Five Predictions: What the Future Holds for Test Professionals | TechWell

Five Predictions: What the Future Holds for Test Professionals

No one has a crystal ball, but it's critical for test professionals to seriously ponder what the future holds as they plan their career journeys. Where is technology headed? What key software development methods will be embraced? Which tool is likely to be the mainstay? What testing roles will be in most demand? Which will be most valued? What tester role will be best compensated? Where will a tester spend the most time? What technical skills, certifications, or accreditations will testers need?

Here are some predictions based on a few of those questions.

  1. Technology: Cloud, mobile, embedded software, and wearables are mentioned in just about every industry article right now. Testers should absorb as much as they can about these technologies.
  2. Methods: There will always be a place for waterfall, but agile is now the norm. The challenge, it seems, are the many forms of agile methods, both formally defined and homegrown. Nonetheless, having experience in an agile environment is a requirement.
  3. Tools: All signs point to becoming more technical and acquiring competency in one or more programming languages. Of course, this does not obviate the need for testers who are business experts.
  4. Testing roles: Three "A" words come to mind: architect, analyst, and automator. As more organizations recognize the need and value of a test architect, this role will have the opportunity to better influence product design and quality (defect prevention). Test analysts will play an increasingly important role in designing effective and efficient tests (defect containment), and test automators will be in demand given the need to run comprehensive test suites quickly.
  5. Skills and qualifications: Specialization in a given technology, domain, industry, and role will become increasingly valued over a "test generalist." For example, a test architect in a health-care company working on security and privacy for mobile applications would be sought after over someone who identifies as simply a software tester.

It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. Test professionals are confronted with challenges in performing their work effectively and efficiently while improving their work and profession. In doing so, they must invest in their futures with well-defined career plans based on their predictions for the industry.

What is your view of what the future holds for test professionals?

Michael Sowers is presenting the tutorial Planning, Architecting, Implementing, and Measuring Automation and the session Speak Like a Test Manager at STARWEST, from October 12–17, 2014.

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