The year 2020 sprung many surprises for the organizations and accelerated their shift to the digital. The pandemic and its resulting remote/hybrid working scenarios compelled organizations to rethink their existing digital strategies, technology stack, applications, and environment. Organizations in their quest to transform swiftly, and meet the unprecedented business challenges posed by COVID-19, wanted to develop and upgrade technology solutions almost overnight. Software testing and Quality Assurance assisted in this transformation.
Through 2020, software testing and Quality Assurance (QA) practices evolved, improved, and proliferated immensely. Test automation became an important need for organizations and not just a desire. The inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the testing process was another major trend in the bygone year. The year also saw QA transitioning from a separate process to being an implicit part of the development process.
But as we move towards 2021, the trends have started to shift!
In the upcoming year, software testing and QA will attain new heights and enable organizations to confidently release software within the shortest time lapse. With that in mind, let us run through some of the testing trends we look forward to in the year 2021. Whether you are a Quality Assurance professional, Software Tester, or someone with an interest in testing, this blog would add valuable insights.
Trends for 2021 and Beyond
#1: Move Towards Codeless Test Automation
As mentioned prior, test automation gained immense popularity in 2020. Manual testing alone is simply not enough to meet the current software development demands. Test automation can inject speed and quality within the SDLC. However, one of the major challenges faced while adopting test automation has been the lack of skilled test automation resources for test script maintenance.
Codeless test automation enables organizations to overcome this challenge and maximize the scalability of their tests. Codeless test automation allows software testers and developers to run their test cases automatically without worrying much about the coding part. With a codeless test automation solution, organizations can achieve results faster and reduce test automation time.
#2: Better Blending of Automation & Manual Testing
Unlike popular belief, test automation is not out there to obliterate manual testing. It needs to be complemented by efficient manual testing. Today, automation is the buzzword in the software testing and QA industry because it has enabled organizations to significantly improve the efficiency, accuracy, and speed of software testing. However, certain software testing aspects (such as usability, user experience, and design) cannot be fully handled by test automation. Thereby, one of the important considerations for organizations in 2021 would be how to strike a perfect balance between manual and automation testing to ensure optimum quality.
#3: Deeper Integration with AI & ML
The utilization of AI and Machine Learning (ML) would be a major trend in the upcoming year. With AI and ML organizations can get out of the “Test automation trap”. Organizations fall into such a situation when their test teams do not get enough time to be able to do the failure triage from the previous test run before building new test automations.
In the traditional testing process, by the time the testers complete a test code, the requirements already start changing and the application starts evolving to meet the business functionality and UI requirements. This is where AI and ML can save the day. Deeper integrations with these two smart technologies help teams prioritize the test cases as well as automate the maintenance of test automation code.
In 2021, the duo will play an integral part in analyzing the test results and prioritizing the test cases based on data obtained.
#4: Substitution of Performance Testing with Performance Engineering
Achieving a high performing software which delivers a great user experience is of paramount importance today. In 2020 developers started prioritizing a user-focused approach at every stage of SDLC to prevent performance issues at the very beginning of a product’s lifecycle. Consequently, performance testing objectives, such as speed, stability, and scalability of an application under different circumstances, have transformed into analyzing a system’s inadequate performance and understanding where it is rooted in the development process.
To accommodate such changes in Performance Testing requirements, a new concept will emerge in 2021 – Performance Engineering. Performance engineering is more of a culture rather than a set of practices that encourages teams to transition from running checkbox test scripts to studying each part of a software (including business value and customers). When done right, it will enable developers and QA engineers to build the required performance metrics from the first design.
#5: Focus on Cyber Security and Risk Compliance
With technology progressing at a breakneck speed and the amount of business data growing exponentially each year; security and risk compliance have become top priorities for organizations that care about data flow and want to exclude any leaks and code errors. In 2021, secure coding practices will come into play and organizations will employ penetration and security testing early on in the SDLC.
Today, cyber-attacks can occur in any form, be it from the user end or the server. A security-focused stance on testing has become essential for not just applications that deal with transactions and money but also for the protection of end-users. If the predictions are to be believed, we can expect an increased number of cyberattacks in 2021 and organizations need to gear up through the adoption of the right testing approach.
#6: Rise in demands for IoT (Internet of Things) and Big Data Testing
As the numbers and complexities of IoT networks grow, it presents new challenges for testing teams. In 2020, only 41% of organizations had a mature IoT testing strategy in place! Since the combinations to be tested between devices, protocols, platforms, and operating systems are innumerable, the QA market will experience a rise in the demand for solutions that can test the security, compatibility, performance, and usability aspects of IoT devices.
The same trend applies to Big Data testing too. The popularity of IoT-enabled applications has paved the way for more diverse data volumes being generated and accumulated by such projects. As a result, big data testing is needed by organizations to validate information, make data-driven decisions, and improve market targeting. As the importance of business data grows, so will the imperativeness of having a Big Data testing strategy increase in 2021.
#7: Rise of QAOps
As software development processes transform, the role of every individual involved in the process changes too. Nowadays, the role of a QA or software tester is not limited to testing. Testers are involved in every aspect of the SDLC. QAOps is a new practice that brings together developers, testers, and operation teams. Here, continuous testing is blended with DevOps. Test activities along with the CI/CD pipeline and testers/QA working in parallel with the dev team are the two fundamentals of QAOps. As a growing number of organizations keep leaning towards DevOps, QAOps would see a huge rise in 2021.
#8: Importance of Continuous integration for continuous quality improvement
According to Mapping the DevSecOps Landscape 2020 Survey by GitLab, “about 59% of organizations are now deploying multiple times a day, once a day, or once every few days.” By embracing DevOps organizations have been able to witness a significant improvement in code quality. In 2020, CI/CD pipeline combined with test automation did wonders for organizations in terms of the quality of their releases. Not only has this established QA as an imperative (instead of a bottleneck) but has also resulted in higher returns too. At present, only a handful of organizations are utilizing test automation to review their code, but this number is expected to exponentially increase in 2021 and beyond.
Quality should be your top priority in 2021
2021 promises to be an eventful year as far as QA and testing practices are concerned. Organizations will have to choose the right solutions to ensure topmost quality, great user experience, accelerated release time, and optimum ROI. AgreeYa’s award-winning codeless test automation solution – BeatBlip – allows organizations to test better and release faster. Its leading-edge features will allow organizations to prioritize quality assurance.