How Does Crowdsourced Testing Fit in a DevOps World?

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DevOps is a transformational step – culture-wise, people-wise, and technology-wise. Encouraging and empowering businesses to achieve their customer-driven business objectives, DevOps preaches collaboration and sharing of responsibilities while maintaining an effective communication channel between everyone involved. With practices getting automated, processes become streamlined to deliver best-quality application at the end of each cycle.

DevOps is breaking organizational silos to establish a shared working ecosystem between development and operations team. This dissolution of hierarchal barriers and departmental walls leads to a more cooperative outlook in an application’s buildout, from conceptualization and designing to execution and deployment. The hand-in-hand relationship of DevOps with automation aids the fulfillment of ‘continuous’ needs created by the dynamic IT environment of today. While automation takes over the ordinary tasks, the extraordinary tasks require human intelligence.

As far as software testing is concerned, automation can be extremely helpful and efficient in writing and executing common test scripts, performing repetitive test runs, and identifying vulnerabilities that a human eye might miss. Despite the depth and detailing that automation brings, it lacks a creative vision. Due to this, human supervision cannot be completely obliterated from a software development life cycle. This is where crowdsourced testing can come to the rescue. Performing the role of pseudo-automation, crowd-sourcing software testing can bring in the speed of automated tools along with creativity of human testers in real-life test environments.

The paradoxical relationship of crowd-sourcing with DevOps

With crowd-sourcing, a single CI/CD pipeline gets furcated to several crowd testers. DevOps methodology propagates co-existence of all teams in a joint software development environment. Crowd-sourcing goes directly against this propaganda as it involves testers from numerous remote locations working on a common project. Communicating and coordinating with all these remote testers can be an extremely time-consuming activity, which ultimately defies the DevOps motto of collaboration at speed. This creates a paradoxical situation for DevOps practitioners who have the charge to deploy quality products at the end of each cycle.

In order to remove this paradox, there is an innate need to close any existing communication gaps between the crowdsourced testers and the organizations employing their services. It is critical to clearly dictate the client requirements before the initiation of the testing phase to ensure that the right QA approach is taken by the crowd testers. Scheduled feedbacks at regular intervals are important to see if the remote testing team is going in the right direction. Continuous feedbacks also allow developers to integrate any changes instantly to the code and to complete the cycle within the set timeframe.

Cloud – the ultimate enabler of crowdsourced testing

By removing the need for heavy infrastructure, cloud results in significant decrease of costs. Cloud adoption has been a major factor contributing to the rising popularity of crowd testing among the organizations. With cloud-based platforms and data centers, sharing inputs has become convenient for the crowd testers. Data management becomes efficient, and change integration becomes faster through cloud.

Filling the skill gap through remote testers

The shift to DevOps methodology has created severe gaps in the skill sets of available resources. The software development teams of an organization might or might not have the required skill sets. In such cases, crowd-sourcing the testing activities proves to be of value. Organizations can source remote testers having the skills that are missing from their in-house teams, thus empowering a holistic DevOps QA approach.

Tackling resource scarcity, but compromising security?

The importance of security in the modern, dynamic IT environment cannot be stressed enough. With evolving technologies and proliferating IoTs, the tech gurus are constantly presented with newer security challenges. The more advanced a technology is, higher are the security concerns, demanding more stringent security measures.

The responsibility for creating a secure application is shared equally by the entire team in a DevOps setup, giving rise to the concept of DevSecOps. Utilizing crowdsourced testing services in the current cybersecurity scenario is like handing over the application to hackers on a plate. Well, there are certainly risks, but as they say – risk takers are the ultimate winners. Otherwise, why tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, GitHub, and many others would rollout expensive bug bounty programs?

Operational scalability with Crowdsourced testing

Crowd-sourcing equip an organization to leverage the skills of varied talented testers without actually hiring them. There is no need for investing in resource management and infrastructural installations to scale the operations. With crowdsourced testing, organizations can effectively scale their teams and operations, while reducing the time to market.

The end goal of DevOps implementation is scalability, which is why, automation is imperative. Crowdsourced QA testing help achieve that along with flexibility, quality, efficiency, and speed.

Use cases for crowd testing solutions

The remote location and geographical disparity of the crowdsourced testers make it possible to receive an application’s performance reviews under different, real-life environment conditions as well as network conditions. In addition to providing the hands-on user experience feedback, the crowd testers can be instrumental in understanding load handling capabilities of an application, enabling the in-house team to optimize the app’s performance accordingly.

A final word

DevOps adoption is seeing a surge as industry leaders are now beginning to understand its importance. As DevOps go mainstream, it has become synonymous with high quality applications. From waterfall to Agile and DevOps, from large data centers to comprehensive cloud solutions, from manual to automation, the IT sector is evidently involved in a continuous cycle of innovation.

Moving above and beyond automation, crowd testers are stemming a sort of pseudo-automated QA method for an application. Despite the prevalent apprehension due to the security concerns, crowd-sourcing an organization’s QA processes bring in more advantages than disadvantages. The fit of crowdsourced testing in DevOps is more adaptive than fixed, which is why, it is a smart and cost-effective way to quality assurance.

At Cigniti, we standardize efforts and ensure accelerated time to market with DevOps testing solutions. We also focus on delivering improved deployment quality with greater operational efficiency. Cigniti’s DevOps testing specialists enable your application testing efforts with their rich experience in Continuous Integration (CI) testing and can configure and execute popular CI tools helping client’s DevOps teams. Contact us today to leverage our in-depth expertise in DevOps QA.


  • Cigniti Technologies

    Cigniti is the world’s leading AI & IP-led Digital Assurance and Digital Engineering services company with offices in India, the USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Australia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, and Singapore. We help companies accelerate their digital transformation journey across various stages of digital adoption and help them achieve market leadership.

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