#ATAGTR2023 Speaker

Welcome to the 8th Edition of the Global Testing Retreat 2023!

About Speaker

Ashish has progressive over decade experience in application management, deployments and maintenance. A passionate individual with a knack for innovation and a love for problem solving. He is working as Senior Manager in _VOIS. Ashish also believes in giving back to the society and is also doing philanthropic work in the field of Environment, Education and Empowerment

Ashish Kumar

Senior Manager at VOIS

Interactive Talk - Strengthening Testing Oversight Using Environment Automation

Strengthening Testing Oversight Using Environment Automation

In the rapidly evolving landscape of software development, ensuring the quality and reliability of applications has become a paramount concern for organizations. Rigorous testing is essential to identify and rectify defects, ensure optimal performance, and deliver a seamless user experience. However, the complexity of modern software systems and the need for extensive testing across various environments present significant challenges for testing oversight. To address these challenges, many organizations are turning to environment automation as a strategy to strengthen their testing oversight. This article explores the key aspects of strengthening testing oversight using In-house built in environment automation, highlighting its benefits, challenges, best practices, and the potential it holds for the future.


The Imperative for Strengthened Testing Oversight:

In today’s competitive market, software failures can lead to devastating consequences for businesses, including financial losses, reputational damage, and loss of customer trust. Robust testing oversight is crucial to identify issues early in the development cycle and ensure that software meets user expectations. Traditional manual testing approaches, while valuable, are often time-consuming, error-prone, and incapable of covering the extensive range of scenarios and environments that modern applications need to support.


Environment automation offers a solution to these challenges by providing a systematic and efficient way to create, manage, and replicate testing environments. By automating the provisioning of test

environments, organizations can achieve consistent and reliable conditions for testing across various configurations, reducing the risk of overlooking critical defects.


Benefits of Strengthening Testing Oversight with Environment Automation:

  1. Consistency and Reproducibility: Automated environment provisioning ensures that testing is conducted in consistent conditions, eliminating discrepancies between different testing cycles and minimizing false positives/negatives. 
  1. Time and Cost Savings: Automation accelerates the process of environment setup and teardown, reducing the time required for testing cycles. This efficiency translates into cost savings and faster time-to-market. Internal solution also helps tool license cost. 
  1. Coverage Expansion: Automation enables the testing of a broader range of configurations, including different operating systems, browsers, and hardware setups, leading to enhanced test coverage. 
  1. Parallel Testing: Automated environment creation allows for parallel testing on multiple configurations, significantly reducing testing duration and enabling comprehensive validation. 
  1. Reduced Human Error: Manual environment setup can lead to inconsistencies or configuration errors. Automation mitigates this risk by ensuring accurate and repeatable environment creation. 
  1. Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD): Automated environment provisioning seamlessly integrates with CI/CD pipelines, enabling consistent testing across the development lifecycle. 
  1. Maximizing Testing Window : A fully automated environment solution can result in real time health status across geographical locations leading to maximize the environment availability for testing.

Challenges and Considerations:

While environment automation offers compelling advantages, its implementation is not without challenges:


  • Complex Test Environment Infrastructure: Multiple environments with complex integration of around 1000+ applications, databases hosted on thousands of (physical & virtual) servers consisting of UNIX, Linux, and Windows platform. The management and monitoring of such a huge global infrastructure of closely related applications & databases was tedious, highly time-consuming task
  • Coherent notification and response mechanism: With manual monitoring of test environments, human errors and delays in responding to application/database failures were inevitable. Absence of automated daily application health checks was resulting in more defects and in turn affecting testing timelines
  • Supporting Agile Delivery Model and Continuous Testing requirements: With Agile Deliveries and Continuous Testing methodologies becoming a standard and routine for all business partners, testing needs to be completed within the predefined Test execution schedule

Best Practices for Implementing Environment Automation:


  1. Clear Objectives: Define clear goals for environment automation, including the types of environments to be provisioned and the configurations to be supported. 
  2. Infrastructure as Code (IAC): Adopt IAC principles to define and manage infrastructure configurations in code, allowing for version control, consistency, and repeatability.  
  3. Standardized Templates: Create standardized environment templates that encompass the required software, dependencies, and configurations for testing.  
  4. Testing Framework Integration: Integrate environment automation with testing frameworks to trigger tests automatically upon environment provisioning.  
  5. Version Control: Apply version control practices to environment templates, ensuring that changes are tracked and can be rolled back if needed. 
  6. Automated Testing: Utilize automated testing scripts to validate the correctness and functionality of the provisioned environments.


The Future of Testing Oversight Using Environment Automation:


As organizations continue to embrace automation in their software development lifecycles, the future of testing oversight holds promising advancements:


  1. AI-Driven Environment Provisioning: Integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning could enable intelligent environment provisioning that adapts to application requirements and usage patterns. 
  1. Self-Healing Environments: Automated environment provisioning could incorporate self-healing capabilities, automatically detecting and rectifying configuration issues. 
  2. Enhanced Collaboration: Improved collaboration between development, testing, and operations teams could lead to more efficient environment management and better testing oversight. 
  3.  Ephemeral Environments: Organizations might move towards creating ephemeral environments that are spun up on-demand for testing and torn down once testing is complete, reducing infrastructure costs.  
  4. Real-time Monitoring and Analytics: Automated testing environments could be equipped with real-time monitoring and analytics capabilities, providing insights into the performance and behavior of the application.


In conclusion, strengthening testing oversight using environment automation is a strategic approach to ensuring the quality, reliability, and performance of software applications. By automating environment provisioning, organizations can achieve consistent and reproducible testing conditions, expand test coverage, and streamline the testing process. While challenges exist, adhering to best practices and embracing emerging technologies can help organizations unlock the full potential of environment automation for enhanced testing oversight. As technology continues to advance, the future promises even more sophisticated and intelligent approaches to environment automation, further elevating the quality and reliability of software applications.


Hear what Ashish and Sudhir have to say about the interactive session
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