Before we look at why many organisations look at tools in order to adopt a DevOps way of working, let’s look back in time when test automation was the ‘hot ticket’.
I remember working for Mercury Interactive (Winrunner, Loadrunner, Test Director… remember those?) back in the early 2000’s and I can see history repeating itself again with DevOps adoption.
Back then, when ‘record and play’ test automation was seen as the ‘silver bullet’ of testing there was an insatiable appetite from organisations to rush out and purchase the leading tool, without any thought around the ‘why?’
There is a plethora of DevOps ‘tools’ out there (as image shows) and here’s my advice with regards to your tool selection for DevOps adoption. Do not be driven by the shiniest tools and the best vendor promises.
DevOps is not simply achieved by adopting new tools, but of course having the right ones help. Understand your organisations needs, ask ‘why?’ first; then build your tool chain with insight and don’t forget to measure your success with key metrics!
A DevOps tool chain refers to the tools need to allow DevOps continuous integration, continuous deployment, continuous release and ops elements to functions seamlessly.
Organisations strive to achieve flow across the organisation, ensuring that innovation and responsiveness to customer needs is unimpeded by bottlenecks. Integration across tools is important but remember this does not mean a single vendor solution is the only way. DevOps practices positively encourage allowing teams to choose the tool(s) right for their needs. Tools should support the process, the flow, not force certain ways of working.
Plan and design your tool chain
Before embarking on areas such as Automation – testing, environment provisioning, monitoring and any other repetitive tasks that can be automated, make sure you have a strategy.
Again, understand the ‘why?’ and don’t let vendors or tools define your DevOps strategy.
As an example, we all know that automating a task accelerates it, making it repeatable and efficient but only if the automation is right and the tool choices fit for purpose. Make sure an automated task is in version control so you can track changes. Your tool chain MUST include version control and this must be across all of your automation code.
Make sure your tool chain plan encapsulates all elements of the DevOps lifecycle.
Not Just Automation
Remember, DevOps is not all about Automation it is about culture too (see my previous blog on C.A.L.M.S.), collaboration tools are a great way of encouraging integration and in turn assist with flow.
Without the ability to measure your DevOps practices you have no way of calculating value. Ensure your tool choices give you visibility of the efficiency and value gains being achieved (or not). As an example, your test automation and build systems should clearly show improvements in coverage, duration and so on.
At Accelerate QA we help customers transform their delivery practices and identify the right tool choices for their organisational needs. An independent and agnostic view on the DevOps tools available so you can make informed decisions for your DevOps adoption.