In today’s age of digital transformation, companies have had to change the way they test software. Teams performing 100% manual test scripts find it very difficult for the testers to keep up with development. We often see developers either having to slow down development so the test team can keep up, or developers and others have to jump in to help get the testing completed on time. In either case, there is a negative business impact and reduction in test coverage.

As the reality of software testing has evolved, here are the trends we are tracking for 2020 and beyond:

  1. Increased test automation. While manual software testing will always be a necessary skill, over the last decade more and more organizations have been adding automation to their testing practice, and it’s become necessary to survive in this fast-paced development cycle. With the increasing availability and use of both coded and codeless tools, testers are able to integrate tests into the DevOps pipeline, increasing the speed and agility of the software development process.

  2. Artificial intelligence and machine learning test tools. Modern web applications are highly dynamic. Developers are continually modifying and introducing new features to increase quality and meet the needs of stakeholders. But rapid change requires maintainable and reliable tests. Enter artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies enable tests to detect changes in the application and adjust accordingly. Less time fixing tests leads to more time finding critical defects, which ultimately results in higher-quality software.

  3. Move toward technical testers. As more companies embrace Agile methodologies and strive to truly succeed with continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), the role of software tester is evolving. This evolution has brought the software tester into a tighter feedback loop with the other members of the development team during all phases of a software project and has demanded an increased technical skillset.

  4. Shift left toward testing at the integration layer. In the waterfall model of the software development life cycle, much of the testing happens near the end (on the right end of the spectrum). Agile development, on the other hand, incorporates testing throughout the entire process. As a result, many testers are shifting left (i.e., performing tests earlier). In particular, testing at the integration layer with automated API tests will continue to pay dividends as release cycles shorten and microservice architecture is implemented.

Testing is an integral part of the business process and any digital transformation. Skillfully implemented, these testing trends are contributing to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and better software. Increased test automation, AI/ML tools, greater technical proficiency, and shifting left all hold the promise of delivering greater value to the organization. Companies overwhelmed with testing should work with experts who understand best practices and what type of testing is right for what scenario.