News from the World of Software Development – August 2017

Welcome to our regular look at interesting stories from the ever dynamic software development world; this time from the month of August. Hopefully, you find a bit of actionable information to help in your daily coding activities or perhaps the strategic direction of your organization. If interested in last month’s news digest, simply click on the following link.

New Product helps Companies keep track of DevOps Metrics

As DevOps continues to become part of the technology mainstream, companies struggle with determining the return on investment on their transition to a new methodology. DevOptics, a new product from CloudBees, aims to provide a means to track the efficacy of an organization’s DevOps processes and procedures. News about DevOptics appeared in August in Enterprise Times as well as other sources.

One of CloudBees’ major features is a real-time view of an organization’s software development pipeline, allowing managers and other key personnel to track the status of code changes as they are pushed from development to QA and eventually production. The hope is to lessen the number of meetings that tend to siphon productivity. Sacha Labourey, the CEO of CloudBees, commented on DevOptics.

“This is about data. We go through a lot of code changes, use a lot of tools, make a lot of modifications but all of the data vanishes. DevOps has been adopted in many, many cases as a feature that we replicate across the organizations. It’s a feature at scale not an enterprise solution. Now we are moving towards building a system of record for IT processes,” said Labourey.

If your organization is interested in how DevOptics can help keep a handle on your DevOps implementation, contact CloudBees to schedule a demo of the product. It just might be the missing piece of the puzzle for managing your software development projects.

Continuous Delivery – powered by AI – is the Future of Software Development

A recent article in The Next Web wonders if continuous delivery, assisted by artificial intelligence algorithms, is the future of software development. Considering how often we cover DevOps and continuous delivery here on the blog it is safe to wonder if that future is actually already here.

The Next Web article cites recent survey data from Evans Data that shows while a majority of companies – 65 percent – are using continuous delivery as part of their software development process, they only leverage it on a subset of their projects. Only 28 percent of surveyed organizations use it for all their applications.

Leveraging AI and machine learning as part of automation will play a key role in making continuous delivery commonplace. This is the opinion of Diego Lo Guidice of Forrester Research. “AI can improve the way we build current software; it will change the way we think about applications — not programming step by step, but letting the system learn to do what it needs to do — a new paradigm shift,” said Lo Guidice.

Expect artificial intelligence to continue to make inroads throughout the software development world, but especially in improving processes currently using automation. Once it does, continuous delivery – and DevOps for that matter – will truly become an industry standard.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the wide world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!

News from the Worlds of Software Development and QA — June 2016

As June draws to a close, here are a few interesting stories from the related worlds of software development and QA. If you want to check out last month’s news, simply click on this link. Hopefully, this month’s edition offers some insights relevant to your daily development and testing work.

Need QA for Continuous Deployment? Enter Continuous Testing.

We’ve talked previously about the growing adoption of Agile and DevOps methodologies by companies hoping to gain a competitive advantage through faster software development. Many of these firms strive for a continuous deployment model where software enhancements happen at a rapid pace.

So how does the QA process keep up? Enter continuous testing.

Many forward-looking companies are beginning to leverage continuous testing to ensure software gets released at a speed letting them successfully compete in the modern business landscape. Ashley Dotterweich recently talked about the emerging practice for DevOps Zone. Faster release cycles, better code, and ultimately a decreased risk of production failures are its major impacts.

One of the key steps in implementing continuous testing involves shifting QA to the left. In short, this involves starting testing earlier in the software development process in the hope of catching problems at a point before a fix becomes too costly. Some would argue a QA presence also needs to be involved during the requirements gathering and design phases.

The use of a continuous integration server infrastructure to execute unit tests also facilitates the implementation of continuous testing. Other forms of automated testing need to be considered as part of a migration to this new testing model. It is something worth considering for organizations hoping to achieve continuous deployment.

