Just before we begin a new blank page in 2024, it’s time for a reflective pause in the fast-paced world of software testing. Let’s take a closer look at what changed and what we accomplished.
This year, we witnessed the rise of AI across multiple aspects of technology with some non-technical elements like remote work, which significantly impacted global businesses. Over the years, software testers’ roles evolved from mere bug detection to providing visibility and holding responsibility for raising red flags about product quality.
In this blog, we will cover some of the important shifts that took place in 2023 and pave the way forward.
Top 3 Highlights
Shift Left, But Also Right
Agile and Agile-like methodologies didn’t evolve during 2023, but their practices gained momentum and more organizations made the transition from traditional methodologies. The benefits of starting testing early in the development process allows organizations to detect critical bugs when they are cheaper to fix and before they cause a negative user experience. When emphasizing velocity and fast deliveries, there is less time to test, so the sooner, the better.
When the goal is to shorten delivery time even further, companies increasingly turn to “shift right”. This is part of CI/CD practices in which testing is done directly in a live environment, where real users engage with the software. By doing so, organizations can gain access to real user data and deliver faster.
Emergence of AI in Testing
Without a doubt, the biggest trending topic of 2023 was artificial intelligence. With the widespread use of tools such as ChatGPT, we are likely to see AI involvement in many tools across various domains, including software testing.
In this year’s OnlineTestConf, PractiTest’s Director of Product Management, Ido Tandy, conducted a session focused on how to transform quality assurance with AI-driven test management. Insights from the session revealed that AI has the potential to shorten the test planning process, get to execution faster, and generate better reports for software testers and QA teams. However, Ido clarified that it won’t replace humans, as some people might mistakenly believe. “AI-Driven Test Management will not replace testers, but will improve software quality, reduce costs, and accelerate time to market.”
Better and Increased Automation
In 2023, the adoption of automation in testing increased, with the goal of streamlining testing processes. This aims to increase efficiency and complete tests faster while freeing testers to focus on other important tasks where their human skills are needed, such as Exploratory Testing.
Today, there are many more automation tools available on the market that are cheaper, more intuitive, and more user-friendly. We also expect to see more codeless automation tools in the future.
Remote work has rapidly become a preferred mode of operation for many employees, reflecting a paradigm shift in work culture where the flexibility to work from home, at least part of the time, is highly valued. In the software testing world, this isn’t exactly new; companies already had distributed QA teams hiring testers from across the globe who work remotely. However, business leaders must develop comprehensive plans for onboarding and training remote testers, recognizing the necessity of creating a structured and cohesive onboarding process.
Collaboration and Communication
With a clear relation to remote work, collaboration and communication gaps were big challenges facing test managers in 2023 and will likely continue in 2024. Since the involvement of non-testers in the testing process like developers and product managers, QA Managers must prioritize the establishment of clear and efficient communication channels to facilitate seamless collaboration. Bridging these gaps becomes imperative for the success of the product, as every staff member can contribute an important perspective using their own set of skills and knowledge in order to help improve the overall quality.
Security Testing Importance
According to IBM’s Cost of Data Breach Report 2023, the global average cost of data breaches in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 15% increase over 3 years. As the number of cybersecurity threats increases, the importance of security testing can’t be overlooked.
It aims to ensure that organizations do not have any vulnerabilities for attacks. The consequences of a security breach extend beyond financial losses; they include potential regulatory penalties, legal actions, and severe damage to the company’s reputation. That’s why, moving forward to 2024, companies must invest in robust security testing as a critical strategy.
3 Tips For 2024
How can business leaders strategize and plan ahead effectively? Here are our 3 tips for the coming year.
Invest in Upskilling and Training
The tech industry, and particularly software testing, is evolving rapidly, necessitating continuous learning and upskilling for professionals. Prioritize investments in upskilling initiatives to stay ahead of emerging trends and the latest technologies. Engage in relevant conferences, certifications, and webinars to enhance your skill set and keep up with the newest innovations and techniques.
Use a Test Management Platform
Optimize your testing processes by using a modern test management platform. This centralized solution unifies all testing activities, artifacts, and users, providing improved control, visibility, and collaboration within your team. The test management platform enables enhanced traceability and keeps your focus on delivering higher-quality software at an accelerated pace.
Prioritize Collaboration and Communication
According to the 2023 State of Testing™ survey, 67% of participants reported that up to 50% of their testing is performed by non-dedicated testers. As we move into 2024, this trend is likely to continue and even grow. In light of this shift, effective communication and collaboration become critical aspects of success. To optimize testing processes, companies should prioritize breaking down silos and creating an environment where different teams work seamlessly together. This collaborative approach not only mitigates delays, but significantly contributes to improved software quality, eventually leading to higher customer satisfaction.
To Sum Up
In 2023, we’ve witnessed the rise of AI tools and more user-friendly and simpler automation tools taking the lead. Among the common challenges, remote work has become the norm, so QA managers need to ensure global QA teams are onboarded well and that open communication channels are established. The growing number of cybersecurity threats is a significant concern that will continue into 2024, emphasizing the necessity of investing in robust security testing measures.
Looking ahead to 2024, key tips include staying updated on evolving tech needs, using a modern test management platform, and focusing on improving collaboration and communication among teams as QA becomes a cross-department responsibility.