). Learn more

test suite rerun

To Reuse or not to Reuse

What is is?

Reusing actions is one of the basic principles of programming. Testim always supported reuse, and now we push toward even more developer best practices. For every new group, API call, or custom code step that you create, Testim will prompt you for a (meaningful) name, and whether you would like to make this step shareable or not.

Why should I care?

This feature will save you time since you can author the test once and call it to be used in any suite of tests. This makes it faster to author tests when making changes to a shared group, but do not want it to affect other tests in the suite. You can find more information on Reuse in our docs

test reuse

Mobile Web

What is it?
Testim now supports the authoring and execution of tests for mobile web.

Why should I care?  
The number of mobile devices has suppressed the number of desktop computers. We all consume content through our mobile devices and users expect your application to provide superior experience regardless of the medium. Responsive websites look and behave differently than desktop hence require different tests. Learn more

mobile web

Customers have access to these features now. Check it out and let us know what you think. If you’re not a customer, sign up for a free trial to experience autonomous testing. We’d love to hear what you think of the new features. Please share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.

Today I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jake Kaldenbaugh, Strategic Exit (M&A) Advisor at GrowthPoint Technology Partners to discuss the state of the software development industry. As a senior banking leader Jake helps growing technology companies with great technology create strategic value.

In this interview Jake covers:

About GrowthPoint Technology Partners

GrowthPoint Technology Partners is an emerging growth investment banking boutique that helps growing technology firms with great technology create strategic value. Our team identifies leading companies in the areas of data, analytics, infrastructure, virtualization, security and systems management and helps lead them through successful value realization strategies that enable entrepreneurs and investors to achieve their best results.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our round table discussion on Choosing the Right DevOps Strategy: How far left should I shift? We had a solid turnout with lots of great questions from the audience. If you missed the live event, don’t worry…

You can watch the recorded session any time:

Tanya Kravtsov, Director of QA at Audible, and Bob Crews, President of Checkpoint Technologies shared their lessons learned from four different types of enterprise DevOps transformations.

They covered:

  • Practical suggestions for assessing your operational reality
  • Major pitfalls in DevOps transformations and how to avoid them
  • How to organize your team to increase productivity
  • Impact on development processes, ownership, tool stack and KPIs

Some of the audience questions they answered:

  • How do you ensure that security requirements are always considered in DevOps?
  • Which KPIs are important to track to ensure successful DevOps transformation?
  • What is an acceptable amount of technical debt? How do we know when it becomes a problem?
  • What are some metrics for measuring risk?

There were several questions that we were not able to address during the live event so I followed up with the panelist afterwards to get their answers.

Q: Why was continuous deployment listed twice on the diagrams?

Francis: Great catch. That was actually a typo, a marketing design bug slipped through to production… The “Continuous Deployment” label shown to the upper left, within the square encompassing the “Build” and “Test” phases in both the upper (Continuous Delivery) and bottom (Continuous Deployment) cycles, should have been labeled “Continuous Integration.”

Q: In reference to CD /CI what are the main benefits of doing smoke testing after production deployment? And, what could be an example of smoke testing?  

Tanya: Smoke test validating the most critical functionality of the product should be executed after every deployment to test the staging and production environments. This will help you uncover any deployment related issues and rollback the release if necessary without impacting the customer.  

Bob: Examples of “smoke testing” would be quick test to check for and validate successful login with valid data, login error message with invalid data, checking for broken links, tests to quickly validate the number and state of objects on a webpage, etc. These are very simple, but important tests. Typically they are run in production as one last check since many, perhaps most, organizations do not have a test environment that is an EXACT duplicate of production.

Q: Are automated tests the entire QA solution across all these organizations? Do the panelists see any value in manual, exploratory QA testers?

Tanya: Automated tests are an important component of the Continuous Delivery solution. It enables exploratory QA testers to focus on what they do best and actually test the new features of the product  by eliminating the need for manually running the same regression tests every time new code is committed.  

