Testifi: Devops Automation Partner for Digital Leaders
Daniel Burns, Co-Founder & CEO
There is a little-known adage in the inner circles of the software development world that goes like this: “Automating chaos just leads to faster chaos.” The later a defect is discovered the more expensive it is to fix, testing often and early through test automation significantly reduces the chances of defect living a long and destructive life. Test automation, on the other hand, is not for the faint of heart; it takes a significant effort and high costs to achieve an effective framework. This is why automotive companies and Telcos alike trust Testifi for implementing test automation and enhancing the agility of their work environments. Known for its finesse in deploying cost-effective solutions, Testifi has garnered significant visibility for its ability to set up CAST (Complete Automated System Test), its holistic automation test environment in under four weeks. A remarkable time frame, when compared to the traditional providers that take many months to build up an effective solution.
“Testifi’s key differentiating factor is our ability to deliver test automation capabilities in the context of a full DevOps solution. We focus on system-specific customization of test automation solutions, deeply integrated into the software delivery process, creating a single touchpoint for the business and an audit trail that is beyond reproach,” mentions Daniel Burns, CEO, and co-founder, Testifi. An alumnus of The Technical University of Munich with testing experience of more than a decade, Burns mentions that reaping the maximum returns only occurs when the test automation framework is integrated with an organisation’s existing software delivery processes. Test automation is beneficial to developers if they receive quick feedback based on the test results. “It’s not just having test automation, its how the test automation is used that makes the difference.” Thus, feedback from the test automation helps developers focus on critical areas that demand high attention and serves as a catalyst in unearthing the critical, showstopper bugs that could expose the business to failures and a damaged reputation.
"Testifi’s key differentiating factor is our ability to deliver test automation capabilities in the context of a full DevOps solution"
From Ideation to Delivery
Shedding more light on Testifi’s customer onboarding approach and the general ideation-to-delivery journey, Burns explains that his organisation has worked with a broad spectrum of enterprises with varying degrees of technological maturity. While some of the decision makers understand how automation could drive their businesses forward, others are relatively naïve about the benefits of automation as compared to the traditional manual approach. Testifi takes its time and educates the customer on the myriad benefits that automation brings to the table before studying the customer’s existing software delivery mechanism and chalks out a test strategy to enhance the efficiency of their software development teams, helping them build better products and innovate faster.
There is no true DevOps without Continuous Testing and no Continuous Testing without Automated Testing. This requires a step-by-step approach to develop a holistic solution, Team Testifi breaks down the business’ existing workflows and use cases into granular building blocks. Once these building blocks have been boiled down to the minimum effective mass, then the process of developing the automated tests becomes standardized and therefore dramatically faster.
The success of any test automation activity is determined by its integration into the continuous delivery pipeline. Through our industry-leading approach, we create a single touch point for businesses
A deeper analysis at a technical level helps to create an optimized test suite with high levels of technical code coverage.
Requirement elicitation and analysis, a vital activity, is carried also out and documented. The record created serves as a blueprint that steers the test automation strategy. Based on the growing understanding of the system under test during this stage, Testifi creates a dynamic test environment deeply embedded in a continuous delivery pipeline. Paving the way for the next level of test automation, test driven development, whereby test cases are scripted before development begins. The requirements are now expressed as tests, which in turn are used by the developers as their specification. This ‘living documentation’ is the ultimate risk-prevention measure. The status of each and every feature is always known, and the documentation is always up to date.
Testifi takes this ‘living documentation’ even further. Each new feature triggers a branch in the code. Each feature branch is isolated and independently built, deployed and tested. Each element of feature specification is defined specifically as a series of automated acceptance tests. These tests describe the changes to the GUI, to the databases, to the message queues. The full-stack is available, measurable and testable. Acceptance tests, thus developed to address each acceptance criteria for each feature, reveal a clear picture of how much development has been ‘done’ and how much is still ‘in progress’. This priceless information is available, in realtime, to all the concerned stakeholders. In addition, in a bid to prevent unforeseen critical defects and accomplish the goal of building an ideal, shippable code, Testifi executes functional, non-functional, and security tests as well. Each change to the system, no matter how big or small is treated with the same respect. Each change to the system that passes through the Testifi Continuous Delivery pipeline comes out as a fully qualified, fully validated, ‘ready-to-ship’ version of the software. Release cycles go from days, weeks or months down to mere minutes. Faster, better and, in the long run, cheaper software.
