IT applications are increasingly constituted of complex business processes and are becoming more intricate and inter-connected. This aspect, combined with the pressure to reduce IT spend, is forcing enterprises to look for alternate ways to manage their growing portfolio of requirements; such as streamlining the quality processes, increasing the degree of test automation etc. In this context, I would like to briefly touch upon a few of the software testing trends for 2011 that I believe will make a significant impact on the testing scene.
What is a Trend?
I present an interesting definition of a âTrendâ picked up from âFaith Popcornâs BrainReserveâ:
âTrends are not fads. Trends endure. Trends evolve. They represent underlying forces, first causes, basic human needs, attitudes, aspirations. They help us navigate the world, understand whatâs happening and why, and prepare for what is yet to come.â
Key trends for 2011
Testing on the Cloud: To minimize test environment expenditures and gain better control of their IT resources, companies are beginning to take advantage of a delivery model known as âcloud computingâ. In cloud computing, applications and information are provisioned on-demand, as a shared resource.
Cloud architecture can be set up as a âpublicâ cloud â with services dynamically delivered from a third-party provider hosted outside of the firewall; âprivateâ cloud â where a cloud-like architecture can be set up over the companyâs private network (inside the firewall); or a hybrid model utilizing a combination of internal and external providers.
Traditionally, IT would have had to purchase additional server capacity and deploy it in their test environment, requiring added staff and extra maintenance expenses. Using the cloud architecture, IT managers are now able to quickly replicate their application test environment on the cloud and have the capacity they need âon-demandâ. Companies are still cautious about moving all of their mission-critical applications to the cloud.
Agile Testing: Agile development methodology took the IT world by storm when it first emerged nearly 10 years ago. Organizations turned from waterfall and other traditional development methodologies to agile, hoping to improve business responsiveness, make their applications more adaptable to changing market conditions and enhance the quality of their IT systems. But these organizations are finding their own, unique forms of agile. Many organizations find success in taking the best of traditional methodologies and applying them to their agile projects, creating a unique hybrid model that works for them.
Agile Testing does not emphasize rigidly defined testing procedures, but rather focuses on testing iteratively against newly developed code. Quality is achieved from an end customerâs perspective. Agile brings the development and testing functions closer together, but it does not automatically turn developers into good testers, or make testers more familiar with the development process.
Organizations need to take a closer look at the skill sets required by the testing team to effectively support agile methods. Agile testers need to be more versatile than traditional testers. On the one hand, they must be more technical, more familiar with development practices, and comfortable with using non-traditional test automation tools to validate Graphical User Interface (GUI)-less applications. On the other hand, they need to be close to the business to understand the requirements, work with end-users throughout the project, react quickly to change and tie application quality directly to business value.
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