In this article, I want to challenge where software testing happens and suggest that most manual verification (desk checks, QA, demo) that is part of a team’s delivery lifecycle should happen in production itself, rather than in some staging or UAT environment.
I have used this approach in several teams within medium to large organisations that were already implementing Continuous Delivery and/or Deployment, as it became the obvious and natural next step in our workflow.
Is it safe?
Let’s address the elephant in the room already: yes, performing your QA in production sounds like an oxymoron. After all, isn’t the purpose of QA to prevent broken features from being deployed to production in the first place?
This might have been true in the past. However, since then, a new practice has changed the way we release new features: Feature Toggles.
The basic idea is to have a configuration file that defines a bunch of toggles for various features you have pending. The running application then uses these toggles in order to decide whether or not to show the new feature.Martin Fowler