There’s a Transformation Underway in Test Automation – Here’s What To Look For

The change in software development methodologies has not only impacted the manner in which software products are developed but have also turned software testing and QA on its head. Today, testing is not a solitary function anymore. Organizations now realize the role of great testing in the development of robust, high quality, and error-free software. This has increased the potential impact area of testing. As applications grow in complexity the test automation market experiences change as well. Here’s a look at the transformation that is underway in test automation:

Transformation in Test-Automation

  1. Increased Focus On Mobile Testing:
    With the number of mobile devices increasing consistently and the consequent ‘appification’ of the economy, the focus on mobile testing is only going to increase. Mobile application testing will continue to focus on performance, functionality, usability, compatibility and security testing. As the market for mobile devices continues to expand, mobile test automation will likely out-run cross-browser test automation. The growth of the open-source frameworks, emergence of Mobile DevOps, and the app economy will contribute to the expansion of mobile test automation.

  2. Shift-Left Testing: 
    Shift-left testing is on its way to becoming a standard in the testing industry. As development mythologies such as Agile and DevOps mature, as does the complexity of software products and applications, the need to test early and test often become critical. We are increasingly witnessing software organizations lean towards Shift-Left testing where the testing process starts early in the development cycle. The objective of Shift-Left testing is to start testing right from the requirement phase itself to reduce the cost of bug identification. The adoption of Shift-Left testing is also dovetailing into Test Driven Development and Behaviour Driven Development. The aim? To develop error-free products without delays.

  3. The rise of Microservices testing:
    Instead of developing monolithic pieces of software, organizations are developing software that comprised smaller pieces. This independent and decoupled architecture a.k.a Microservices, reduces inter-modular dependencies and enables faster releases along with ensuring scalability and manageability. Testing these applications can become quite complex. Hence the demand for enhanced levels of test automation and an increased focus on API testing.

  4. Focus on testing of SOA architectures:
    Testing of the web services and SOA architectures in today’s age of complex application integrations has become extremely important. Test automation initiatives have to focus on checking the end-to-end performance of applications. The aim is to ensure that the interconnected systems and parts communicate efficiently with one another and generate the expected response.

  5. End-to-end lifecycle automation:
    Test automation is ready to move out of the confines of functional test automation. There is a rise of web services, API’s and a growing data reliance. This demands end-to-end lifecycle automation. Automation of everything across the entire software lifecycle is becoming a necessity.

  6. Unification of collaboration tools:
    With collaboration becoming an imperative in the software development lifecycle, the growing need is for speed as well as agility. Developers, QA, operations engineers, and testers are looking at a unification of collaboration tools. Instead of using a separate set of tools according to the roles, to increase the effectiveness of testing initiatives and improve collaboration between teams, these teams will now be able to use the same set of tools and IDE’s.

  7. The DevOps impact on testing:
    Testing is increasingly feeling the DevOps impact. And this is only going to grow over the next year. We can expect to see a greater merging of roles of testing experts with developers and operational engineers. This is due to the rising need for collaboration in developing superior quality products and to accommodate the continuous agile cycles. This will also demand an increase in test automation as the need for continuous updates for quality and continuous integrations, rises in the development lifecycle.

  8. The move from performance testing to performance engineering:
    In order to drive user experiences, performance testing will make a shift towards performance engineering. The focus will be more on ensuring consistent application performance across different platforms, mobile devices and operating systems. The demand for better user experiences and an increased focus on UX will further drive this shift from performance testing towards performance engineering. This approach will not only confirm that the software meets the performance requirements but will also ensure that the cost of development goes down.

  9. AI meets test automation:
    The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is gaining momentum. Software testing too is expected to become a playing field for AI. The use of AI in test automation will be to make the testing suites more intelligent, validate hard to process artefacts, automatically create test scenarios, and help test automation tools develop a learning approach. AI can do the heavy lifting in test automation and help testing teams generate possibly 100 times more test coverage and improve app performance by increasing testing performance.

Conclusion:

2016 and 2017 witnessed some major defining moments in the software testing landscape. We saw the role of testing become dominant in the development lifecycle. It has now been widely accepted that software testing and development cannot function in isolation if the end objective is to create a reliable and robust software product. In 2018 we can expect testing and test automation to continue with this evolution as new technologies and development methodologies emerge. The question for those of us in the software development game is – will we be ready?

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