Fitter, better, faster: What the future holds for software testing industry
By Sanjay Zalavadia, VP, Client Services, Zephyr
Software testers need to consider future challenges in their industry in order to meet them head-on.
Advancements in software development typically occur at a rapid clip, putting pressure on software quality assurance professionals to stay abreast of the latest trends and plan for the future.
Because of the often frantic nature of production schedules, software testers rarely have the time needed to effectively make preparations for what lies ahead. Despite the inherent challenges, it's still vitally important that QA members recognize current developments in the software industry and consider how may send out ripples of change that may be felt years down the line.
There are several ongoing trends that may affect the progress of software development for some time. Mobile development, for instance, has picked up steam as more individuals trade in their traditional PCs for tablets and smartphones. Programmers and software testers will likely need to shift their focus from desktop operating systems to mobile ones like Android and iOS.
South African communications consulting firm Communikay highlighted several other factors that software testers to should take note of, particularly the increasing interest in social media and localization in addition to mobile.
According to QA veteran Ruud Teunissen, these three trends have converged into a single concept - SoLoMo - that will have reverberating effects for the testing community. He explained that given the complex nature of SoLoMo, and the need for these various features to work in harmony, QA teams will need to focus their efforts on continuous integration.
"Increasing integration is also creating headaches for testers," Teunnissen said at a recent IndigoCube event. "Software is being integrated into virtually every aspect of our lives today; it is found in everything from household appliances to cars and aircraft. This means a whole new range of issues and aspects that require testing."
Reduce time to market
QualiTest CEO Stuart Noakes echoed many of these concerns, including the need to account for the shift to mobile platforms and the growing complexity of software development, in a guest post for TechHub. He also cited the increasingly competitive marketplace and the need to deliver finished products within a short timeframe as other significant issues.
"A statistic I was given at a networking dinner was that a new software product is outdated/superseded or competitively out priced within 16 months of its launch," Noakes wrote. "Projects cannot last a year or two in domains like that."
To account for these emerging challenges, QA teams should look to employ tools that streamline the testing process, unite employees and eliminate inefficiencies that drag down production. Test management software provides a singular platform for team members to track, record and share run results, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
The often siloed nature of QA procedures can be a detriment to the overall goal, as testers fail to communicate with one another regarding the progress of a current project. With a high-quality test management system, everyone involved in the testing process can keep tabs of the latest developments and avoid carrying out redundant tasks like running the same test case twice.
Meeting the challenges of the future will require QA teams to improve their oversight and communication abilities. Test management software provides the ideal platform to meet these needs.