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2018 State of Testing Survey

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The 2018 State of Testing survey aims to provide insights into how the testing profession develops and recognize testing trends. 2018 is the fifth year that this survey is carried out:

The State of Testing™ seeks to identify the existing characteristics, practices, and challenges facing the testing community in hopes to shed light and provoke a fruitful discussion towards improvement.

The survey is open through January 2018. It is organized by Joel Montvelisky from PractiTest, together with Lalit Bhamare from Tea-Time with Testers.

InfoQ interviewed Montvelisky and Bhamare about this yearly survey on testing.

InfoQ: Which major things came out of the 2017 State of Testing survey?

Joel Montvelisky: There were a number of nice things that came from the 2017 State of Testing report. My personal favorites where:

  1. The fact that around 75% of respondents reported there is CI or CD in their organizations. I knew the number of organizations was high, but this rate shows that the adoption is higher than I was expecting.
  2. I was not surprised to see agile practices are used in over 85% of organizations, but it was interesting to see that waterfall has still to go extinct with almost 40% of organizations still using it in some of its projects.
  3. An interesting point, mostly for starting testers, is that in order to find work they might have a bigger chance of finding work by going to a small company or a startup than by going to a large organization. For me this was counter-intuitive as I thought smaller firms would look for experts while larger firms might for blends of experienced and new testers.

Lalit Bhamare: My biggest takeaway from the 2017 State of Testing survey has been the realization that highly advanced and highly traditional testing cultures co-exist across different parts of the world. And thus, it would be a bit complicated to generalize some of the aspects we noticed. But yes, there is some tendency to embrace new changes (technological or methodological to say) and based on various contexts, testers are trying to come up with them.

The survey helped me analyze these situations better i.e. it helped me understand what factors keep the testing culture very traditional wherein why it is advanced in some part of the world. As Joel rightly pointed out, organizations that decided to embrace CI/CD compelled testers to adapt their testing and thus the overall culture accordingly. For organizations that are still on waterfall or Scrum-fall, or on their own version of agile, testing cultures are taking the shape accordingly.

Things that testers traditionally find challenging still don’t seem to have improved much (e.g. budget for training & conferences, lack of testing awareness of development managers whom testers report to) which in a way explains why we see testers are struggling still.

InfoQ: What’s new in the 2018 State of Testing Survey?

Montvelisky: This year we had the fortune of gathering a good group of testing enthusiasts and experts who helped by suggesting new questions to get visibility into different angles of testing. We are also adding questions about more technical aspects of testing. Still, I believe the biggest news of the survey will come from the fact that this is the 5th time we are asking some of our questions and we are getting more depth and the ability to see real trends and developments in our professional realms.

Bhamare: We have added more questions to the list and have also added more options to some questions in order to find granular information. This year’s review panel has been indeed very helpful in a sense that we could add multiple contexts to the topics covered. And we are excited to see what we find out based on peoples’ responses.

The key idea is that, we have made deliberate efforts to make the survey time-relevant to capture things happening in response to the change drivers of our industry.

InfoQ: What are your expectations for this year’s survey?

Bhamare: My basic expectation is that we reach more and more testers and gather as much information as possible to make considerably comprehensive trend analysis.

I would also be curious to learn if things we are identifying as trends are really trending further, or if they are just the waves that would fade over time. It would be interesting to see what testers embrace and what they give up for succeeding further.

Montvelisky: I would like to see what is happening around the different techniques used by testers to do their work. It is always interesting to read the open questions and the "other" answers that shed light on the new and interesting things.

As each year we grow on the number of people answering and the diversity of the answers, I am really looking forward to seeing more new and interesting answers that will help us understand not only where we are today as a profession, but also where we should be heading in order to lead the way.

You can participate in the 2018 State of Testing survey via the PractiTest website, and anyone completing the survey will receive a complimentary copy of the State of Testing 2018 report once it is published.

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