DevOps is the blend of traditional knowledge, practices, and facilities that enhances an organization’s ability to provide applications and services at high velocity; evolving and improving products at a faster rate than organizations employing conventional software development and infrastructure management processes. This acceleration enables organizations to offer better service to their customers and strive more efficiently in the market.
The consistent growth of smartphone usage, the emergence of Agile and DevOps, new trends in mobile app development among other factors brought forth a change in software testing practices in general. This subsequently impacted mobile testing as well considering the fact that the modern world we live in is unquestionably mobile-driven.
Statista’s report that over 52% of all worldwide online traffic in 2018 came through mobile phones is a testament to the influence mobile devices have in our day-to-day lives.
Though mobile testing is technically software testing, there are fundamental differences particularly in the testing approach and purpose. People now see their mobile devices as useful personal assistants – a source of information on almost everything which means a great user experience can make a world of difference. If one app fails to grant them a good experience despite serving its purpose, users are likely to seek better ones that are more convenient and user-friendly to use.
This means mobile app testing should not be just about finding and rectifying bugs. It’s about ensuring that the experience will delight target users. Thankfully, modern mobile testing trends are centered on mobile UX. Let’s explore those mobile app testing trends that are already turning heads this year.
The Agile – DevOps Ecosystem
Both aren’t new concepts, and many software development companies were willing to invest in an ecosystem that combines the best of both Agile and DevOps. But by 2019, this trend garnered a great amount of positive reviews owing to its capability of reducing development time. The combination has also been particularly beneficial for testers and QA professionals.
The combination presently recommends planned use of test automation for even more benefits. As automation demands requirements verification, configuration of toolsets for integration and delivery, automation frameworks etc. it can be efficiently implemented in an Agile ecosystem that facilitates collaboration among the teams involved.
Performance testing to Performance engineering
User experience is one of the most important factors that determines the success of a mobile app in a competitive market. To ensure better UX, performance testing has been undergoing a slow transformation into performance engineering – something which is garnering praise from the testing community. Performance engineering is how many companies make sure that the components of an app and its network are functioning properly in addition to offering testers better automation opportunities.
Open source tools are adopted more
Open source testing tools have been helping testers across the globe for many years. But they have never been adopted like they are being adopted now. Though open source tools are generally perceived as cheaper alternatives to proprietary tools, this isn’t always the case. Regardless, open source testing and management tools are proving their mettle in more ways than one.
Open source testing tools are chosen for their versatility allowing testers to cover everything from web apps to various kinds of mobile apps – native, web, and hybrid. Some of them also come with code libraries for popular programming languages, and are both customizable and adaptable. Though the security of open source tools is questioned by many, a number of large organizations embrace open source services – a testament that their pros outweigh their cons.
In this era, people use a number of connected devices with or without knowledge popularly referred to as the Internet of Things. Gartner forecasts that there will be more connected devices in the world soon estimating the existence of over 20 billion connected devices by 2020.
As IoT gains momentum, companies investing in IoT are trying to figure out how to address the questions raised on the security of the new technology. Considering the increasing security threats to IoT, QA professionals will have to put in more effort to perform static and dynamic testing on IoT devices.
At present, IoT testers are finding it a challenge to establish security priorities, and to define ideal testing tools and conditions. But IoT’s rapid growth leads us to assume that the security aspect will definitely improve considerably this year. It’s now easier to find a reliable application management services company that can help organizations handle IoT apps and tools.
QA experts, testers, as well as developers may find the seemingly unstoppable rise in the number of mobile devices quite unnerving. But this is the future we used to read about years ago. It’s here and it brings with it a number of trends that open up new challenges for mobile app testers. It’s now vital to understand testing trends and how a cohesive testing strategy can ensure quality that meets the changing standards of mobile users.
2018 was an exciting year for software testing. Agile adoption reached 97% and Forrester declared the year as the Year of Enterprise DevOps. The cultural and technological shift in testing in 2018 however is just the beginning. As 2019 begins, more testing trends will gain momentum resulting in testing hitting even more critical milestones.
