At What Point Will Automation Take Over Manual Testing?
We talk about the value of test automation on a regular basis, and with just how often we see articles predicting the death of manual testing and the growth of artificial intelligence, you’d assume that every single software team in the world is making heavy use of this style of testing.
That’s just not the case. There are still plenty of software teams that don’t have the tools, manpower, and expertise available to pull off the quality of test automation necessary to see tangible results. Even if we all know that automation is nearly a requirement in our agile world, it’s not like teams can just flip a switch and have the perfect balance between manual and automated testing.
So, what will it take for automation to eventually take over? The obvious answer is time. Younger testers just getting in the field will be trained in the latest test automation tools before they get their first job. From the jump, they’ll understand how to leverage automation and balance it with what needs to be done manually.
Over the next few years, we’ll also see AI continue to evolve and become less of a far-flung future concept and much more of here-and-now solution. The smarter we can make our automated options, the more management can trust the tools available on the market. And the more trust built, the more money you’ll see devoted to test automation.
We’ll continue to see new breakthroughs in automation that will move the needle as well. Gil Sever, the cofounder and CEO of Applitools, introduced a new concept relating to automation in a recent interview with StickyMinds.
“We define Application Visual Management (AVM) as an extension, or completion if you will, of Application Delivery Management (ADM) and Application Performance Monitoring (APM),” Sever said. “We started with Automated Visual Testing given the clear path to ROI and the easy point solution integration with the existing ecosystem—especially Selenium, Appium, and rendering services like Sauce Labs, Perfecto, BrowserStack, CBT, etc. In minutes, you added automated visual testing to save dozens, even hundreds of hours, for individual engineers and allow dev teams to release faster in the process.”
Better automation tools, the evolution of AI, AVM, visual testing—what’s going to make automation continue to spread through teams is the improvement of all the different solutions out there.
And what should be encouraging to testers is the fact that just about every option requires smart, educated testers. As we continue to preach, automation isn’t automatic. The future of testing is rooted in automation, but expect real, human testers to lead the charge.