How To Shift-Right in DevOps with Test Automation

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Accelerating software delivery is a challenge.

The DevOps paradigm contributed to foster an ecosystem in which software changes are more rapidly delivered to production.

But that acceleration increases the risk of introducing defects that can be caught during development and operations phases.

That’s where the Shift-Right paradigm is useful, focusing on improving the product quality by acting on the end of the software lifecycle, near its operations.

This article shares the Shift-right practices that can be implemented with test automation to contribute to the acceleration of valuable software.

Follow Cerberus Testing for more open-source test automation.

Enrich test techniques before production

One important environment similar yet still before production is the staging or pre-production environment.

Cloud technologies ease the implementation of such environments enabling more teams to enrich their test techniques at that stage.

Different types of performance, security test, among others can be performed at that stage to detect issues in an environment much more similar to the production one.

Teams can start by manually launching the set of automated tests, even if their goal is to fully automate their execution before gradually releasing the software.

Add post-deployment sanity checks

Once a new version of an application is deployed in production, one vital question must be answered fast: “Is the application working as expected”?

Companies cannot wait for real traffic to verify the effectiveness of the delivered software changes; they need a solution to quickly assess the state of the delivery.

Sanity checks are usually a minimal set of automated tests that once executed, guarantee that the essential services of the application are working as expected.

They are quite useful when automatically triggered after the deployment in a specific environment, before relying on monitoring.

Continuously monitor customer journeys

Monitoring is a form of continuous testing done in a specific environment, in our case in the ones of production and nearby production.

An emphasis on customer journeys with monitoring solutions let the team much more confident about knowing if users can actually use the software anytime.

Another added-value of customer journeys is to be alerted on end-user issues, even if the problem comes from infrastructure instability, something that cannot be anticipated.

Such user-oriented shift-right practice can even be extended to follow a set of critical business metrics, acting as a heartbeat.

Keep track of business metrics heartbeat 

Business continuity is a must-have for digital companies delivering their services 24/7, usually worldwide and on many devices.

Shifting-right the testing on critical business metrics ensures that applications are performing business functions on-time and according to the defined ranges.

Similarly to customer journey monitoring, this practice also enables to detect underlying infrastructure issues that impact the business, even not monitoring it.

Over time, such monitoring creates a useful history organizations can leverage to know on which objectives and agreements they can provide commitment.

Measure service level performance

Service levels are objective measures of performance that explicit service expectations. The concept of SLIs, SLOs and SLAs are used in software.

All types of service levels have a defined range and values that must be first measured to know the results, to then alert on it to react as soon as possible.

Availability, latency, error rate are all standard metrics to implement with service level management. Test automation can help to implement such metrics.

At the end the goal is not to test in Shift-right, it’s about improving the delivery and operations of software on a continuous basis.

Accelerate with Shift-Right Test Automation

Shift-right with test automation is essential to help teams measuring and improving the software in the critical phases of deployment and operations.

It’s about giving them the confidence that they can iterate with speed, as well as detect fast if something goes wrong, to react quickly to any issue.

Test automation in Shift-right in an accelerator, providing the power of automation to the verification of business and customer expectations.

Cerberus Testing helps you to implement such practices with campaign management, notifications, integrations and native dashboards.

It is a question of starting.

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