A new era in the test industry: which trends will prevail from 2021?

Łukasz Dudziński • Out of hours • November 26, 2020 •

The test industry has no choice: it is new, the implementation of which depends on the development of it and the products manufactured thanks to it. The upcoming trend will also have a positive impact on the management and improvement of the work of IT departments. The year 2021 could be a turning point in this sense.

The authors of the article

Paweł Maciążek. CEO Test Revolution & BugBug.io. Entrepreneur and team leader with a good international experience, in the last years of his professional career he has been involved in: international expansion, IT projects and team management, definition of appropriate marketing / sales strategies and implementation of action plans, sales of products and services, as well as complex projects, implementing competition supervision and stock control tools, recruiting, training and directing international teams.

Paweł Bylina. CTO in BugBug.io. Passionate about technology linked to the IT market since school years and purely professional for over 13 years. He has held a variety of industry positions and roles throughout his career, including developer and team leader, DevOps and Product Owner. However, he is closer to technology and startups than to management and corporations, although he has gained experience in both of these environments. The personality of the entrepreneur. Currently in the role of Co-founder and CTO in the startup that creates the BugBug.io end-to-end test tool.

In the IT industry, for several years we have seen a profound disproportion between the development of project management and scheduling methods and the situation of testers. The latter are, as it were, beyond the edge of the advantages of dynamically developing Agile and DevOps methodologies, as well as those that are already becoming the CI / CD standard. This doesn’t mean, of course, that testers don’t work with these methodologies and aren’t part of the teams that apply them. According to the report on the state of agile published in 2019, experimentation was at the forefront of the activities indicated by the interviewees, managed in this way:

Source: stateofagile.com.

In 13 years, Agile from a novelty initially welcomed with enthusiasm has become the dominant way to manage IT projects: in 2019 it was used up to 97%. businesses. DevOps technology has been combined with Agile or set to be included in the next 12 months by up to 73%. companies. Among the advantages mentioned for using Agile are, among others, accelerating software distribution, increasing the ability to manage evolving priorities, and increasing productivity:

Source: stateofagile.com.

However, if you ask the testers about the effects of implementing the Agile methodology, yes, they will probably agree with the above statements in relation to how they work, but in the context of their obligations, the conclusions will not be as encouraging. And it’s not Agile’s fault: it’s a systemic problem, and this particular way of managing projects has made it even more visible.

How have changes in the IT industry affected the situation for testers?

It meant they now have even more work to do with limited resources. The increased efficiency of programmers has led to testers receiving more and more code to check. At the same time, neither their human resources nor their instrumental resources increase. It has also been known for years that significantly fewer people work in tester / QA positions than in development positions, as confirmed by the 2019 StackOverflow survey, which shows employment in the IT sector:

Source: StackOverflow.

Year after year, the number of employees as testers / QAs increased by 1.1%. – it’s not much compared to the dynamic development of the job market for programmers. Unfortunately, this has negative consequences for the entire IT industry, which suffers from a lack of test coverage eg. test gap. It was first described in 2017 by Jason Arbon. In an article titled “AI for Software Testing” he pointed out that the complexity of code and new products grows exponentially, while the increase in test coverage is linear.

Source: Jason Arbon.

In practice, this means either the lack of adequate testing of the products introduced, or selective (often exploratory) testing. For some websites / applications, their underdevelopment can result in death on the market or serious damage to the image. The company Uber, which created the automatic driving application, has experienced them, among others. Due to her mistake, a woman from the United States lost her life, causing a media storm.

According to a study conducted in Great Britain by Diffblue, as much as 42 percent. developers step down from writing tests in favor of faster product rollout. As calculated by the Softwaretestinggenius specialists, if the direct costs of the test are 25%. budget of the entire project, the indirect costs, including the consequences of undetected errors, are already double!

Better quality testing == better quality products. How to do it?