Game Development Shops want Standardized Testing Practices

A myriad of AAA video games suffering from high profile bugs and server hiccups over the last year has led to a call for standardized QA practices in the industry. James Batchelor covered the growing issue in a recent post on Develop, a game industry website. Many testing managers in gaming feel standards are vital for keeping (or regaining) the trust of video gamers. 

Testology CEO, Andy Robson, commented on the growing problem caused by a lack of QA standards. “Why do we think it is acceptable to release games that don’t meet the quality level consumers expect? We should have a standard where no Class A bugs are released in a product along with Class B bugs, whether functional or LOC issues. Class C bugs are always going to be in games, but don’t affect the experience, so we could be more lenient,” said Robson.

Stay tuned to see if their efforts at standardized QA are successful.

Is Software Development only for the Young?

A recent study noted the average age for the software developer is under 30. Nick Heath, writing for Tech Republic, wondered if this was due to a glut of new programmers entering the industry or if older developers are leaving? Natalia Radcliffe-Brine, marketing manager at Stack Overflow feels it is the former trend.

“I don’t think it’s that the older developers aren’t there anymore, I think there’s been momentum around technology and you’ve got so many more young people going into computer science,” said Radcliffe-Brine. Whatever the reason behind the hard data, there’s no denying the right mixture between younger workers excited about the industry and the wisdom of veteran developers is a smart call when building an efficient development team.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional news and insights from the world of software development and testing.

News from the World of QA — May 2016

Here is this month’s look at the goings-on in the wide world of software development and testing. Hopefully, these interesting stories inspire a few ideas to help your team deploy bug-free software into production. If you want to check out last month’s edition, simply click on this link.

JFrog’s Software Release Solution for a DevOps World

Companies following a DevOps organizational structure for their IT department understand the importance of a streamlined software release process. The rate of enhancements is nearly continuous, with additional time spent on collaboration between software engineers, QA personnel, and network operations. This places additional onus on having the right tools to get more done with fewer resources.

JFrog recently introduced a new Cloud-based solution in concert with Atlassian that promises to seamlessly manage the software release process for organizations relying on DevOps. Bitbucket, Atlassian’s popular Git repository management tool for the Cloud, now integrates with JFrog’s Artifactory repository manager and its Bintray distribution tool. Together, the three products offer a complete solution for companies trying to handle a continuous integration or deployment scenario for software.

Shlomi Ben Haim, CEO of JFrog commented on the new tool. “With the new Bitbucket Connect add-on, release managers are now able to view the entire ‘chain of custody’ of an artifact directly within the Bitbucket user interface. This includes the entire workflow from Bitbucket, the continuous integration server, JFrog Artifactory and JFrog Bintray. Many of our existing JFrog Artifactory customers are already Bitbucket users. Delivering one unified solution demonstrates our commitment to working together to respond to customer demand,” said Ben Haim.

Information Age offers Insight for Implementing DevOps at the Enterprise

Speaking of DevOps, companies are increasingly looking at the methodology in the hopes of streamlining the process of software development, but still with a same level of quality. Making the leap to DevOps from an older software methodology can be a daunting task, requiring buy-in from everyone throughout the organization. Information Age recently published a guide to help companies on the path to DevOps.

This collection of tips offers useful insight on the importance of collaboration, providing visibility to the entire development process, and the interesting concept of treating company infrastructure and its documentation as living code, managed in a repository. Providing enough time for the disparate teams to adjust to the changes is another key factor in the successful implementation of DevOps.

Docker supercharging Software Development

We recently talked about Docker and its use of software “containers” to make the software development and QA processes more efficient. Earlier in May, Linux.com offered three reasons why Docker and containers in general are supercharging the world of software engineering. 

Accessibility from the command line, general portability, and the software tool’s open source nature were their three reasons. The last point on openness relates to the additional functionality offered by using plug-ins developed by the robust community supporting Docker. If you enjoy learning new ways to write and test software, this is definitely a great time to be in the industry.

Stay tuned next month for more newsworthy dispatches from the worlds of software development and quality assurance here at the Betica Blog.