Surfing through the ‘TESTING TIMES’

Manjunath Adisesh

Surfing through the ‘TESTING TIMES’

A leading fortune 200 company, faced immense challenges due to increasing technical complexities, heterogeneous application portfolio and rapid releases to cater to ongoing business demand. A very strict timeline added to the pressure to execute testing accurately and intuitively. With diverse technologies and multiple builds not readily available, testing became even more challenging. The solution? The Next Generation of Testing Technology

TESTING ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE

Testing has always been an inherently difficult process, one that requires experience and expertise, as well as close collaboration between development and production teams (which hasn’t always occurred). But, more recently, testing has become rather technical and more sophisticated for several reasons.

Explosion of mobile and the ever-increasing demands to create advanced and full-functioning apps and platforms has made testing as technical as it’s ever been. Add to the mix, associated innovations like Internet of Things (IoT) devices and strict development timelines and budgets, and it’s become a perfect storm of testing complexities.

Testing, as it has been done in the past, often relies on the availability of services, but some applications may not be available because they haven’t been fully developed. Firewalls and third-party services also often present a problem (as well as additional costs). In some cases, services use older technology, adding to the obstacles.

The entire environment for testing has changed, bringing with it many uncertainties and roadblocks with traditional testing approaches. For example, when developing mobile apps nowadays, testing would typically rely on backend mainframes or ERP systems, custom coding on the server side might access some pretty big databases, and third-party services must be depended on for a delivery schedule and availability.

When you look at all those factors – and potentially many more variables – it makes the prospect of testing reliably, quickly, and cost-effectively a very tough task. Testing is more technical than ever, and QA competencies have to align with emerging themes on DevOps and Agile.

So, in this new testing environment, where time-to-market demands and technical complexity has increased along with the potential lack of service availability, resources, and a fully developed app or platform… what do we do?  What is the solution?

 

EMBRACING THE NEXT GEN TESTING PLATFORM

To address the growing complexities and challenges of testing robust and advanced applications and platforms, it is a must to embrace and add layers to the next generation of testing technology.

The Nextgen platform is a preventive, scientific and tool driven assurance platform that helps manage and mitigate program risks and assures the software quality across your entire value chain.  Industrialization helps reduce the cycle time of testing, increases the predictability and consistency of releases. The platform seamlessly works across agile and DevOps models leveraging Service Virtualization.

And the benefits are significant:

  • No more delays due to lack of availability of mainframes
  • Avoid relying on third parties
  • Perform testing whenever your team is ready
  • Avoid the typical provisioning delays
  • Deliver new apps and platforms faster with less cost
  • Decrease costs associated with making testing environments available to development teams

Lifecycle automation is another important aspect of any testing solution nowadays. Starting automation at the requirements stage is essential for predicting defects and determining what can possibly go wrong. The technical skills needed to build mathematical models, engineer algorithms and more, means that testing teams must have the breadth of experience for both service virtualization and early lifecycle automation approaches.

‘SHIFT LEFT’ TOWARDS BUSINESS ASSURANCE

As we look at the current state of IT, emerging trends, and testing practices, there are some noteworthy key factors:

  • Advances into cognitive methods will need reassessing and deeper thinking on testing and automation, understanding that it all must work with emerging technologies and new developments
  • Cloud and mobile technologies are at the forefront, and testing teams have to become more “assurance” oriented amidst layers of complexity and higher dependency on automation
  • Testing teams will have to become good domain and process area specialists since the demand will stem from business IT teams of customers… not just the IT arm of the organization
  • Business teams will play a major role in verification and validation collaboration, given the shorter time to market and development cycles in emerging scenarios.
  • Business assurance is critical and testing teams are expected to be more vigilant than ever before and must be able to prove that they can boost the company’s overall ability to operate at peak performance in the SMAC world
  • As a consequence of today’s digitalization centered on business outcomes, testing teams must ensure the accuracy of their efforts – through proper verification and precise validation, ensuring that all functional risk areas fulfill the needs of consumers and real-life use.

This trend decidedly favoring business outcomes means testing must embrace new best practices, and as the industry moves into realms of new approaches like DevOps models, the need for service virtualization cannot be overemphasized. With continuous integration being a reality, continuous testing is enabled through technical nous. At various levels, the technical impetus of testing teams is needed to execute on projects seamlessly.

API Testing

API testing with solution frameworks to enable faster and cheaper ways of testing, while not compromising on quality is imperative. While the GUI builds are on the way, testing teams can continue with testing functionalities on time so that deployment readiness is not compromised. Coverage and accuracy plays an important role while executing API testing. With automation tools, that task is made simpler for the business teams.

Mobile Testing

Mobile solutions need thorough testing, since the user experience is important and all elements of functionality need to be assessed and tested, always keeping the consumer in mind. There are various scenarios and many devices that come into play, and the mix of technologies continues to be large. Leveraging cloud platforms for mobility has become an essential part of the picture, due to its many technical advantages, as well as its cost-effectiveness. Finally, the ability to test on all platforms and all kinds of devices is paramount.

EARLY AUTOMATION AND SHIFT LEFT

In today’s world, business teams and IT teams have to come together while assuring deployment across the IT landscape. If business users can themselves test their requirements – the entire gamut of testing changes!

As discussed above, early automation enabled by easy-to-use frameworks are percolating through the enterprises now, and while requirements are being drawn and design being finalized, business teams can leverage the strengths of automation frameworks to build their own repository of tests that are automated. This removes the critical dependency of being reliant on someone else to do the testing. At the same time, these frameworks do not eat into the busy schedules of business teams.

This makes QA teams enablers. The entire paradigm shifts towards integrating teams. Plus, testing is moved to the early part of the software lifecycle, instead of being something that needs to be done at the tail end of projects. For example, the Quinnox team recently has taken this approach with a large fashion company. These principles of “shift left” are being brought into use with early participation in the requirements phase, which enables deeper and more thorough testing of applications. Automation, risk-based testing, performance testing, and building utilities enable just the right amount of testing to validate coverage and assure deployment.

IMMENSE ADVANTAGES

Emerging trends call into question the role that testing and QA plays in the entire lifecycle of deployment. In today’s environment, organizations must assess the impact of testing as well as big innovations like IoT. All of this points to testing becoming increasingly technical and complex.

The good news is that, with the right team on your side, organizations today can make testing more agile, faster, and cost-effective than ever. Providing the testing team you partner with has the technical skills and experience at the different levels described here, the competitive advantages are immense

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

Manjunath Adisesh has spent over 2 decades in the IT services industry working with diverse customers and industry groups while delivering successful projects across QA solutions and has strengths in enterprise QA solutions. His passions include QA technologies to improve product and software testing, early intervention to prevent leakages and focus on business needs to improve time to market for customers.

ABOUT QUINNOX

Quinnox is a NIMBLE and AGILE technology-driven business services enablement partner to forward-thinking enterprises. We drive digital business value, enable industry platforms and solutions, and simplify business processes. Quinnox has engaged in several major verticals, with expert teams that have highly specialized industry experience in financial services, manufacturing, and retail and consumer goods.  As a midsize company, we focus on helping customers benefit and gain a competitive advantage from our "sweet spot" in unmatched expertise and enhancing the customer experience.