As we look forward to 2018, everyone is sharing their predictions for how software will change in the coming year. Every year, the World Quality Report compiles survey results from thousands of tech leaders to show how industry sentiments have changed since the year before. Here are a few insights based on how QA teams are thinking about the new year.
“Planning on testing is becoming much more proactive and upfront. There is a greater realization that testing becomes a bottleneck without upfront planning,” says one survey respondent. Immature QA organizations are more likely to take a reactive, ad hoc approach to testing that relies heavily on manual testing. In order to scale both quality and testing capacity, teams must take a step back from test execution and become more strategic in their approach.
Part of becoming more strategic involves taking a more data-driven approach to QA measurement and analytics. Teams agreed that they need to start using test data more effectively and invest in an enterprise-ready analytics strategy that will help them scale quality alongside their product and their team.
AI has been a hot topic in software development for a few years now, but how it fits into day-to-day dev and QA workflows isn’t always clear. In the past year there’s been an significant uptick in how teams perceive the application of intelligent testing solutions. Up to 42% of teams see AI technologies (including cognitive automation, machine learning, self-remediation and predictive analysis) as promising techniques for the future of software testing. Nearly half of teams surveyed for the WQR believe that automated design of tests cases is the next big trend.
As Rainforest’s CIO Derek Choy recently told Forbes: “Companies will also turn to AI to help scale and do jobs instead of adding headcount. We will see AI developments and research move from the scientific/abstract concept phase to a more practical phase.”
“The skills of testing professionals need to change too. They should become more technically skilled in development, analytics, and business processes. We recommend organizations build focused workforce transformation programs to re-skill test professionals to adapt to agile and DevOps models of operation.”
As the tools and processes used for software testing continue to change, QAs and QEs must evolve to keep up with the demands of their industry. WQR reports that 43% of teams cite a lack of professional expertise in testing as a major concern for their teams. More specifically, the ability to apply automation is considered a significant roadblock to QA success.
Strategic QA experts are in even higher demand this year. Since last year, concerns over a lack of skills in testing strategy and design has risen 10% since last year, while demand for test data setup expertise has grown by 12%. In order to be successful in 2018, QA teams need to skill up in key areas that will help them move faster and become more aligned with business goals.
As agile and continuous development methods become more and more common, environments struggle to keep up the need for faster, more robust and more diverse testing needs. 48% of respondents state that they have issues managing needs for additional testing environments, and 47% have challenges with visibility on utilizing and managing demand for environments.
The good news is that solutions are in sight! 73% of organizations now use cloud-based environments, demonstrating shift towards more flexible, scalable environments. Here at Rainforest, we’re continually refining our own VM envirnoments to give our users access to fast, clean and effective testing environments.
With an influx of technological improvements to the QA industry, now’s a better time than ever to rethink your team’s approach to software testing. What will your QA resolutions be for 2018?