That said, let’s check out what 2019 has in store for software testing.
Cross-functional teams for software quality
This trend isn’t new but it was only adopted by a few organizations in 2018. Many organizations went ahead and created cross-functional teams to evaluate and ensure software quality. Many companies have started considering cross-functionality a necessity to solidify the trust between everyone involved in software delivery while facilitating better collaboration and coordination.
As organizations prioritize software quality even more today, we will see this trend continue to be adopted by more organizations in 2019. The added bonus is the fact that QA teams get to contribute more by leading initiatives that improve the software’s overall quality.
QA will be QE
Until now Quality Assurance (QA) has been the approach of choice for a software development company that prioritizes product quality. But today, QA became too sophisticated encompassing a number of aspects including test automation, DevOps, and pipeline integration etc. More skills and technologies are involved now. Conclusively, QA evolved beyond what it used to be.
With quality being the priority for companies providing Agile software development services, and considering the rapid evolution of QA, the transformation is referred to as Quality Engineering (QE) now. As more teams in more organizations start embedding quality throughout the software development process, QE will expand proportionately. And that’s what we will start seeing in 2019.
Load testing will become a staple
Load testing was once a very challenging discipline which made it relatively less accessible to many testing teams. But technological advancements and the advent of new tools have made load testing accessible and intuitive. Load testing used to demand specific hardware that not all testers can get their hands on. It was an investment many organizations weren’t willing to make.
Even if the team did manage to procure the hardware, they are often required schedule tests in advance as many teams will be sharing the server during development. The advancements in cloud brought with it a solution to this particular issue. Cloud-based load testing platforms are now available that make it possible for testers to use multiple servers simultaneously thus eliminating scheduling conflicts. This will lead to wider adoption of continuous load testing in DevOps environments in 2019.
More demand for test automation
The increasing adoption of Agile and DevOps demanded many organizations to redevise their testing strategies to stay ahead of the curve. One of the major changes that followed was test automation that supplements manual testing. Companies that leveraged test automation became better at it in no time seeing a number of benefits in the process including faster testing cycles and improved test coverage for starters. It’s safe to assume that test automation levels will increase even further in 2019 as more organizations come forward to invest in it.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There will be even more software testing trends that will turn heads this year as the field grows in importance while technologies simply it even further. More people will be pursuing a career in QA and more enterprises will realize how QA grants them high quality products that far outshine their predecessors.
There is now statistical evidence for the fact that more number of software development teams are deploying software faster, as of 2018. The increasing pace of deployment owes a lot to technological advancements and best practices, which sped up everything from design to quality assurance and testing. Bugs are found and fixed faster now, and the feedback loop shortened. When it comes to testing, the prime factor that contributed to such growth in testing speed and efficiency is test automation.
Many major forecasts indicate that the test automation market will be soaring high in the coming years, hitting close to US $110 billion by 2025.
It’s not that automation simply makes testing hassle-free. It demands a lot of investment and great care in its implementation. This is why many organizations are reluctant to automate their software testing processes. Many others simply can’t ensure ROI if they go ahead with test automation initiatives.
The success of test automation depends on how the organization implements it, and a few other factors. However, test automation initiatives that become successful do have a few things in common. They could very well be the key to ensuring that test automation is implemented the right way for desired results.
Here are a few such factors that influence the success of test automation.
Make sure testing is aligned with business goals
Typically, the business goals of the software would be defined before the development itself begins. Once the functional and non-functional requirements of the software are addressed and discussed with the development team, a testing should be developed which aligns with the software’s business goals. Testers should come with a design that ensures thorough and detailed test coverage of the codes that implement the requirements of the product under development.
‘What to test’ is as important as ‘how to test’
Test automation is likely to fail if the organization simply focuses on achieving 100% automation. The success of automation also depends on where it’s applied. Testers should identify the right candidates for automation first. The common way to start is to identify repetitive tests in the cycle and validate the functionalities across the development environment.
