Keeping Your Software Testing Abilities Relevant Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
“Quality at speed” is the new mantra in the digital age, and user experience is key.
The software and product development processes have already changed to better fulfill customer expectations by embracing agile and DevOps in order to adapt to new requirements. What can testers do to keep up with their development peers?
I have some ideas about what testers can learn, what skills we can add, and what processes we can start doing in order to continue delivering quality at speed today, tomorrow, and further into the future.
Adopting test automation, if you haven’t already, should be your first step, particularly if your development team is agile. Automation allows you to accomplish regression testing and new feature testing quickly within the current agile sprint. The tools and methodologies you use should pull requirements from the development team’s user stories and acceptance criteria so that you can build the automation framework and scripts in parallel to development, saving time and ensuring quality.
To keep pace with development, talking to your team about adopting agile testing and using test automation is something you can do today.
In the Next Year or Two
This will be when DevOps implementation becomes mainstream for testing. DevOps is primarily about building a technology layer for implementing continuous integration and continuous delivery, which needs test automation to happen. With a firm foundation in test automation already, testers can start exploring continuous testing made possible with DevOps.
To prepare for the immediate future, I think it would be a good idea to start reading and taking some courses in order to become a DevOps implementation expert with a focus on testing. Think about building a technology layer for testing that integrates with development tools and enables continuous deployment and testing.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are on the horizon. As an extension of test automation, we can expect to see more use of testing bots, particularly for finding bugs, functional testing, and click-through pass/fail tasks.
Some people think that with the advent of AI, machine learning, and testing bots, human testers will become obsolete, but in my view, there is a huge opportunity for testers willing to take on new challenges. Start playing around with writing a bot to validate tests so you become familiar with quality engineering. You can also start delving into exploratory testing and user experience, because there won’t be a substitute for human testers when it comes to determining usability.
The role of testers is changing, and quality will become everyone’s responsibility. Staying current with the trends and keeping an eye on the future are important to remaining a relevant software tester today and tomorrow.