6 Testing predictions for 2019
Mark Buenen, Head of Global Digital Assurance and Testing, offers 6 testing predictions for 2019, drawing on data from the most recent World Quality Report (WQR).
1. End-user experience demands a focus on quality
This year’s WQR revealed a ‘back-to-basics focus on application quality’, which we believe shows an increasing maturing of testing in the digital age. As digital-savvy end users demand a seamless and consistent experience, I expect to see this continued focus on product/software quality to remain a business priority in 2019, while for IT leaders it’s both end-user satisfaction and security that predominate as the two most important elements of an IT strategy.
2. QA and testing adapt to Agile
With the move towards Agile development processes, the QA and test function is beginning to change shape. Testers are becoming part of Agile development teams and new skills are beginning to emerge throughout the development cycle. New testing technologies, such as AI, analytics and IOT, demand more specialized skills in test teams and this will only increase in the coming years, starting in 2019.
3. Predictive analytics becomes more scientific
I expect a shift towards a more scientific approach to decision making in software testing. Engineers will increase their use of descriptive, predictive and prescriptive data to optimize their backlog and more accurately predict their capacity and velocity. Critical questions such as “what to test, what to automate, how to automate more, when to stop testing while meeting the same quality levels” will no longer be addressed simply by best guesses and expert opinions.
4. QA and test spending set to rise
There is increasing pressure on QA and test budgets as organisations embrace a greater number of applications and features delivered through Agile and DevOps methodologies. To support digital transformation, therefore, the expectation is that QA and test budgets will rise over 2019. That’s because investment will need to be made in securing the quality of increasingly complex IT applications and their attendant QA platform solutions.
5. Orchestration and automation will be a key focus
A focus on test orchestration or automation and integration of the entire chain will see increased monitoring of the lifecycle. More specifically, improvements are expected in the areas of requirements, test data (regulations), and test environments, with increased use of model-based testing as a way to deal with capturing, communicating and updating requirements. The level of automation will continue to increase in 2019, thanks to newer technologies. However, improvements will largely depend upon the most pressing problems being faced at different points of time – not as a sign of maturity.
6. Testing gets smarter and AI grows
Intelligent test automation, smart analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to gain traction in the year ahead to enable smart decision making, fast validation and the automatic adaptation of test suites. I foresee a growing use of technologies such as containerized test environments and bots – 79% of WQR respondents said they were currently using or planning to use bots for the set-up of test environments. I predict an increase in the number of software robots, machine learning and AI embedded in applications to perform once-manual tasks throughout the QA and testing function.