How many test environments needed
Most of the software development organizations have test environments that play a crucial role in error-free software testing and release. These test environments must be properly configured and managed with a carefully created test environment management strategy. However, it is not as easy as it seems and most of the organizations even fail to acknowledge the same thing and end up in trickier situations.
One of the most confusing issues these organizations face is to determine the number of test environments needed. Well, the answer is very clear, but still, no one knows. It depends on your requirements, teams and other players. As they say, a one-size-fits-all solution does not work here. In this post, we will try to answer this question-how many test environments do I need?
What are test environments?
First and foremost, we need to understand what test environments are. A test environment is nothing but the finest setup of hardware, software and data that helps software testing professionals to execute test cases. It helps professionals to effectively test the functionalities of software to identify issues and to release software smoothly.
There is a wide range of test environments available and there are many factors that will decide which environments you need for your organization. Some of the test environments are development environments, CI integration environments, QA environments and production environments.
How many environments do I need?
There are the criteria that we will discuss how to decide which and how many environments you need for your organizational needs.
When you want to decide which environments to be used, the size of the organization matters. If you have a large number of human resources, you might afford to have dedicated teams of designers, QAs, developers who can take care of the environment. On the other hand, smaller companies might not have more testing needs and they might also not need more test environments. Apart from testing environments, you also need to determine a test environment management tool required to manage test environments.
Organisation’s Life Phase
If you have a startup, your testing needs might be different than a giant company. Your test environment management strategy will be different too. The company lifecycles play a huge role when deciding the number of test environments they need. For example, a startup would find it more logical to establish itself in the market rather than releasing high-quality and faultless products. So, it has an altogether different strategy to follow rather than working on test environment strategy. On the other hands, established companies have their reputation at stake and they also are responsible to their stakeholders.
Established companies will need more environments with a flawless and efficient test environment management strategy compared to startups.
Which type of software are you developing? The answer also plays a crucial role when it comes to deciding the number of test environments we need. For example, a database-based web application with a flourishing user interface might require UI and comprehensive testing. When you are developing software that is targeted at final users, you need to go for user acceptance testing. If you have libraries and frameworks, you might need unit and integration tests. The type of software you are developing will also decide the number of test environments you need.
Domain or Industry
When you belong to an industry that is highly regulated, you have the legal obligation to meet the rules and regulations set by the industry. Here, in that case, you might require an additional testing environment to test product compliance.
Modern software development companies do understand the importance of test environment management for the software delivery process. The test development manager must access the needs of the organization and decide the number of test environments required. Hope this article will help you to clear your doubts about the number of test environments required by the organizations.