Invest in appropriate tools that will relieve testers and allow them to optimize their work. The good news is that this is already happening in the world. In the report prepared by Techavio.com, “Software Testing Services Market by Products, End User and Regions. Forecasts and Analysis for 2020-2024”, experts indicate that the test industry will grow by 12.62% . annually. Asian countries, South America and Australia will be the leaders in terms of growth rate:

Source: Techavio.com.

Interestingly, North America will be responsible for 41 percent. growth in the sector. Its main driving force will be the mobile application market, which, due to the constant introduction of new functions, as well as the rapidly changing needs and trends of users, are constantly evolving. This phenomenon is also visible in Poland, where the extent of the use of mobile devices is constantly growing:

Source: IAB Polska.

New trends in testing: what quality can you rely on?

Therefore, not only the amount of code provided for testing is growing, but also the demand for mobile products (and not only: websites and e-commerce are still doing well). So far, automated testing has been the answer to these challenges. Although the tools to make them are indispensable in the tester’s job, sadly many of those available on the market are no longer able to keep up with the rapidly changing needs of customers. Some of these were created a few or even several years ago and have been of great help in less dynamic environments. A good example is the test recording function commonly available in such programs. In a rapidly changing Agile environment, when new features are often added or current ones are changed with each sprint, older tools do not allow easy change of test parameters. In practice, it boils down to the need to re-record each step, which doesn’t quite get the point, because it’s to reduce and automate the work done so far manually….

New trend # 1: Page Object Pattern without programming

Page Object Pattern is a concept well known to test developers. Simply put, it allows you to group page elements into separate classes so that a change in one of them doesn’t interfere with other parts of the page. An example would be a login screen where individual fields (eg login, password, “Login” button) make up separate components. Thanks to this, in the event of a malfunction of any of them, it is possible to quickly introduce corrections without having to change the code of the entire page.

New tools for creating automated tests will allow the use of Page Object Pattern solutions without the need to program them. Each element of the tested page (eg the aforementioned login button) will be available there as a separate graphic component that can be used freely for the purposes of various tests. In the example of the login page mentioned: If a certain self-test scenario will include this page, you can quickly add it to the scenario by simply “dragging” it onto it. This solution also has the advantage that in the event of a component malfunction, it can be easily fixed by introducing changes in one place: once a change is made to a particular component, it automatically updates in all tests in which it has been used. We can therefore officially announce the end of an era in which automatic test recording had to be repeated every time an element stopped working properly.

New trend n ° 2: the possibility to freely modify the tests already recorded

The song of the future is full freedom and maximum speed in creating and editing tests. Until now, editing an already created automated test case was only possible after re-recording the entire test from start to finish. The new generation tools will allow you not only to modify individual elements of an already recorded test, but also to add new parts of it at any time.

New trend No. 3: great UX / UI design

It is only a matter of time before the interfaces of the “old” automated test programs will be remembered with a sympathy equal to that which accompanied us during the transition from Pegasus to Playstation. UX and UI design shouldn’t be overlooked in tools for people who care about providing the best end-user experience – the customer! This paradox has been with us for years: testers work on programs whose appearance refers to trends of a decade ago … This also affects the quality of their work and it is good that there are tools on the market whose authors have decided to change it .

New trend # 4: launching highly specialized tests from the browser level

The solution in the cloud does not exclude quick access to the tool from the level of a web browser – this is the motto that will guide the creators of modern test automation software. The tester does not need to have advanced programming knowledge or administrator technical skills – to work effectively, all they need to do is install a browser extension. The same is true for the execution of tests: the new generation tools allow you to activate, register and modify them immediately only at the browser level. Testers no longer have to wait for the launch of cloud tests and reports – they can work immediately with minimal technical requirements.

New trend # 5: true, not false, stability and reliability

There are many tools that promise a lot, but in practice disappoint and give the tester a sense of wasted time. Disappointed users have already written several articles about them, such as this” The future is one of the automated testing software that will give testers a sense of control and freedom of action at the same time and deliver on the promises outlined in the specs and advertising materials.

Automation, Test Automation, BugBug, IT, Test Logging, Page Object Pattern, Programming, Test, Software Test, UI Test, UX Test, Test Trends