The software development field is characterized by new developments all the time and it continues to adapt to new technologies such as big data, virtual reality, augmented reality, Internet of Things, and more. As testing is key to software development the trends in this field are intimately connected to testing. Any reputable B2B software directory should be able to give you an overview of various testing solutions. What is more interesting, however, are the trends that shape the testing software industry.
The World Quality Report 2016-17 which gives interesting insights on the quality assurance and testing field has surveyed the views of almost 1600 executives from the industry. The report highlights three topics that are important for testing, QA, and IT strategy. They are:
- Improvement in security
- Enhancement in customer experience
- Better quality software solutions
Thus, there is no doubt that testing and QA play an important role in software development. This article looks at the latest trends in software testing that are transforming the industry.
Management of QA expenses
Quality assurance is getting more money in software budgets, but it is important for QA managers to be cost efficient in their operations. This means they will have to focus on smarter testing efforts. More thought is required on how the testing process is carried out including on issues such which parts can be manually tested and which ones need to be automated, running of tests simultaneously in a range of platforms, implementation of DevOps, the return of investment gained through test automation, testing of new technologies such as AR, VR, IoT etc., and finally, whether testing services should be purchased as time and material. The key thing to remember is to plan and execute smartly to save money.
Automation has become a byword in many industries and software development is no exception. Software testing is used to automation and the current trend is about adoption in all areas. Similar to digitalization, automation has become mandatory. In the future, it would be embarrassing to execute software testing without automation.
But manual testing will not become extinct. For instance, explorative testing continues to be important. But here too, automation can play a supplementary role. Another trend is QA engineers are more willing to learn about test automation. Manual testers are requesting to be included in projects that help them to learn automation. Plus, they are making efforts to independently learn automation to keep up with the changing times.
DevOps, agile, and development pace
Software companies need to focus on breaking down the barriers between operations, quality, development, and business, and use DevOps and agile to enhance business relevance and customer value. They are using agile to release new software versions more quickly. Thus, it has become essential for testing to integrate and adapt to the development process. Similarly, developers also need to adapt and get involved in testing. The benefits of DevOps are cost efficiency and faster deployment. Thus, agile work procedures have become standard in the testing field and this trend is expected to continue.
Open source apps
A good way to increase cost efficiency is by adopting open source apps. This trend is becoming common as more new applications are launched in the market by technology vendors. You can utilize high quality open source apps such as Appium, SoapUI, Selenium, and Robot Framework. These tools are already popular and their usage is bound to increase as software companies focus on reducing costs and enhancing efficiency.
Machine learning seems to be an over-hyped phenomenon. However, AI can have a big impact on the testing field and provide many benefits. For instance, humans writing automated tests can be replaced with machines for the same task and they can continuously learn to improve their performance. Machine learning is creating plenty of interest but it is not certain whether this technology will be widely adopted. But there are examples of utilizing AI for testing and one such is Facebook which uses AI in their testing tool.
User experience is becoming important
Software is driving our relationships and interactions and as a result testing is focusing on providing a good user experience. Software users have become very demanding and they reject bad quality solutions. Each software application has hundreds of competitors and it has become easy to change over to a new vendor if a current software app is buggy, unintuitive, complicated, unreliable, crashing, or slow. As a result, simple solutions have the potential to sell well if they provide a good user experience. Therefore, more than killer features, speed, functioning, and usability have become more important.
Usability testing is already practiced in the QA process, and it is bound to become more important in the future. User experience driven development (UXDD) is thus playing a major role in software development. The testing process is changing as a result. Now, you don’t have to create a software solution and then test its performance and UX. Rather, these aspects are incorporated from the beginning and are becoming guiding factors in the development process. As a result, programmers are becoming performance supervisors.
Quality at high speed
The focus is on launching quality software solutions in the quickest possible time. Therefore, software companies are concentrating on offering a great user experience and the shortest possible launching time. They are using the latest tools and technologies to improve quality and speed.
Growing demand for Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs)
SDETs are established players in the testing industry and they played a different role till now compared to conventional testers. Their importance is going to increase in the future because of testing automation which is expected to rise in usage and popularity. As a result, all testers need to learn to SDET skills to stay relevant and up to date and retain their jobs.
Big data and IoT
There is a mountain load of big data available today and it has become essential to frame robust strategies regarding big data testing. This needs testing datasets with high analytical frameworks, techniques, and tools, as this area is going to become big.
Internet of Things is becoming popular and more users are utilizing IoT testing for the products. This is essential to ensure their effectiveness, security, and functionality are up to high standards. A recent HP study indicates that 70% of IoT devices are susceptible to security issues.
The Worldwide Software Testing Practices Report for 2015–2016 states that budgets for QA and software testing will be 40% higher in 2017 compared to 2016. This indicates that the testing industry is a fast-growing one with plenty of good prospects for wannabe testers. Plus, it is predicted that by 2019 QA and testing will consume up to 40% of IT budgets around the world. This shows that software companies understand the relevance and importance of testing given the demand for virtualization, mobility, cloud technologies, big data analytics etc. Thus, there is no doubt that testing has become an essential and integral part of the software development process.