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We know that quality engineering leads to better software, but when mabl surveyed over 600 software development professionals for our annual Testing in DevOps Report, we also realized that quality engineering leads to better software engineering organizations. As one of the few aspects of the software development pipeline that (ideally) touches every stage of development, QE is able to have a profound impact on the entire organization, making it central to DevOps adoption, maintaining customer satisfaction, and building an innovative company that consistently delivers functional, high-quality software. 

Software Testing Creates Connected, Adaptable Development Teams

The heart of every effective quality engineering team is software testing, both manual and automated. With an effective testing strategy, quality professionals are able to give continuous feedback to developers about how the overall product is evolving, what issues are emerging, and how to keep the user perspective at the center of development. When QE is central to building a culture of quality, the entire engineering team benefits from earlier bug detection, faster issue resolution, and higher confidence in the product. 

Quality-Centric Organizations Resolve Issues Faster 

Few things are more frustrating than discovering a major defect close to the ship date on a new feature or new product. Yet every software professional has likely encountered a similar situation, which probably led to stressful, caffeine-fueled nights trying to resolve the issue before their deadline. Such situations damage team morale and risk delaying product updates or worse, deploying bugs into production where customers can discover them. 

When quality is an integral part of the entire development process, the overall risk of major defects being discovered at the last minute is greatly reduced: 

Bar graph showing where issues were identified - by customers in prod, by manual testing in staging, development or production, in staging or development with automation or early in development. Companies with full devops and automated testing identified issues far more early in development.

As illustrated above, fully DevOps teams are almost three times more likely to identify defects early in development compared to organizations that are aspiring or striding to DevOps. This means that fully DevOps teams are much less likely to be frantically rewriting code days (or even hours) before a release date. 

When defects are discovered earlier in development, resolving them is a faster, simpler process: Bar graph showing time to fix bugs. Full DevOps teams with Automated testing saw bug fixes in fixes as opposed to multiple hours.

Most DevOps teams are able to fix bugs within a single business day, and roughly a quarter can find solutions in minutes. In contrast, the bulk of aspiring DevOps organizations are spending up to a full work week resolving bugs, which can seriously delay new products or features. An effective quality strategy that utilizes continuous testing dominoes throughout engineering organizations so that bugs are caught earlier and fixed faster. In other words, better QE equals fewer late nights and a more adaptable organization that’s able to respond quickly to product issues. 

QE Builds Team Confidence in The Product

Quality engineering teams are like the queen on a chessboard: they can go everywhere. As organizations adopt DevOps, they begin moving testing to the left so that quality is baked into every stage of the development pipeline. This gives QE the unique ability to influence how the entire team views their work and the product, helping build more confident engineering organizations. 

Let’s see how view of QE evolve as organizations progress on their DevOps journey:

Bar graph showing role of quality assurance. Full DevOps with Automated Testing test early and often with a culture of quality throughout dev.

Testing early and often with a culture of quality spikes to 51 percent among teams that are fully DevOps, beating even mostly DevOps organizations by 15 percentage points. When QE teams are able to collaborate throughout the entire software development lifecycle, they help the organization as a whole maintain focus on quality and the customer. This helps ensure that every aspect of the product works as intended, provides a positive user experience that contributes to customer loyalty, and boosts team confidence in their work. 

Bar graph showing role of quality assurance. Full DevOps with Automated Testing test early and often with a culture of quality throughout dev.

With DevOps supported by a culture of quality, releases are much less stressful. Aspiring DevOps teams - which are much more likely to consider QA a necessary evil and only test right before a release - are more than three times as likely to release code of unknown quality. When continuous testing is integrated into the DevOps pipeline, the entire engineering organization feels the impact of a higher quality product. 

Using Quality as a Shared Goal

Every software professional, from developers to product managers to QE, wants to build a high-quality product. But establishing what that means in a measurable way is a challenge, even when adopting DevOps methods to quantify the development process. Software testing produces valuable data that creates meaningful, measurable ways to understand product quality throughout development, making it easier to improve the engineering organization as a whole. When testing is utilized early and often in a culture of quality, it enables QE teams to support improvements across all aspects of the DevOps pipeline. 

Discover how quality engineering backed by continuous testing supports DevOps adoption in the full 2021 Testing in DevOps Report