In the last couple of years, software development underwent many evolutions in terms of new methodologies, approaches, development tools, and even the mindset of the people using the tools. Due to new efficient approaches to development and users’ uncompromising expectations to quality assurance, testing also gained almost equal importance as development.
When it comes to software testing, there has been a significant increase in the number and variety of testing tools with multiple features and functionalities, which include both open source and proprietary tools. Due to the change, or rather ‘advancements’, in testing trends, testers are now considered as information brokers. They also have to be updated on emerging as well as modern mainstream technologies to design effective test strategies.
All of these facts emphasize the influence of technologies on various industries, and the influence will persist as long as there are advancements in technologies. If you look at a big-picture view, you would notice new technologies gradually shaping up the future of software testing. Here are 4 such technologies that will impact software testing and transform it in the near future.
AI, being the new buzzword, is at the top of almost every list of influential modern-day technologies. Thanks to AI, self-driving cars and intelligent digital home assistants are not sci-fi concepts anymore. They are today’s reality. AI’s influence spread across several sectors including finance, health care, travel & transport, and, of course, software testing.
However, as of now, the AI in software testing is still in its infancy. Only a very few tools that use AI/Machine Learning technologies are considered reliable for authoring and executing functional testing, end-to-end testing, and regression testing. AI finds its use primarily in test automation associated with UI. The algorithm evolves by learning from the test cases created by users, eventually becoming capable of creating test cases on its own adhering to specific preset conditions. AI algorithms can also track changes in the code made by developers which may affect test cases that were already performed prior to the changes. This means the tester won’t have to spend maintenance time on test scripts.
The DevOps approach promoted collaboration between the software development and operations team, thus ensuring constant automation and monitoring throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). DevOps is likely to bring major changes to software testing in the coming days.
For instance, DevOps may require the QA tasks to be aligned to ensure a hassle-free Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery cycle. We can also expect QA environments to be standardized in a DevOps ecosystem. However, for DevOps to truly make a difference in testing, automation is the key. Automation and DevOps are quite dependent on each other as one cannot be effective without the other. Considering that fact, we can safely assume that automation will have great value in the future of software testing, more than it has now.
Another technology that shares the same spotlight as AI, IoT at present is considered to be very promising. The advent of smart wearables and the concept of smart homes and connected devices give IoT a lot of hype, garnering it major investments from tech behemoths. However, behind the flashy concept lies the sophisticated reality of multiple communications and integrations taking place every second.
The data that IoT devices share are transmitted through the cloud seamlessly in real-time across multiple connected devices and apps. The notification should reach the right user at the right time as well. Testing such sophisticated functionalities can be very challenging for testers. Because IoT introduces such complexity, it’s expected that software testing will adapt to meet the challenges with further evolutions that focus more on integration testing.
QA as a Service is not anything new, and has been around for the past couple of years, enabling companies (medium-large sized businesses) to meet their software testing needs effectively. Not all companies that provide enterprise application services offer QAaaS solutions. But those that do can make various aspects of the testing process much easier.
QAaaS providers offer in-depth test reporting features with logs, screenshots, and even video logs. They also facilitate easier integration with Continuous Integration systems and provide automation tools to reduce coding time. QAaaS providers can also handle the maintenance of servers that run automated tests so that team members would be able to focus more on critical testing tasks.
Owing to the many benefits of the service, QAaaS could be standardized very soon. The service is not yet accessible to businesses of all sizes. However, we can expect it to be much more affordable and refined with better offerings in the near future.
Software testing is expected to get big changes starting this year. It’s just a matter of time as other technologies advance to being more affordable and accessible to all kinds of businesses. Even under such positive conditions, the mindset of the testers need to change as well, in order to accept and adapt to using better technologies to ensure quality.