FEBRUARY 9, 2016

As per the predictions of the Nelson Hall research group, the market size for overall software testing is expected to rise to around $34 billion by 2017. In the worldwide software and product development, overall quality is becoming better and better as application testing as a discipline is evolving. Agile techniques and practices are gradually being adopted, and software testing is more widely used. In fact, there has been an upward spiral in the number of companies adopting a fully operational Test Centre of Excellence with growing testing budgets. Some of the technologies in this field of testing include Mobile testing, Agile development based testing, Service Virtualization and automation. Few of them had given way to the new emergent technologies and the remaining still play a vital role in testing.

With the Software Development Life Cycles becoming more faster the clients start demanding more frequent releases and changes resulting in a reduced timeframe for testing activities and creating a roadblock for running full regression cycles. In such a turbulent scenario, the main quality control and assurance challenge is to identify the areas software testing should focus on. As of 2016, the focus is expected to shift from traditional software testing towards process enhancement and optimization with the key attributes being customer experience, usability, security and performance.

The following are some of the Software Testing Trends for 2016:

Security Testing

As companies are more concerned around security of their applications, security testing & penetration testing will be the key trends in the upcoming years, especially in the healthcare industry. Security related actions should be conducted in the beginning of the application development process rather than pushing it towards the end, which tends to happen most of the time. Security testing should include, manual & automated code analysis, Dynamic & static application security testing, review & penetration testing.

Internet of Things

Today the connectivity has gone beyond PCs, smartphones and tablets. Most of the day –to –day devices are connected to each other and with various other sensors to generate a huge amount of data. With a greater connectivity there comes greater challenges in the accuracy and sanity of the data being collected. IoT has resulted in significant effect on different types of testing like the connection to a large number of devices, raise in the number of scenarios and the use of different types of OS, and has enforced the use of automation in testing to provide a wider code coverage. Usability testing also plays a critical role because the IoT devices typically have a minimalistic design and a wider array of buttons and controls. Performance testing is taken to a new level with IoT because the performance of any operation depends heavily on the Internet connectivity and bandwidth. With information being transmitted over the network on a continuous basis, security testing becomes critical with IoT applications to avoid data breaches and malicious attacks.

Shift from Reactive Testing

In 2016, moving from reactive testing to proactive defect deterrence practices will be a major trend. Early detection of defects will be a key to success in software testing practices. In order to start this transformation, companies need to perform assessments & audits of the current process, either individually or using consultants. These results of assessments will act as a roadmap for transformation & process enhancements, with details of risks which may affect the process. All aspects being clearly analyzed & estimated, a detailed mitigation plan will be provided along with it.

Testers should develop their testing skills in order to support transformation. As test & development environments are moving to cloud based infra (hybrid), testers need to learn about different DevOps skills to deal with such technologies. As mentioned in the beginning, process optimization budgets are growing for software testing. The cost of the mistake will be more than expected and companies need to be aware of the real time quality & predictability in order to take business decisions as well as make any predictions. Major task is not to collect data but to gather sensible details for any specific company and project. These data should be easily representable in a way that each and every one can understand its trends & values.

Test Automation

The extent of automation moves up, which makes the test engineers to focus on more complexed context-bound & customer-driven circumstances. In test automation focus, shifts from traditional regression & smoke type to non-functional requirements like performance features.

Reiterating that frameworks are the other aspect of test automation, existing scripts are expected to be analyzed & optimized to support the faster delivery process.

ROI is also a main concern while considering and calculating any existing activity or before launching new automation development efforts.

Decent usage of test automation performance, in the right area & functionality, rather than just attaining test automation by increasing the volume of scripts, is the future of software testing.

An organization spends around 52 percent of their IT budget towards QA and testing, out of which major allotments are for cloud (27%), big data, analytics (40%) and mobile (17%). On the whole, we can confidently foresee a great future for QA (quality assurance) & software testing domain, particularly in the areas of mobile, cloud technologies, automation testing, security testing and performance testing etc. Based on this testers need to scale up to meet these demanding needs and fulfill the customers changing requirements.

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