Move over, DevOps. Well, more specifically, Dev, you slide over to the left, and Ops, you move a bit to your right. We’ve got to make room for Test.
“DevTestOps. DTO. I kind of like the speed element to it,” Tom Lounibos, CEO of testing tool company SOASTA, told me during an interview earlier this summer. “It sounds like a Camaro in the ‘70s.”
What’s driving this notion of DevTestOps, of course, is increased business agility, which Lounibos said would naturally force some compression in the application life cycle.
“Design, build, test, deploy and maintain has to compress at certain levels,” he said, noting that developers who now do 5% to 10% of testing—predominantly unit testing—will be able to do 30% to 40% of the testing through such things as test automation.
“The testing community hasn’t changed dynamically as much as some of the other markets,” said Lounibos. “When you look at the Ops market, like sys admins and those guys, they’ve had a fundamental shift going on here for the last 4-5 years with cloud computing, all-around agility and elasticity, and really it’s changing the way we deliver applications. Developers have always had new tools and such, but testing has predominantly been done with old-school tools like Mercury’s QTP or LoadRunner. So we’ve become the disruptive new player in that space because we’re introducing concepts like cloud testing and test automation capabilities as well as really advanced analytics associated to those tests. There’s a true opportunity there, but ultimately it’s to help folks, to help testing and quality keep up with what’s going on on the development side and what’s going on on the deployment side.”
And the business side. Businesses know they must be able to reach potential customers who use a large variety of personal devices to stay connected, but Lounibos said the explosion of devices—from tablets to phones to Google glasses, on myriad hardware, running a variety of operating systems—caught some larger enterprises off-guard. “All of these [devices] are really cool and great, and it gives the developer all kinds of forms of creativity, and on our side of the fence, they introduce all kinds of new opportunities for performance and quality issues,” he remarked. “…Developers want to take advantage of all these cool things, these user-interface capabilities like advanced gestures, hovering gestures, 3-D navigation and these kinds of things, but they also don’t want to introduce quality issues, and so testing has become pretty important to the developer, and developers are now doing more of the testing themselves and using more test automation to get it done.”
SOASTA, known for its CloudTest product introduced in 2008, launched CloudTest Mobile this year. Lounibos noted that some 70% of all mobile apps are manually tested. “That means five guys in the back room pinching and rotating and swiping and doing all these types of things around an app. That doesn’t give you any uniform analytics, it doesn’t give you the precision of testing, so CloudTest Mobile is all about precision and automation.” He said some of his customers are writing and testing applications for 100 or 150 different types of devices, with all kinds of differences that might be impacted by a change of feature within an application.
With agile development, continuous integration and DevOps, thousands of tests could be required, 24×7, to keep pace, and that requires test automation. The real benefit is that it will give the end user a much better experience with the application.