In the world of software quality assurance (QA) testing, automating test environments can streamline the setup and management of test environments, enhance efficiency, improve accuracy, and accelerate software delivery.
A popular saying in the world of project management is, “you can have it done quickly, cheaply, or correctly, but you can only pick two.”
This adage was once true for software test environments (and software development in general). New tools that allow software environment testing automation for DevOps teams allow leadership to improve quality, efficiency, and velocity all at once.
Here we’ll show you how you can accomplish this with software testing environment automation.
1. Time and Cost Savings for Provisioning Software Testing Environments
Automating test environments significantly reduces the time and effort required to provision cloud resources and orchestrate the environment.
With traditional manual approaches, DevOps teams often spend considerable resources on installing and configuring the necessary software, databases, and dependencies for each testing cycle. Software testing automation helps our users create reusable templates defining all the components of their test environments.
This not only saves time but also reduces costs associated with manual labor and infrastructure.
Reusable templates also enable cloud cost optimization for software testing environments. By restricting access to modify configurations of templates for testing environments, DevOps and FinOps teams can ensure that the correct cloud services and configurations are being used, thereby preventing unnecessary cloud costs from oversized cloud instances.
2. Consistency and Reproducibility for Test Environments
Manual orchestration for testing environments is prone to human error and inconsistencies, leading to variations in test results.
Automated test environments ensure consistency and reproducibility of the testing process. By using a standardized template for the environment, test environments can be set up identically each time, eliminating variations caused by manual interventions. This consistency ensures reliable and repeatable test outcomes, enabling accurate comparisons between test runs and enhancing the reliability of QA testing.
3. Faster Feedback Loops for DevOps Teams Managing Test Environments
In the software development lifecycle, prompt feedback is vital for quick issue resolution and iterative improvement.
Automating test environments facilitates faster feedback loops by expediting the setup and execution of test cases. With on-demand provisioning of test environments, QA teams can rapidly deploy the required configurations, execute tests, and identify defects early in the development cycle. This enables developers to address issues promptly, leading to accelerated bug fixing and faster software iterations.
Automation also improves the feedback loop on the software test environment itself. For example, our users leverage automated drift detection to notify DevOps, and QA teams about unexpected changes to the configurations in their test environments. This allows testing teams to reconcile any changes that might disrupt the quality of the test environment proactively, resulting in more accurate tests.
4. Developer Productivity Due to Testing Environment Reusability
Manual environment setup often results in a siloed approach, where environments are created and discarded for specific testing cycles. This inefficiency leads to wasted time and resources.
Automating test environments as reusable templates makes them reusable across multiple test cycles and projects. Once a template for an environment is created and automated, it can be easily replicated or cloned for different testing needs. This reusability eliminates redundant efforts, enhances collaboration among QA teams, and ensures better utilization of resources.
Our users leverage this scalability to improve overall productivity via self-service access for testers, developers, and anyone else who may need a testing environment. With role-based access controls preventing any unwanted modifications to the configuration of the test environment, the DevOps team can distribute self-service access to deploy test environments on-demand as frequently as needed.
This eliminates the ticket-submission process that is common when many testing teams need an environment, along with the workload on the DevOps team and the wait time for the developer or tester who needs the environment.
5. Cloud Cost Optimization Due to Lifecycle Automation for Testing Environments
A common source of unnecessary cloud costs is zombie infrastructure, or cloud services that are left running longer than they’re needed.
Testing environment automation can reduce zombie infrastructure by automating the lifecycle of the infrastructure.
Our users accomplish this by deploying software testing environments automatically via Quali Torque. This allows administrators to set durations for all environments or schedule workflows to terminate all cloud resources based on operational schedules.
For example, a workflow that automatically deploys cloud infrastructure at the beginning of the workday and then shuts down that infrastructure at the end will ensure that all software testing environments can operate when needed, while preventing the budgetary risk from environments that are left running overnight.
To further integrate software testing environment automation into your team’s operations, you can also integrate your templates for testing environments into your CI/CD pipeline. This will ensure that the testing environment deploys at the onset of the testing stage of the pipeline, while automating shutdown after that stage is complete.
6. Improved Collaboration and Documentation for Testing Environments
Automated test environments facilitate seamless collaboration among different stakeholders involved in the QA testing process.
Since the environment setup is standardized via a reusable template, it becomes easier to share and document the configuration details. This promotes better communication between developers, testers, and other team members, as they can quickly understand the environment requirements and dependencies. Improved collaboration streamlines the testing process, reduces miscommunication, and fosters a more efficient and productive work environment.
The automation of test environments has become a vital aspect of modern software QA testing, revolutionizing the way organizations deliver high-quality software.
By automating environment setup and management, teams can save time, reduce costs, and achieve consistent and reproducible testing outcomes. Faster feedback loops, scalability, and parallel testing capabilities enable accelerated software iterations and improved time-to-market. Additionally, the reusability of automated environments enhances resource utilization and fosters collaboration among QA teams. Embracing test environment automation empowers organizations to optimize their QA testing efforts, leading to higher-quality software products and a competitive edge in the dynamic digital landscape.