The year 2017 was an exciting one for the software industry wherein many companies embraced Agile, DevOps, Scrum, and Continuous delivery models. With these approaches, software is now being rapidly developed and is released in the market a lot quicker than before. Most importantly, the quality of released software is more sustained and gaining the approval of both the stakeholder and the consumer. In fact, research by Technavio expects the global software testing market to grow steadily to around 14% in the coming years. The same study also reports that agile testing services are primarily responsible for the software growth in the market.
However, will these trends continue in 2018? What about the role of manual testers? We all know that software developers prefer software automation testing more because of its reliability, cost-effectiveness, and its ability to save time. But how will manual testers adopt to the growing changes in the future?
Manual testing is here to stay
Experts of the industry have always emphasized on using both manual and automatic testing during software development. The manual testers have been in the industry for a long time, and in the coming years, we cannot expect their role to be obsolete. However, to embrace the modern changes, the testers will have to learn several new skills to better communicate with the development team. Additionally, learning how to use new tools and technology such as open-source automation tools can help testers achieve their goals quickly and more efficiently.
Manual testing and agile environment
On the other hand, we are all aware that many software companies are embracing agile testing methods to minimize the possibility of failure and enhance communication between the team members. According to a poll by InfoQ, a majority of companies have now adopted the agile testing methods to ensure better product quality to the end user. It is also expected that more companies will implement the same practice in the coming years.
However, where does this leave manual testing? Since manual testing is not as reliable as automation testing, can software developers rely on them for the betterment of their product? Can you integrate manual testing framework with the agile methods for improved product and enhanced customer satisfaction?
Surprisingly, a recent study reports that 70% of organizations have implemented the agile methodology, but only 30% automate testing. Another study says that 88% companies have adopted the agile methods, but just 26% are automating their testing practices. Judging from these numbers, it is safe to say that the software industry will continue to rely on manual testers but will have to make use of the new tools and technologies to improve their testing process. It’s important that the testers adapt to meet the demands of today’s industry. In fact, 91% of software testing professionals agree that in the coming years, the testers must evolve to mold within the new technologies.
Let’s take the example of Industrial Revolution when the industry started replacing manual labor with machinery to improve the efficiency of their work. Although the labor force did become apprehensive about the future of their career, the industrial companies re-trained many of their employees so they could use the new tools for their benefit. At this point, many software testers felt uneasy and foresaw their career coming to a halt. However, testers can put in a lot of value in the agile run industry. In fact, using the agile methodology or automation tools should not be an excuse to shrink headcount of the organization in the coming years.
The role of manual testing in agile environment
The agile environment requires the testers to conduct more than just ‘testing.’ Traditionally, the tester was required to create a test and execute it once the developer started working on it. However, in an agile environment, the tester is there right from the planning stage and takes part in discussion with the customers about their requirements. Moreover, the testers are more responsive towards the changing needs of the customer and are able to provide immediate feedback regarding the status of the project. Since agile-developed projects are a team effort and the whole team is responsible for any failure, the testers should be more vigilant of their role and be readily available to identify defects during each sprint.
The agile methodology combined with both manual testing and automation tools can be one of the best ways to improve the quality of product and promise error-free software to the end user. Software testing tools such as Watir, Testing Whiz, and Accelq provide testers with a platform to test products according to their convenience. The open-source testing tools support codeless natural language automation which means that testers only have to input test scripts in simple English, allowing the tool to do the required work. Most importantly, these tools support majority of the web browsers and promise to deliver high-quality software in no time.
Just like the past year, software testing will remain to be a challenge for software developers. As James Willet once mentioned, “software testing is harder than software development.” But, with the combination of both – advanced and old-school practices, the industry can continue to deliver exceptional products and gain approval of the mass market. What do you have to say about it? Do you plan to integrate manual and agile testing in your regular practice? Do let us know in the comments’ section below.
Author : Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. Currently she is associated with AccelQ team.