A True Developer’s Delight
Saving time for developers, at the most basic level, means reducing the number of clicks and redundant tasks that are the bane of development. This redundancy is reduced simplifying the development ecosystem. Testifi employs JIRA, a popular task management tool, Xray (a Test Management ‘app’ for Jira), and Jenkins, to create this holistic test environment for its clients. “The success of any test automation activity is determined by its integration into the continuous delivery pipeline. Through our industry-leading approach, we create a single touch point for businesses,” states Burns. Yet another advantage of these applications is that all the concerned stakeholders are notified about the number of features that have been tested at any given time: “Test before you develop”.
Testifi’s testing solution is developer-centric and is aimed at making product development less-strenuous; whatever can be automated… is. Compilation of release notes are automated, metrics are pulled and combined from all components of the Continuous Integration toolchain. In short, the overhead associated with delivering software is massively reduced allow the development teams to focus on delivering innovation. By creating a disciplined and structured process, then the teams are free to innovate creatively.
Testifi’s decision makers have been watchful over emerging technologies since the firm’s early days, to keep pace with the evolution and have adopted best-of-breed practices into the DevOps framework tailored for their clients. Burns opines that embracing the latest technologies not only empowers their clients but also amplifies their own capabilities and reputation as a DevOps solution provider.
Where Leaders Go for Their Test Automation Needs
Impressively, within a couple of years since its inception, Testifi has become a trusted partner for many prominent firms across sectors. Recently, a renowned telecom service provider procured several components that included hundreds of microservices from third-party vendors. During the time, they realized they had little control over the development and customization of these foreign components. “Testifi addressed every aspect of the telecom firm’s online video services at a microservice level. Most importantly, two key services were to be synchronized and run on a daily basis, and the data across these channels had to be consistent,” he explains. Testifi ensured regular validation of the live data by creating and implementing a series of tests, for retrieving and comparing individual pieces of data with the other. Thus, a massive amount of information was scrutinized and processed, rendering the telecom service provider vital reports multiple times per day.
Sharing his organisation’s experience of working with a leading automobile manufacturer, Burns mentions that in a couple of years since the collaboration, Testifi developed more than 5,000 automated tests for the highly reputed company. Two of the key accomplishments of the firm during this engagement was the modification of many manual test cases to suit Testifi’s automated framework and the execution of the 5,000-case set in less than 30 minutes.
“For the car manufacturer, the problems didn’t end there and based on their fruitful teaming up with Testifi, the way test automation was conducting was radically changed. By integrating the test cases into Testifi’s framework 750 tests were reduced drastically to a mere ninety and the execution time of the automated from 40 minutes to less than 2 minutes. Faster, better and more effective. Testifi can come into any project and implement a solution to improve the existing tests or infrastructure and create a solution for the past, the present and the future, not just for Test Automation, but the full software delivery process.”
Living up to its Name
In its effort to make its test automation framework highly reliable, effective, and trustworthy, Testifi is continually enhancing and refining its capability. Burns adds that the organisation’s agility has made them a trusted partner of many firms and is a factor that has differentiated Testifi from competitors and industry peers. As a part of its roadmap, the company trains its consultants in advanced DevOps courses. The firm is striving to extract the benefits of trending cutting-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning to empower clients with more high-performing test automation workflows. “We are planning to be an AWS-accredited advanced APN partner in the next few months and currently migrating completely onto AWS cloud. We can also run entirely localized solutions using the customers own hardware. Testifi also plans to associate with Jenkins, Atlassian and Elastic.co as accredited solution providers,” mentions Burns. The company is hopeful that this accreditation will amplify their presence even further.
The organisation has established the reputation of being a trustworthy test automation and DevOps solution provider across Munich and intends to increase its reach throughout Germany, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. Testifi has come a long way since its humble start and is well on its way to being a force to be reckoned with in a global market.
- Joe Phillip August 22, 2019
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