Bob: Absolutely. I believe it’s critical to carve out an approach to perform some quick manual, exploratory tests. These can be done as a separate initiative, apart from the validation taking place during these phases.

Q: What approach we should follow to test DevOps solutions?

Tanya: Any scripted DevOps solutions should be treated just like any code,  accompanied by unit and integration tests which run continuously in a test environment before the changes get promoted to the mainline.  In addition,  closely tracking KPIs discussed in the Webinar will alert us to any issues with the current solutions such as build up of technical debt or reduction in quality,  which should be acted upon immediately.   

Bob: I would need a little more information in order to provide a good answer. Knowing the current state of the organization’s testing approach, their objectives, the tools already in place, the skill set of current team members, etc. are just a few questions I would have before being able to provide any insight. If starting from scratch I would say start with becoming entrenched in an Agile approach. If you are already Agile then the next step would be to look at tackling Continuous Integration. Please feel free to connect with me Linkedin and I would be happy to chat more about your question.

About Tanya Kravtsov
Tanya Kravtsov is the Director of QA at Audible. She is building a new QA organization to support innovative web product development at scale. Previously, as head of automation and continuous delivery at ROKITT, senior QA manager at Syncsort, and VP at Morgan Stanley, Tanya focused on quality, automation, and DevOps practices, working with internal and external customers to transform development and testing processes. Tanya is passionate about process automation, continuous integration, and continuous delivery. She is a founder of the DevOpsQA NJ Meetup group and a frequent speaker at STAREAST, QUEST, and other conferences and events. Follow her on Twitter @DevOpsQA.

About Bob Crews
Bob Crews is the President of Checkpoint Technologies. He is a consultant and trainer with almost three decades of I.T. experience including full life-cycle development involving development, requirements management and software testing. He is also the President of the Tampa Bay Quality Assurance Association. He has consulted and trained for over 200 different organizations in areas such as effectively using automated testing solutions, test planning, implementing automated frameworks and developing practices which ensure the maximum return-on-investment with automated solutions.

Should the goals and principles of DevOps be the same for every company? Is it possible for every company to reach CI/CD? 

Software delivery teams come in all different shapes and sizes. Each team has its own DNA that has organically evolved through generations of diverse experiences, skill sets, tools, technologies and sets of processes.

So, if every project team looks entirely different than the next, where do you start?

RESERVE YOUR SEAT for  this roundtable discussion where we will cover different types of organizational situations and the common as well as unique challenges each situation may face in their DevOps transition. We will review ways to address specific inefficiencies in each situations development process as well as how to plan accordingly and minimize risk along the way.

Date: Wednesday, November 15
Time: 9:00am PT

We will cover:

  • How to transition to DevOps and align your development, testing and release processes
  • How to plan for your DevOps transition based on your current operational reality
  • A breakdown of common as well as unique DevOps obstacles
  • A method for systematically resolving your development issues to enable test automation

 RESERVE YOUR SEAT and bring your questions for the panelists:

  • Tanya Kravtsov is the Director of QA at Audible. She is building a new QA organization to support innovative web product development at scale. Previously, as head of automation and continuous delivery at ROKITT, senior QA manager at Syncsort, and VP at Morgan Stanley, Tanya focused on quality, automation, and DevOps practices, working with internal and external customers to transform development and testing processes. Tanya is passionate about process automation, continuous integration, and continuous delivery. She is a founder of the DevOpsQA NJ Meetup group and a frequent speaker at STAREAST, QUEST, and other conferences and events. Follow her on Twitter @DevOpsQA.
  • Bob Crews is the President of Checkpoint Technologies. He is a consultant and trainer with almost three decades of I.T. experience including full life-cycle development involving development, requirements management and software testing. He is also the President of the Tampa Bay Quality Assurance Association. He has consulted and trained for over 200 different organizations in areas such as effectively using automated testing solutions, test planning, implementing automated frameworks and developing practices which ensure the maximum return-on-investment with automated solutions.

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