Nelson Hall predicts that by 2017, the software testing market size will be $34 Billion. The rapid increase in newer technologies, mobile, and Internet of Things is having a significant impact on the testing industry as well. The testing market is also undergoing a transformation to meet the increasing demands of the digital transformation trends. Testing, today, has moved away from product-centric and has become more customer-centric.
Let us have a look at some of the trends which, we think, will have a significant impact on software testing in near future –
1) Internet of Things(IoT):
Connectivity has gone much beyond computers, smartphones, and tablets. Today, the most common day-to-day devices are connected to each other and with various sensors to generate a huge amount of data. With greater connectivity, there are challenges of accuracy and sanity of data being collected. IoT has introduced a significant impact on various types of testing – Because of connectivity with a larger variety of devices, increase in the number of scenarios, use of different operating systems, IoT has enforced the use of automation in testing to ensure wider code coverage. Usability testing also plays a critical role because the IoT devices typically have a minimalistic design and a wider array of buttons and controls. Performance testing is taken to a new level with IoT because the performance of any operation depends heavily on the Internet connectivity and bandwidth. With information being transmitted over the network on a continuous basis, security testing becomes critical with IoT applications to avoid data breaches and malicious attacks.
2) Mobile Testing:
With mobile becoming the frontier in digital transformation, mobile app testing has become a critical factor in the digital strategy of enterprises. Today, with more and more users storing critical and sensitive information on their mobile devices and using mobiles to connect with numerous applications, mobile security has got a renewed focus. A comprehensive security and penetration testing of mobile apps has become critical. With the wider adoption of mCommerce and mobile payments, QA professionals have got a newer set of challenges to test in terms of security, usability, and performance of mobile payments. Voice command operated applications like Siri and Google Now have opened a whole new area of testing for the QA professionals. Testing these applications for various voice commands in different voices and accents has become a daunting task. With the proliferation of Internet of Things and exponentially increasing combinations of mobile devices, operating systems etc., organizations have started to adopt mobile cloud environments to test their applications to reduce the costs and time.
3) Agile Development and Continuous Delivery:
Agile development and continuous delivery allow organizations to push out releases on a more frequent basis. With the increase in the number of devices and platforms, the chances of bugs compromising the end user experience have increased multi-fold. In order to avoid the scenario where testing is an after-thought, organizations are focusing on integrating testing into the development process through the use of a unified testing platform. The objective is to run tests in parallel to development and make testing catch up with agile and DevOps. There might be increasing demand for testers to have more development skills. Automation is sure to play a critical role in this.
4) Renewed Focus on Security Testing:
A recent study by HP found that 70 percent of devices in the Internet of Things are vulnerable to security problems such as missing data encryption, compromised password requirements, and access to the user interface without passwords. No wonder, MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global security testing market is expected to grow from $2.47 billion in 2014 to $4.96 billion by 2019. With new technology, wider adoption of mobile devices and wearables, and Internet of Things, it is important to focus on building secure software which connects these devices.
5) Focus on automation in testing over test automation:
Richard Bradshaw, at the Agile Testing Days 2015, talked about how using the term “test automation” restricts the exploitation of real benefits of automation. According to Richard, automated tests cannot think, they only check for things – and therefore, it should be called checking and not testing. Bradshaw is strictly against keeping the goals like ‘fewer testers’ or ‘100 percent automation’ in testing. He mentions that the role of Automation is to support the testers and not to replace them. He insists that instead of saying Test Automation we should refer to it as Automation in Testing – this mind-shift can help in considering several other ways in which automation can help in testing. We have personally listened to quite a few videos and podcasts by Richard and his talks do open up the mind. Do look those up on online.