Utilize QA assets wisely
Important QA assets include test cases, test data, the infrastructure etc. in addition to the testers themselves, the automation engineers, and even the product owners. When organizations decide to implement test automation, they tend to get a wrong idea that manual testers will no longer be relevant in such environments. Test automation doesn’t solve everything and cannot automate every tests there is.
Automated scripts have limitations when it comes to understanding issues and patterns at a contextual level. It can hasten certain testing processes but not all. Certain tests can only be done by humans. The point is that organizations shouldn’t simply consider a QA asset irrelevant just because they are confident that their automated testing strategy would succeed. Each asset can come of use depending on the context. The key to successful test automation is to pay attention to and utilize each of these assets wisely.
Integration with development
Test automation is meant to primarily hasten development and deployment, increase code coverage, and keep timeline overruns under control. But testing, be it automated or not, cannot achieve this in a conventional waterfall model. Testing delivers the best results when it is at the core of project development. This ensures that the final product meets the expectations and is delivered on time.
As more and more software development companies make the shift to a DevOps and Agile culture, it’s important to think ahead, devise, and implement an efficient test automation strategy before the development begins. Ultimately it’s up to the testing team to coordinate and support the implementation of automation without compromising the testing code’s integrity and quality which can adversely affect the outcome of the automation initiative.
Enterprise DevOps adoption seems to be increasing consistently. Many enterprises have seen how a DevOps culture is important to becoming successful faster. Practicing a DevOps culture isn’t hassle-free however, and comes with its own fair share of challenges. A DevOps ecosystem requires Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, test feedback etc. to be faster. A poorly thought out automation strategy here could be detrimental to the test automation efforts.
A well thought-out automation strategy on the other hand would also consider every important aspect rather than focusing all efforts on ensuring that the application is ready to ship. API testing is one such important aspect every testing strategy should take into account.
Thanks to a plethora of tools available in the market today, it’s not that difficult to perform API testing provided the strategy allocates a slot for API testing in the project’s lifecycle. And a few of the most effective of those tools are open source technologies.
The following are 3 great open source tools any tester should check out for API testing.
SoapUI is not a new tool. It’s been contributing to QA & testing for a while now, and is ideal in API testing environments where there are mostly QA engineers instead of developers. The open source test tool is designed for effective API testing, and even allows users to create custom workflows or functionalities (if necessary) by coding up the solution in SoapUI using Groovy.
If Java is what the team’s using for the project, REST-Assured is what they need for API automation. The tool has a large following, and is recommended by many experienced testers for API testing.
REST-Assured is basically a Java library generally used to test HTTP-based REST services. It can integrate with every existing Java-based automation framework and comes with a number of functionalities that testers usually have to code in. The bonus is that the tester need not be an expert in HTTP to use the tool. As validating REST services is comparatively harder in Java as opposed to Ruby and Groovy, REST-Assured can be a great asset since it allows testers to bring dynamic languages like Ruby and Groovy into the Java domain.
Another open source tool, Fiddler is not exactly known for its API testing capabilities. It’s mainly used to monitor, manipulate, and reuse HTTP requests. It has many extensions that allow you to perform even more tasks – from debugging websites to API testing itself, making it invaluable for certain mid-scale software development projects.
API testing is possible with the APITest extension. The extension allows the tool to test and validate web APIs. However, it may not be ideal for extensive testing. For that purpose, an API testing infrastructure should be built with the FiddlerCore.NET Class Library. Fiddler is a preferable option for teams using .NET languages for their projects.
The use of a tool should be based on the requirements of the test strategy and the nature of the testing subject itself. There are many API test tools, including proprietary ones, with features that would prove very useful when testing APIs. The ones above are popular open source alternatives that many experienced testers recommend. If you are a tester who likes to explore and experiment, do give each of these tools a shot.