Automation and integration with Agile and continuous development #anzreg2018

Automation and integration
Peter Brotherton, SLNSW

Agile

  • Idea: requirements and solutions evolve, not defined upfront – continual improvement process including of communication. Early and continuous delivery, welcoming changing requirements, communication and reflection with a view to tuning and adjusting. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Challenges: risk-averse culture; documentation-heavy project management framework; hard to change mindsets. When they first tried to do agile they just ended up doing waterfall over and over and over again. Agile training workshops were helpful.

CI/CD: Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery/Deployment

  • Continuous Integration – merging feature branches back into main branch frequently – requires test automation to ensure quality of your unit tests and integration testing as well.
  • Continuous Delivery – automated release process
  • Continuous Deploment – automated deployment to production
  • Unit-testing – testing units of source code – function, class, method
  • System-testing – testing integrated system, often through user interface
  • Docker is a light weight containerisation technology, helps standardise application dependencies across environment so helps make dev setup and deployment easy.
  • Fewer bugs into production and less time manually testing despite releasing more frequently so being more responsive.
  • Use Bamboo, also considering Jenkins

Eg Alma acceptance tests

  • Can’t write unit tests as don’t have source code, and can’t control when releases happen. But can do browser-based system tests.
  • Audited critical business processes in each area of the library. Documented step by step into Excel, and started manual testing on Sandbox release – super tedious. Now working on automating acceptance tests using Python Robot Framework (uses either DOM or xpath, possibly also coordinates), which is working well. (This auditing/documentation also highlighted efficiencies they could make in regular business processes.)
  • Change in UI did break the script once. Change in data hasn’t yet.

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