Anticipating the future is very difficult, if not impossible. It’s even more complicated in IT because technology and equipment are changing day by day. We have faster processors and more memory. We learn to use them so that our software is better, more functional, safer and more efficient. But what about quality? Have we already achieved everything? We can’t predict the future, but several trends are gaining in importance.
We are aware of the usefulness and necessity of testing automation in our projects. How we implement it and whether we will benefit from, depends only on us and our approach. Yet, what if we have a lot of tests and that they do not bring the value they should? Our systems are larger and more complex. Testing them is becoming a growing challenge. A trend that will be visible in the coming years is change-driven testing.
This approach is based on analyzing the impact of the newly created code on the whole system and thus on its testing. Instead of running all tests and waiting for a few or several hours for results, each time new code is added to the repository, it is analyzed and only those tests that cover the changed areas are run. The result can be almost immediate, which will allow you to react quickly and as needed. The emergence of new and development of existing tools that will enable and facilitate this seems to remain only a matter of the near future.
New generation tester
In the era of the shift-left approach, we may begin to wonder if we, as software testers, are still needed by anyone. If we want testing so much at the very beginning of every requirement’s lifecycle, where is our role in all this? What should future tester be like? For some time we can observe a progressing process of specialization in the profession of the tester. Long ago, our profession ceased to be associated only with functional checking whether something just works.
Today, the tester must be like a multi-functional food processor, to which we connect the appropriate terminal depending on the current needs and what exactly we want to achieve. Performance, security and usability are just a few of the areas in which we should specialize. At the same time, it is also necessary to acquire general knowledge to orientate in the current world of constantly changing new technologies. This is happening now and will continue to happen. We will be more and more specialized and continuous development is and will be inscribed in this profession for many years.
AI, robots and autonomous machines
Driverless cars, intelligent drones or robots at the service of people. These are no longer things that we know only from Sci-Fi movies. These are objects and technologies that already exist. They are or will be in widespread use and we will not be able to defend ourselves against it. Each of them has software, which also means they need for testing. In that case, do we have to forget everything we have learned so far and start to acquire completely new knowledge? Is testing the usability of a web application so much different from testing a robot equipped with artificial intelligence? In this case, what about other issues such as, for example, morality, learning ability, empathy or humour?
It is very difficult to answer these types of questions. However, these devices are created and are being tested. Should each of us be prepared for these types of challenges? I think not because it is still quite a narrow plot. However, we should have the thought on the back of our heads that someone is carrying out such tests somewhere. Because the development of this branch of our sector will not be avoided and it will certainly develop faster and faster, this type of challenge may happen in our professional career.
Is the future today?
Definitely yes. We should not expect any breakthrough and revolutionary solutions related to software quality soon. In my opinion, we will observe further development of existing tools and improvement of their operation. As testers, we will have to specialize in other areas not yet developed or belonging to other members of our teams. One thing is certain – we won’t be short of work either in the near or in the future.