- Vague and boring
- Over-the-top and absurd
The operative phrase in that first paragraph was “most of the time.”
There are exceptions; those rare instances when predictions are made with incredible foresight and detail. This ComputerWorld article from 2008 – The Future of Software Testing – is a classic example.
Written by noted testing expert Geoff Thompson (a future Testing the Limits guest, perhaps), this post reads as if it were written present day. He talks about the emergence of continuous testing, the growing importance of quality over cost and of how certifications will play less of a role in a tester’s career.
To illustrate, I wanted to take a closer look at a few of these predictions:
Prediction #1: “Building quality in, rather than testing it out, prevention rather than detection”
Thompson predicted a world where testing would no longer be considered as an assembly-line process (usually at the end of a project). Instead, it would become part of the entire process. It would be built into the application from the start, not “tested out” at the end. Whereas QA had been seen primarily as a way to detect defects, he saw it as evolving into a way to prevent them. He writes:
“It continually amazes me how many clients I see who leave testing until the last possible minute. When will companies understand that the earlier a test team is involved, and of course the better trained they are, the more they will recognise problems early in the lifecycle enabling them to be resolved before they become execution defects?”
While many companies still leave testing to the last possible minute, they are quickly becoming the minority, as evidence by the rapid adoption of agile testing and other “quality-first” approaches. He nailed this one.
Prediction #2: “Ensuring that quality is not seen as a burden, alongside time and cost”
Essentially, the author here saw the growing importance of quality over cost and time. Not long ago, quality used to be a distant third behind cost and time in terms of priorities. Today, it’s just the opposite. If app quality suffers, it no longer matters how much money or time you saved in the software development process. The key question for today’s brand therefore is not “how do I save money?” but rather “how do I develop apps that people want to use?” Ask any brand and they’ll tell you the same.
Prediction #3: Software Testing Qualifications, Not Certifications
Software testing certifications were popular back in 2008 and they’re still popular today. Many would argue however that they have become less relevant – something the author acknowledged back in 2008. He predicted a world where qualifications (not certifications) would be the determining factor in the success of QA professionals, and he appears to have been right:
“The reality is that the qualification together with real practical experience is what makes a good tester. After all would you allow a surgeon who had just passed their exams but had no practical experience to operate on you? I don’t think so.”
Have you recently come across an interesting software testing prediction? Care to make our own bold claims about the future of software testing? The comments section is all yours.