As the video industry experiences another phase of significant disruption and evolution can it adapt to the changes in technology, consumer behaviour and the competitive landscape by using software development practises such as Agile and DevOps to drive innovation and sustain growth?
Last time we talked about cloud and automation technologies and the enablement of faster deployment and this time we are looking at automated testing and continuous builds and how key they are.
More aggressive time to market aspirations and increasing demands from business stakeholders mean delivery organisations who don’t adopt Test Driven Development (TDD), automated testing and continuous integration will find it harder to deliver consistently at the cadence their business demands.
As John Maguire from S3 TV Technology says – “As the number of releases and complexity of releases increases, automation is the only way to go as manual testing isn’t scalable as the size and frequency of releases continues to increase.”
Six week testing cycles at the end of a development phase are not sustainable when adopting these new approaches to delivery. Many organizations we interviewed are now using small test groups, both internal staff and “friendly” customers, to trial and test new releases of software. When delivery cycles are short and the number of changes are small the testing is easier and the risk is lower. Organisations like DirecTV have been doing this for many years now, as David Schlacht, Senior Director of MultiMedia at DirecTV says – “Every Friday night members can download a new version of the product and test it”.
It’s not just testing that can benefit from automation; continuous build and integration tools have dramatically reduced the time taken to create builds ready for testing or deployment. In the past, integration builds or engineering build processes could be extremely complex, manually intensive and time consuming. Adopting continuous integration tools like Jenkins can dramatically reduce the time it takes to produce builds and give confidence that no manual human errors have been introduced in the build process.