In my previous blog I made a prediction on how technological innovation will cause a shift in the profession of testing. Based on a couple of reactions to that blog, I want to take this opportunity to elaborate a bit further and provide a few explanations.
It’s no secret, or even a very new thought, that innovations in technology are now around artificial intelligence and machine learning. It won’t be long before machines will write their own code, that there will be self-repairing scripts and optimization. However, there is still a need for testers on those innovative new systems, but the number of testers needed for those specific testing levels (unit, unit integration, and system test) will decrease. That doesn’t mean that those same testers are obsolete; far from it. The skill and mindset of a tester is very valuable, and needed in other areas of software and system development more than ever before.
It’s similar to when test automation became more popular. Entire groups of testers were afraid of losing their jobs because of software that could execute tests. The truth, however, is that the demand for software testers hasn’t shifted. What has shifted is the skill set of those testers. They have become very good at test automation, security testing, performance testing, and other areas of testing expertise. We have also seen that not all testing can be automated and that’s exactly the area where you need those testers and their skill sets.
Change and innovation comes with exciting new challenges and opportunities
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said “Change is the only constant.” The world is constantly changing and so is the way we develop software and test it.
In my previous blog I gave a (non-conclusive) list of areas where software testers will be very much needed in the future, if not already! Machine learning and artificial intelligence, data and analytics, security, and safety and societal impact. I didn’t mention Internet of Things (IoT), micro-services, blockchain, smart wearables and mobile applications in this list, but they are also areas that are very much in need of testing. Colleagues are now doing exciting things such as “testing robots” and “IoT Testing.” The world today is full of change and innovation and it comes with new challenges and exciting new opportunities, especially in the world of software testing.
Software testing is more alive than ever!
A couple of the reactions I received from the previous blog implied that I stated that software testing would be dead or is dead already. Although the discussion “the death of software testing” has been around for some time now, starting with James Whittaker’s keynote at a EuroSTAR conference a couple of years ago, I don’t believe anything of that kind. I think the profession is far from dead! I think with all the new technology and innovations that increasingly affect our daily lives, the need for testers will continue to be relevant, in fact, probably more than ever.