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The future of continuous testing

continuous testing

Especially within agile development, continuous testing has recently become a mainstay for software companies. Although the future of the testing industry is solid, there are considerable change agents which are driving shifts in testing concepts and procedures. IoT instruments such as mobile devices, wearables, embedded sensors, and even big data, change the testing landscape with new challenges to assessment. The smaller the device, the more complex the device build.

Many within the software delivery industry consider testing to be the most crucial capability of software deployment. Growing innovation, causing growing risk of failure, is forcing expansion in creative modification to continuous testing methodologies. The interest of stakeholders in software products can be significantly threatened when QA testing is not composed of prime test initiatives.

Increased risk caused by the increased complexity of software delivery places weight on the testing industry to demonstrate inventiveness that is equal to commanding rapidly expanding computer power. Software innovation and innovation within the devices that empower software applications requires intensive build scrutiny much earlier in the development cycle.

Primary complexities stem from how and with what independent devices interface. New functionalities, and new uses for pre-existing functionalities, are flooding software industries. Diverse operating systems, new uses for APIs, Bluetooth technology, and new reasons for network interfaces are some radical challenges faced by QA teams.

How much can IoT change testing? One way in which QA begins to assess mobile devices is through the use the actual device as a mechanism for advancing IoT testing methodologies. Examining sensor/software interfaces and measuring software behaviors in response to real time activities can provide clues that inspire test procedures and module design.

IoT devices place importance on simulated hardware scenarios. Often the real world device functionality is outside of the testing realm. Consequentially, QA testers are challenged frequently to recreate software functions, as well as numerous scenarios which anticipate the multiple interfaces of a software system. The pace at which new uses and technologies are developed seems to consistently accelerate.

Testing is challenged as well to leverage system testing for a more intense concentration on system hierarchies and server/component integrations. Powerfully dynamic computer systems summon dynamic test routines. Depth can be attained by first testing lower system calibrations, then proceeding with unit test composition to concentration on component integration, and further proceeding to interface perspectives.

Changes in QA Test Management

The challenge for the QA test manager is to transform from regulating testers and test performance to coaching and mentoring QA teams. Managing QA departments has traditionally consisted of meetings, data analysis, reporting progress, and performance reviews. The QA test manager role is morphing into functions that are more advisory and oriented towards guidance. As complexity in software design and development increases, including increased complexity in system dynamics and configurations, there is no longer a roadmap for testing. QA teams are consequently struck with procedural questions and dilemmas. Quality assurance management is therefore challenged to step in and guide the testing process into efficient completion.

Hands-on management means that managers must get closer to their teams. The in depth requirements for test innovation necessitate an equally in depth understanding of the expanded QA capacity. The diverse hats managers are increasingly wearing include those of:

  • The Coordinator – Integrating with team experience, the coordinator is inserted into the team with a clear view of value and production levels. The coordinator “feels their pain” when the team is frustrated, and celebrates the teams joy of victories.
  • The Patron – The patron provides the QA environment for creative innovation and enforces the demand for team performance.
  • The Mentor – Mentoring requires keen attention to the detailed experiences of those you mentor. The Mentor accordingly remains close to team and team member incentives. To meet continuous deadlines, the manager becomes responsible for team and individual morale, production style, and assurance level. The mentor must know the team.
  • The Enforcer – As conductor of the test project, the manager enforces efficiency and effectiveness throughout the project. The Enforcer embeds with the team to compel coordination upon team and team members that skillfully completes the testing objective.

Agile testing is increasingly employed within the software industry, have encouraged development and testing to be self-actualizing, requiring less top-down management. This transition allows QA managers to employ alternate strategies which drive teams towards individual and collective responsibility for testing outcomes.

A phenomenal QA team is managed with the intent to empower individual and team successes in testing outcomes. Boosts in individual and collective initiatives accompany innovative testing strategies, encouraging team members to speak out on designs and approaches to procedure. A drill-down emphasis on the needs of the customer, the company branding and mission, as well as enterprise strategic goals, keep diverse points of view focused on common objectives.

The Role of the QA Tester

QA testing is rapidly moving towards an equal balance of innovation and procedural stability, boosting the requirement of testers to devise new testing applications for newly developed devices, while also assuring the validity of the testing procedure. The key to achieving this balance is merging cross-functional talents into a consolidated purpose and direction. Therefore, structured collaboration among QA team members is crucial to the effective testing of devices and innovations that are alternative to what have been considered traditional products.

