Just like other vibrant industries, software testing is changing every day. As a tester, what should you learn to stay on top of your game? Below are some trends you might want to take a look at in 2018. Sharpen the saw!
- Blockchain app testing: Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’d probably have heard of buzzwords like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Blockchain. Blockchain is taking the world by storm. More and more investments are made on developing Blockchain-based applications, translated: more software testing needed.
Tip: “Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies” of Andreas Antonopoulos is a very good start. This book provides basic understanding about Bitcoin and Blockchain through very good examples.
- Smart product testing: Devices equipped with sensors (think smart toys like Anki Overdrive), voice-based & AI-powered devices (think Amazon Alexa) are taking the center stage. Millions of Amazon Echo and Google Home devices have been sold. Gartner predicts that the market for voice-based wireless speakers will reach $2 billion by 2020. Testers nowadays face a wildly different problem that requires a wildly different skill set.
Tip: Learn how to program an Alexa “skill” (another name for “apps” on Alexa Marketplace). You just need to sign up for an AWS account (free) and start writing a Lambda function (guide).
- More test automation: Manual testers have found themselves in a shrinking job market. The industry demands more technical skills like the ability to churn out automated tests, preferably platform-agnostic.
Tip: If you’re a manual tester, it’s still not too late to learn test automation. Here’s a general guideline: http://qr.ae/TbSswT
- Wiring automated tests into the pipelines: In today’s DevOps world, bug fixes & new product increments are directly pushed out to end-users, in the continuous fashion. Shit hits the fan if those pieces of code are continuously untested. But the path to Continuous Testing is not always straightforward. Unexpected plumbing landmines are always lurking around the corner.
Tip: You or your colleagues won’t need to be coding experts to wire automated tests to your pipelines. Almost all ALM tools provide a command-line interface.
- Service-oriented testing: This is absolutely not a brand new trend in 2018. The trend started long ago: the number of API-level tests keeps growing while UI-level tests keep shrinking. API tests obviously dig deeper, run faster & more reliably (think Fowler pyramid).
Tip: Learn how to use REST endpoints via tools like POSTMAN and curl first. Then you can write API tests using RestAssured.
- Involvement of non-engineering testers: More and more non-engineering testers (or some might call “test analysts” or “domain experts”) are taking part in software testing although they don’t possess a strong technical background. This trend calls for an effective scripting language that is readable & writable for non-technical testers, yet executable for the test runners.
Tip: Focus on the business flows and business logics of your app instead of code. Leave the coding / test implementation to automation engineers. Besides, it’s really useful to get acquainted to the Keyword-Driven method, a solution for non-technical testers to collaborate effectively with technical ones.
Obviously these trends will pivot as the industry progresses. To stay up to date, I’d recommend keeping up-to-date via several information channels below. It’s only my personal ranking / preferences so don’t shoot the messenger.
- Automation Awesomeness
- Software Development & Testing Insights | TechWell
- LogiGear Magazine
- Community Articles | SoftwareTestPro
- SD Times – Software Development News
- James Bach – Satisfice, Inc.
- Asktester Blog
- Testing Excellence
Some testable smart products: