Ashok Kumar
Transunion (IN)


Ashok Kumar is an Engineering Leader for Transunion. He is accountable for advocating quality, thought leadership, and maximizing customer trust in our products. He works with Transunion as a Global Technology Leader representing Quality Engineering within our African business. He is passionate about accelerating financial inclusion through building world-class credit bureau solutions for emerging markets. Ashok is a LinkedIn Top Voice in Software Testing. He is an international speaker, blogger, and mentor in external forums. He specializes in Test Strategy, building robust automation solutions in testing and test leadership. He has been associated with the software testing domain for 20 years and is an agile evangelist. Ashok is proficient in building teams and growing people who are focused on elevating quality across the products that they build.

About the Presentation

Smoke to avoid Fire

Knowing that your test environments are stable is key to testers being able to start testing and feel confident that their valuable time is used well. When those environments are constantly changing due to a high frequency of deployments, this can make the applications unstable and difficult to test. You never know if they will change, or go down, in the middle of your work.  Having mechanisms in place to continuously monitor the stability,  with alerts that notify you when any system goes down, is essential in order to avoid wasting precious testing effort and time.


In agile teams, this is even more critical as changes are more frequent and the probability of systems being unavailable is also higher. There is a need for a nimble and efficient framework for smoke testing applications, enabling fast automated feedback on their stability. Testers are already struggling with insufficient time for testing within sprints. Having to juggle systems going down or not behaving as intended due to breaking changes will further push those timelines and cause teams to miss their sprint goals. 


This was most definitely true for us. We needed an effective smoke testing strategy for our entire test environment ecosystem. We needed these checks to run fast and be atomic to give us rapid feedback. Looking at where we are currently, we see increased confidence in the ability of our teams to release changes to environments. We are able to identify issues with the stability of the applications much earlier. This has helped our teams to get more stable environments, do better testing, and meet sprint and release goals consistently.


In this session, I will present the work we did around building a robust smoke-testing architecture by reusing existing automation frameworks for various applications. I will also talk about the risk of bloated smoke test suites, the problems we ran into with smoke testing infrastructure, and the need for speed when executing smoke tests. You will hear about our learning, practical solutions that have worked well for us, and where we are planning to move forward with this in the future.