Successful software, system, device development and testing, focus on the customer to determine the purpose and direction the deployment will follow. Test innovation consequently must focus on simulations and scenarios that efficiently recreate real world activity. Team member collaboration must proceed past whether testing procedures produce desired results. Discussion must center as well around whether test requirements actually meet customer needs. Emphasizing mutually supportive communication among teams and team members is an increasingly critical role for QA testing teams.

New Tools and Strategies

Testing reinforcement of agile strategies means that testers need to generally understand coding and development strategies. Proactive insight is the new wave of QA testing. As test innovations evolve, new ideas for tools and strategies emerge as solutions that may include BDD, reporting, and standards, as well as session-based testing which combines test design and execution, and automated testing which stabilizes test processes.

Agile development strategies travel into testing strategies to the extent that testing must conform to the methodology of incremental release, each release being tested. As agile continues to broadly influence the manner of software production, software testing is also influenced through production/test integration. Specifying the adherence to testing strategies that mirror agile development strategies clarifies the role of QA testers and thereby enables testers to have a more prominent role in the deployment. QA departments and teams are transitioning into a broader, more assertive framework in guiding software and systems quality assurance.

Automated Test Management

The crucial need for test automation is a growing awareness within the software industry and industry in general. Automated test management is therefore increasingly incorporated into enterprise strategic goals. Fast expanding growth in the amount of data to be processed, the varying ways in which to process, and increasingly diverse interfaces, exceed the capabilities of manual testing.

Enterprise test management -- which governs test automation -- formats an enterprise perspective of testing incentives, and has increasingly become the core analytical attribute of QA test projects. As QA teams innovate test design and procedures to accommodate new development strategies, automated test management flexibly allows for innovative test builds, procedural changes, updates to matrices, and changes in reporting. Teams can develop testing strategies and feel assured that automated test configurations and add-ons will accommodate changes while also providing efficient outcomes.   

Expanded Testing Expands the Enterprise

The trending responsibility of QA teams and managers is to dive deeply into conceptual strategies that achieve finite understandings of development, testing, and industry. Coordinated strategic intent is essential to meeting the demands of all-encompassing deployment requirements. Showing how software components work to support business components encourages QA interaction with business managers to determine technological direction and objectives. QA-led integrated planning and communication can expand the effective performance of testing and development into the organizational goal of satisfying customer demands.

Business analysts define the purpose and direction of development by stating what the enterprise wants. Business strategies define the integration of testing into development for assurance of working components towards execution of the full application. The business analyst increasingly becomes the collaboration liaison between technology and business, between the team and stakeholders.

Many business analysts are experiencing an expansion in their role to bringing stakeholders together for discussion and determination of operational strategies. Considerations in determining the customer-facing scope of development is daily becoming more complex. 

Another prime responsibility of the business analyst is to move enterprise initiatives into the development and QA environments of coding initiatives. As software, systems, and their applications increase in complexity, QA testing is challenged to interpret business strategies into product testing innovations.

As computing devices continue to vary, and computing power dynamically increases, a growing responsibility of the business analyst is to research requirements for customer satisfaction and the resources for customer engagement.

Technical complexities must be explained to stakeholders for a clear understanding of testing solutions regarding risk management, cost-to-market, ROI, and deployment schedules. The business analyst can be the link to a growing trend towards firm business/QA collaboration.

The goal of business is ROI delivered through production processes and technology. Software businesses therefore can look forward to increasing dependence on QA teams, QA managers, and Business analysts to verify and validate products.

QA product validation is a necessary component in addressing rapidly changing product development and associated customer demands. In the current digital era customers are demanding innovations in IoT devices and improved connectivity among computing systems, placing huge responsibilities on businesses to deliver. Improved technology and communication requires automation, enterprise test management, and expertise in testing strategies. Quality assurance is fast moving towards becoming the central determinant of deployment success.

In the current radical change environment, engaged consideration surrounding the future of test methodologies is a crucial. Transformation in technologies and development methodologies, with the accompanying demand for aptitude in manpower resources, requires that QA continuously address increased challenges in innovative testing solutions.

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