2021 was a revolutionary year and the global workforce continued working in a hybrid fashion. For the QA industry, concepts like Robotic Process Automation and AI/ML became more and more advanced. New versions of both Open-Source and Commercial tools continued to flourish, which made DevOps more accessible and test automation more user-friendly.
In addition, testers across the globe actively participated in many online events and conferences in order to improve their knowledge. Now they're taking back those insights and working on their QA strategies for the upcoming year.
In this article, we discuss the top 5 software testing trends for 2022, and how they can benefit your organization.
- Exploratory testing
- In-sprint test automation
- TCoE (Testing Center of Excellence)
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
- Automated visual testing
Let’s see them in detail.
1. Exploratory Testing
Exploratory testing (ET) is a testing type in which you explore the application from different perspectives to look for risks and defects. You don’t need to formally draft test cases to perform exploratory testing, instead, you follow an unscripted approach that allows you to explore an application intuitively and use your own tester's knowledge.
The main benefit of exploratory testing is that while you explore the application, you can identify unforeseen defects or any issues that can cause a major functionality failure. Also, ET mitigates more risks as you uncover unknown functionalities or workflows of the application. To perform ET, you must possess strong domain knowledge and exploring skills to test the applications from the end user's perspective.
Pro tip: You can use the Xray Exploratory App to ease the process of documentation during ET and help you track, document, and report on your sessions.
2. In-sprint test automation
Is your project Agile? Then, you must start thinking about adapting in-sprint automation. This is an approach in which the automation of test cases or acceptance tests is scripted and executed within the same sprint. Many teams still perform test automation in the sprint after development or at a later point of time before any release. This will eventually pile up the automation backlogs and might need a heavy investment to complete automating the test scripts.
By introducing in-sprint automation, you can assure that every build with the stories developed in the same sprint is working as expected - this helps identify defects in a much earlier stage. In-sprint automation provides confidence to business stakeholders that none of the previously developed functionalities are broken. To successfully implement this way of working, make sure you add a task for automation in “Definition of Done” in the user stories.
Pro Tip: You can use Test Modeller integrated with Xray to quickly generate in-sprint automated tests and have visibility of all of your automation results in Xray.
3. TCoE - Testing Centre of Excellence
With Quality becoming an ever-important aspect of the software, a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) could be a way to centralize, empower and advocate for Quality within an organization. A TCoE's ideology is very simple; create a group within the organization that defines, implements, measures, and standardizes the testing strategies. TCoE will be the central governance team that will measure the testing maturity of any project by constantly auditing and providing feedback for any improvements.
A TCoE team will be very useful for organizations where the testing is scattered across various projects and missing the element of industry standards to adhere to. A TCoE empowers the testers/QA roles within an organization to set the standards of quality within an organization and advocate for quality, unlike ever before.
4. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning:
In 2021, many organizations adopted AI/ML-based test automation tools like Applitools, Functionize, ReportPortal, etc., to strengthen their testing capabilities. From the intelligent record and playback tools to self-healing scripts, these tools sowed the seeds for the next generation of testing.
There is a high possibility that many organizations will start using AI/ML-based testing to make their testing process more robust and faster. Development teams appreciate getting feedback much faster which can be achieved using AI/ML and of course, avoiding human errors also boosts confidence in testing.
5. Automated Visual Testing
The world is moving towards digital transformation and we need to get ready for it. Organizations that develop websites and mobile applications must ensure their products are simultaneously attractive to their customers and easy to use as well. The UI of the applications can vary from time to time, especially when it comes to retail applications.
It's proven that human eyes can miss out on UI defects while testing multiple times. We tend to focus more on automating and testing the functionality of the application and give very little importance to the UI components.
The best example would be a footer on every web page, which we don’t test very frequently. This is the place where Automated Visual Testing comes into place which helps us identify the changes in a screen when compared to the previous build of the software.
We can use open source and commercial tools to identify even a small UI change when compared to the actual design. Automated Visual Testing uses image comparison by taking a screenshot of the current state of the application, comparing it with the wireframes or any other reference templates, and populating the changes for you. This kind of testing will be especially useful for retail websites where we need to test across various combinations in a short period.
How will you adapt to the software testing trends of 2022?
In 2022, one major goal we need to achieve as testers/QA is to deliver products faster while most importantly retaining quality.
With this in mind, the QA team is no longer the gate-keeper of Quality, more so, they need to act as quality advocates and coaches, to ensure that everyone in the organization focuses and delivers on that Quality promise.
To move into the future and stay competitive, we can adopt these modern trends, tools, and frameworks into our testing strategies.