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2023 is already promising to be a significant year for quality professionals as more organizations turn to quality engineering and software testing to improve the customer experience, support CI/CD adoption, and enhance DevOps practices. To fulfill this mandate, QA leaders are upskilling their teams, embracing automation, and integrating testing into development pipelines. 

The State of Testing in DevOps

Mabl’s 2022 Testing in DevOps Report surveyed nearly 600 software testers, QA managers, developers, and engineering leaders to take the pulse on software quality and DevOps adoption. By focusing specifically on the role and impact of testing on software development, the Testing in DevOps Report spotlights how DevOps and software quality will evolve in the new year. 

Key trends:

  • DevOps adoption remained steady: Comparing 2021 to 2022, there were very few changes in the proportion of companies at each stage of DevOps transformation. Though there was a slight increase in organizations who consider themselves fully DevOps, there was a corresponding decrease in mostly DevOps organizations and aspiring DevOps teams. The only category to remain steady across both years was ‘striding’ towards DevOps - those partially through their DevOps transformation. 
  • Pipeline automation mirrored DevOps maturity: Automation is closely connected to DevOps adoption. DevOps aspirants were the most likely to have limited pipeline automation, while those striding towards DevOps adoption were the most likely to have some key workflows automated. 45% of mostly DevOps teams have mostly automated pipelines, and 41% of fully DevOps teams have fully automated pipelines. 
  • Deployment frequency is accelerating: 75% of respondents reported improvements in their overall deployment velocity, but how significant that increase was strongly correlated with DevOps transformation and automation adoption. 43% of those who have fully embraced DevOps are on a weekly / bi-weekly schedule, and 18% are deploying updates daily or multiple times per day - faster than any of their counterparts. On the flip side, teams who are still early in the DevOps maturity are more likely to deploy new code on a monthly basis or even quarterly basis.

Regardless of company size or DevOps maturity, the report showed how QA leaders are planning to elevate their testing practice in 2023. 

Build (or Mature) a Culture of Quality

A culture of quality is when an organization has a shared understanding of - and responsibility for - product quality. Testing is deeply embedded in the development process, and a myriad of roles contribute to overall testing strategy and execution. As more organizations mature their DevOps practices and automate their development pipelines, they’re relying on QA to ensure that an evolving development organization continues to deliver high-quality software to users. 

The Testing in DevOps Report revealed how impactful quality engineering can be when QA is valued in the development organization. 67% of teams who consider QA as very important report having high test coverage, compared to 33% of teams who see QA as insignificant. Test coverage, a core metric for testing success, is closely tied to customer satisfaction and a better developer experience.  

Bar chart showing the impact of test coverage on issue handoff between QA and developers

Collaboration between QA and development is a prime opportunity for establishing a culture of quality. When QA can more easily share defects with engineering, developers can spend more time fixing the issue and less time investigating. QA then has more time to test the new code, streamlining a critical process and saving valuable hours as teams are racing to ship a new feature. 

Given this impact, QA will continue to see their value grow in the enterprise in 2023. See how the real-world quality team at SmugMug built a culture of quality, and how that benefited their entire development organization. 

Integrate Software Testing into CI/CD Pipelines

Testing is often seen as a gatekeeper to automated pipelines and faster development cycles. But when implemented effectively, testing becomes a critical guardrail for CI/CD that ensures new deployments meet customer standards for quality. The Testing in DevOps Report indicates that this trend has significant momentum moving into 2023.

Bar chart showing connection between pipeline automation and test coverage

Automation and test coverage are strongly correlated as organizations evolve their development pipelines. Whether it’s shift-left, shift-right, or continuous testing, more teams are seeing the importance of integrating testing into their development pipelines, especially as they embrace automation. When Friend of mabl Trilogy began the journey from mostly manual to automated development pipelines, they deliberately identified a testing solution that would enable quality to be an integral part of the SDLC for the long term. Vice President of Engineering Milos Sretin explained: “One of the most important things is to get feedback as early as possible, so we can see what we missed and fix it.”

More than ever, testing and quality engineering are the cornerstones for implementing CI/CD with confidence. 

Expand Testing to Match the Customer Experience

Lastly, the Testing in DevOps Report discovered how QA teams are evolving their testing strategies to match complex customer experiences. With the average consumer placing a growing premium on convenience, the digital experience is the foremost way companies can build valuable relationships with their users. 

Bar chart showing the most common types of automated tests QA teams plan to adopt in 2023

When asked how they plan to expand their automated testing strategies in 2023, Testing in DevOps respondents shared a number of priorities. But despite the variety of test types highlighted, one commonality emerges: the customer experience. 

API testing, the top concern among QA professionals, is essential for quality teams seeking to adapt to changing development practices and cover more of the user journey. Standalone API tests can be a valuable tool in shifting testing to the left and building a culture of quality since developers can trigger them in the code stage of development for early feedback. API tests integrated into end-to-end tests, meanwhile, can improve the efficiency of automated end-to-end tests by directly validating API endpoints embedded in the customer journey. This helps QA and developers alike accelerate testing and identify issues caused by broken APIs much faster than standard end-to-end tests, maximizing the effectiveness of overall testing and improving test coverage. 

Delivering on Digital Transformation

2023 promises to be an exciting year for quality professionals as they expand testing strategies, adopt quality engineering, and take on a strategic role in the enterprise. With resolutions to adopt a culture of quality, embed automated testing more deeply into CI/CD pipelines, and improve the customer experience with advanced software testing strategies, QA is poised to lead the next wave of digital transformation. 

Start tackling your quality resolutions with mabl’s 2 week free trial. See how automated end-to-end testing with integrated API tests and accessibility checks can empower your team to enable DevOps and better customer experiences.