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Capping IT Off

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How Test Automation implements Shift Left

Category : Testing

Since  last year I have been involved in a project for the Setup of Testing Center of Competence for a customer possessing  a strong skill set for the use of test automation for regression.

A clear accelerator to increase test maturity and to promote testing awareness has to be identified in a tool-based solution to introduce test automation early as possible in the projects lifecycle. This will  support development teams to verify critical business components like services.

In this blog I will elaborate on the possibility by test automation to implement shift left approach.

Automation: yesterday and now

World Quality Report 2015-2016 shows that the average percentage of test case automation has increased from 28% to 45% in the last year; this is also due to the shorter time frames demanded in an agile and DevOps-driven environment: now test automation is integral to continuous testing as part of continuous delivery. Maturity and availability of a variety of test automation tools (licensed, open source, custom) is driving the increased adoption of test automation across the software development cycle. Test automation has come a long way from the traditional graphical user interface driven, record and playback testing and defect management, but now is embracing the integrated automation of QA aspects across the lifecycle.

Shift left and PointZERO®

Shift left approach, implemented in Capgemini/Sogeti vision PointZERO®, refers to doing things right from the very first moment, avoiding wasting effort on rework that can be prevented by addressing quality from the earliest moment in the application lifecycle: “right first time”. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time do it over” (John Wooden) and “Quality comes not from testing, but from improvement of the development process” (William Edwards Deming) could be considered as two main leitmotifs of PointZERO®.

Shift left techniques, whereby testing moves earlier in the application lifecycle towards requirements and development, are viewed as the greatest lever for agile delivery in World Quality Report 2015-2016. More focus on structural unit testing, test driven development (TDD), behavior driven development (BDD) and application program interface (API) testing and services are examples of shift left techniques.

Shift left by Test Automation through a tool-based solution

Services today are the software components where the business logic has been implemented, so represent one of the most critical areas to be validated. On the other hand, from a technical point of view, the test of a service is a matter of call the service with input data and check the service’s results (and number and type of I/O parameters is part of definition of service itself). The different combination of test data have the goal to validate the different expected behaviors based on test design.

In a project to support the creation and setup of a Testing Center of Competence for a customer with already a strong skill about the use of test automation for not-regression, we are able to deliver a custom portal (on the customer’s intranet) to automatically generate scripts for the test automation of services for different areas. The portal can be used by Test Managers without the need of Test Scripts Developers and is available also to development teams.

What are the main benefits of such a solution?

·         Effective Shift left: moving test automation activities inside the development phase so to increase test efficiency

·         Test data in advance: test data management remains complex with strong challenges as also stated in the last World Quality Report. With such a tool, development teams have to ensure test data for automation in advance

·         Promote testing and cooperation – from walls to bridges: in a maturing organization cooperation shifts from working in silos to cross-competence collaboration. Today, with the increased utilization of agile and DevOps approaches, teams often known to build walls have to use the same stones to build bridges to reach out to both sides of the same world (Development and Operation). Such a challenge can be addressed at the beginning by destroying the walls between Test Automation factory and development teams. Portal for services in the hands of the project teams is a key success point in this needed transformation roadmap

 

Follow the link to access the World Quality Report 2015-16 - http://expert.do/1M7uOsI

Follow the link to access PointZERO vision - https://www.capgemini.com/testing-services/pointzeror

About the author

Marco Bonanni

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