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Step Up Your DevOps Game - Webinar Questions Answered (Agile Testing)

On October 21st, we hosted a webinar titled, Step Up You DevOps Game with 4 Key Integrations for Jira and Bitbucket. I covered 4 key DevOps practices - agile testing, DevSecOps, feature flagging, and observability - and examples of integrations in each area. If you haven’t see it, you can view an on-demand version of the presentation here.

We received far too many, albeit good, questions during the Q&A portion, so we’d like to answer them here. Read Q&As for the other three DevOps practices, as well:

Clarifying questions about DevOps and agile testing

Agile and DevOps share some common features. Are not they two different things? Or, are we are moving towards Agile DevOps? Do you consider DevOps a frame for agile methodology?

The distinction is explained by how the Agile community reacted when Andrew Clay Schafer proposed “agile infrastructure” as a birds-of-feature session at the Agile Conference more than a decade ago. Only 1 person showed up, and it wasn't Andrew Clay Schafer. It's a matter of focus. At the time, the agile community was still very dev focused. This has largely shifted to be more inclusive over the years and I hear many more agile conferences talking about DevOps and vice versa. If there is still a meaningful distinction, it is that DevOps has more focus on the ops side of the world, bringing agile ideas to an audience that greatly benefits from new ways of working.

Does agile testing means continuous testing?

The 2 are largely synonymous. Some people refer to the idea as “shift-left testing”. Those deep in the testing community might offer subtle distinctions but the main ideas are the same. I worry people have come to associate the term continuous testing with the tools and automation, more than the practice and collaboration. It's unfortunate, and the same is true for continuous delivery. So I choose the term agile testing intentionally to focus on the practice side.

Questions about Tools

Why are you promoting Zephyr and not Xray or Test Management 4 Jira. Any specific reasons? Does Jira integrate with anything other than Zephyr?

It's more a function of who I've been working with lately, less a matter of Zephyr as better than Xray or TM4Jira. For that matter, you can also find integrations with products that are independent test management tools.

If you are already using test management tools, please consider my point more a reminder about the testing practices, than trying to convince you to change testing tools. As I said in the presentation, we want to start where you are, which means using what you have. If you already have test management, then I hope you’re beyond that level and you'll benefit more by paying attention to other tools and practices. 

If you are just starting out, these questions highlight how much the Zephyr has in common with other options, like using Issues as the building block for testing. The pros and cons of each are more than I have time to analyze here but I can assure you that both are very strong players in the Atlassian Marketplace. I know a lot of very happy Xray and TM4J customers. It's a matter of choosing what's right for your org and team.

Can we integrate Zephyr with Cypress?

I’m not the authority for either but it does look like something Cypress has under consideration.

Is there a tool that creates a Traceability Matrix that will link Confluence requirements with the Jira Tasks and the Testing platform?

That's a pretty interesting question because I don't hear about the traditional notion of traceability matrix from many DevOps teams. However, I've run into that kind of need from medical device manufacturers who have to satisfy regulatory requirements like CFR 21 part 11. You can probably find a half-dozen requirements tools for Confluence and Jira by just searching the Marketplace for requirements. For Cloud, Requirements & Test Management for Jira by Hexygen might be a good fit. Or for self-managed, I have seen Requirements Yogi by Play SQL as a good fit. I'm not sure either are particularly DevOps in nature but this kind of use case is a good example of why we think a flexible ecosystem is so important.

What’s next?

Reference Architectures

Now that you know how to step up your DevOps game with key DevOps practices to consider, you may find our new DevOps guides helpful. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced in your DevOps, find recommendations and inspiration for how to combine your tools and DevOps practices.

In-depth Demos

To see more in-depth demos of the integrations highlighted and more, visit our curated DevOps marketplace page of integrations in the four categories covered not only do vendors we highlighted in the webinar have a lot more content on our Marketplace, but most of our Marketplace is full of additional videos, screenshots, and documentation so you can discover these integrations as you see fit. As a teaser, maybe if you let me know more about what you'd like to see, we can schedule that for a follow-up webinar.

More on agile testing and continuous delivery

We’ve published some great resources for you to learn more…

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