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The State of Testing in 2015

| by Ben Linders Follow 29 Followers on Jan 23, 2015. Estimated reading time: 5 minutes |

The state of testing survey 2015 aims to provide insight in the adoption of test techniques and practices, test automation, and the challenges that testers are facing. The survey, made by testers for testers, is organized by Joel Montvelisky from PractiTest together with Tea-Time with Testers.

The state of testing was investigated in 2013 for the first time, the 2015 survey is the second edition:

We all want to understand more about our testing community. And this is why we ran the first State of Testing Survey, a year ago. In that survey we asked our fellow testers about their jobs, their challenges and what they thought about their professional future. (…) We believe [the Second State of Testing survey] will allow us to understand how our community sees its reality today, and also start plotting the path we are taking in our professional endeavour.

In an interview that InfoQ did with Joel Montvelisky on the state of testing 2013 report he mentioned some of the challenges that testers were facing then:

The biggest challenge we are facing is the fast pace of change in our projects.  I think that a tester who is not versatile and who is not willing to accept change as a part of his daily tasks is doomed to fail in the long run.

How can they (or we) deal with this?  The answer is relatively simple:  Keep an open mind and try to learn as much as you can as part of your work.

There are also the "normal" challenges like lack of time, or lack of process, or lack of budget.  But these are more trivial, and I also think that they are not new nor will they ever go away in a satisfactory way (no matter what we do or where we work).

Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin talked in the Q&A about their book More Agile Testing about some of the challenges that testing has to deal with: 

Lisa: One big aha for me since writing the first book is realizing that delivery teams can and should help customers identify the features that will provide the most value to the business and slice those to the smallest viable chunks. Gojko Adzic’s and David Evan’s work with visualizing quality, impact mapping and other ways to help customers determine what software features have the best ROI has had a big influence on my own work.

Janet: I think that testing as a skill has sometimes gotten lost in teams that drink the kool-aid without considering their specific context. I see large organizations moving to agile and hoping that their outsourced test teams can keep up with development. I see small teams say we don’t need testers anymore without considering the diverse set of testing needs. There are still a lot of questions out there about where testers (or testing) fits into the process.

Testing has to deal with ongoing developments, some examples being the Internet of Things (IoT) and the adoption of agile where developers and testers collaborate in teams and competencies become more important than roles and titles.

The State of Agile (December 2014) mentioned how the Internet of Things impact the way that products have to be tested:

The Internet of Things (including wearables) will impact development teams in ways they have yet not imagined.  One of the biggest impacts will be in the testing community – the complexity of testing will increase by orders of magnitude and there will be a strong push to much more test automation to be able to cope.

Gerie Owen explained in Testing the Internet of Things why testing the human experience of IoT products is important:

Since all of these devices actually function with us, testing how the human experiences these devices becomes imperative. If we do not test the human interaction, our assessments and judgments of quality will be lacking some of the most important information needed to determine whether or not the device is ready to ship.

According to Gerie testers should adopt different test techniques and practices to test the human experience:

Obviously, the test approach for Human Experience testing involves not only “field” testing, but testing in the real world of the user, but how do we design our test scenarios? The test scenarios need to be based not only on the characteristics of the users but also on the value that the interaction and collaboration with the device provides. The most effective way to design human experience tests is using human computer interaction design principles. By developing “Personas”, we delve into the users’ personalities and characteristics and we begin to understand their expectations of the device. Then we create “User Value Stories” to test the ways in which the human user will achieve value from the device.

Testers and developers shouldn’t work separated as Diego Lo Giudice, principal analyst at Forrester Research, mentioned in agile development races ahead of traditional testing:

When testing teams are separated from development, it is typical for testers to try to find as many bugs as possible – but only after the developers have written the code. Segregating testers from developers makes it hard to integrate their work into a continuous delivery pipeline.

In the Q&A about their More Agile Testing Lisa Crispin explains how agile teams and the shift from roles and titles to competencies that she sees are impacting the profession of testing:

I think it means that everyone on the team gets better at building quality into software products. As testers, when we learn from teammates in other roles, we can add even more value. And as our teammates are more conscious about testing, they find ways to deliver a better product. My current teammates help with exploratory testing, and they work hard to find ways to flush out tricky bugs. We testers have more time for the activities where we add the most value.

If you participating in the state of testing survey 2015 then you will receive a complimentary copy of the state of testing 2015 report once it is published.

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