QA and Testing Trends for 2014

QA and Testing Trends
QA and Testing Trends

The year 2013 has come to an end and most of the IT professionals and businesses are interested to know how Quality Assurance and Testing domain fared last year. I am sure they also must be eager to find out how Quality Assurance will fare in the year 2014. Let’s begin with some interesting findings from a recent survey conducted by Gartner. Here’s my observation and analysis of this very specialized domain.

Cost Optimization

Cost Optimization is going to be a key factor the QA industry will focus even in the year 2014. QA functions are trying to acclimate to the business demands by streamlining and centralizing their structures to achieve higher efficiency and improve cost optimization. Keeping this in mind, businesses have been allocating more budgets to QA domains rather than traditional IT functions. QA and Testing budgets have now increased anywhere between 4-6%, whereas IT budgets are seen declining to 2-3% a year.

Process Optimization

The IT industry is witnessing a gradual transition, there is now an increased focus on QA and Testing rather than core product development. Going forward, QA and Testing would be more process centric and businesses would be keen to involve themselves in the entire testing process. We can definitely expect a collaborative approach towards work with the hybrid model with active involvement of business clients.

Technology Evolution

The mobile technology is evolving in quantum leaps and has made its impact felt in various aspects of our lives. Businesses are developing and launching mobile applications at frequent intervals, but they are lacking adequate mobile testing specialists to perform app testing resulting in increased complaints and bug reporting from the end users. The Industry is looking out for:

  • Streamlined and stabilized processes, where the scope of mobile testing is higher.
  • Developing test methods that help IT firms offer mobile testing solutions and strengthen the base for testing functions.
  • Businesses are keen for testing partners and professionals with experience on multiple platforms, multi devices, designing on cloud, network simulations.

Existing Challenges

Some of the other major challenges that were widely reported in the mobile testing domain were:

  • Absence of mature testing tools
  • Test automation is still a big challenge
  • Lack of concrete solutions for security and performance

Emerging Technologies

The next big buzzword of the year is CLOUD, though many business enterprises are not so keen to adopt cloud computing technology, but it is going to be the future of computing. Generally, businesses prefer the traditional way of testing applications, but they don’t realize that cloud testing is going to offer better solutions to them rather than conventional testing methodologies.

Cloud Testing

Although cloud testing has slowed down its pace due to various challenges that center around security and performance, which I am sure, would soon be addressed by the industry. Businesses are keen on investing in hardware and software, but this would not help them to a great extent, as there is an immense shortage of cloud testing professionals due to the increased demand. I am pretty sure all these challenges are going to be addressed this year.

Agile Environment

As we all are aware, Agile Development is now a widely adopted practice, but when it comes to testing domain, this is still a challenge. When we say Agile testing or testing in an Agile environment, particularly in relation to testing methodologies, this sphere is yet to be explored. Most of the software testing professionals cited various challenges while performing agile testing. The most critical challenges that were commonly reported include:

  • Lack of adequate testing approach
  • Difficulties in identifying the focus area for testing

Test Center of Excellence (TCOE)

TCOE, as we all know stands for Test Center of Excellence. This is going to play a crucial role in deciding the future of the software testing vendors. The statistics state that businesses are very keen on this emerging trend and are looking for IT partners, who have fully operational TCOE’s. Normally, it takes 3 – 6 months to build a TCOE and it takes about 3 years to taste the fruit of TCOE. If you are planning to create a TCOE, now is the time to initiate the process.

The Future of QA & Testing Domain

A Plethora of opportunities are being created for software testing with each passing day and this would certainly help the Indian IT firms involved in software testing. Verticals such as e-Commerce, Cloud Computing and Mobile Application Development are going to provide positive impetus to both the development and testing fraternities. It’s time for us to gear up to meet the challenges and taste the fruits of software testing market in 2014.

Jagannadha Swamy Tata

View posts by Jagannadha Swamy Tata
Jagan was a practice lead for QA and Testing. He is an avid technology blogger and an industry expert. He has extensive experience in managing complex testing projects and delivery. He likes exploring new tools, technologies and trends.

25 Comments

  1. Hi I have 2 yrs exp in manual testing-database testing and webservice testing. I have come across some blogs saying ETL testing. Could you please share your knowledge in ETL testing and is that a good choice to take up for further career.

    1. ETL testing is nothing but validations performed to gauge the accuracy of data that is being extracted and transformed with reference to the business rules and loaded to the target data warehouses. In most occasions, ETL testing boundaries are further extended as the data moves to the BI (Business Intelligence) or the Analytics layer.
      In short database testing plays a key role in ETL testing, which validates the data between the source and the target systems. The ETL testing can be broadly classified into:

      – Constraint Testing (indexes and constraints check)
      – Metadata Testing (data length, data type)
      – Data Quality (null check, precision check)
      – Data Accuracy
      – Data Integrity (incremental logics)
      – Data Completeness (counts, aggregates)
      – Transformation Testing (business transformation rules)

      Nisha, since you are an experienced database tester, it is an ideal opportunity for you to explore this area and possibly explore it as making your career path. In the current scenario, many organizations are utilizing data analytics for their business expansions and ETL is playing a key role, thus opening a plethora of opportunities.

  2. Hey Jagannadha,

    Need ur guidance to get updated, I’m a Manual Tester with 4 yrs of exp in Telecom/ERP/Retail domain with knowledge of HPALM/Bugzilla/Jira(I know dis s not at all good for a experienced person)…plz tell me the tools I should learn to grow in this industry.If ur saying QTP / Selenium or any othr thn are these now vry imp in dis industry to learn bcoz I believe evry othr tester know about these tools… Do we have any new automation tools that still Indian market s waiting for…i want to know the best which is yet to come to Indian market.

    1. These day’s organizations are highly budget conscious and taking a holistic approach for software development and testing. Breaking down the resource elements at a micro level, organizations are also exploring cost effective tools and technologies to meet and maintain current software quality goals. In addition to this, they are also replacing existing tools with new testing tools that are cost effective.

      Most organizations have implemented the concept of Testing Center of Excellence (COE), where skilled professionals are available 24 x 7 and are a highly flexible resource pool. Organizations are pushing for open source tools such as Selenium, if you compare tools such as QTP/UFT Vs Selenium, in my opinion Selenium clearly is the tool that has extensive demand in the market and is going to be here for a significant time.

  3. Hi Jagannadha,
    I am software professional has above 10 years of experience. I always into manual testing and currently working as a Test Lead. I worked at domains like, retail, telecom, energy, manufacturing, crm. I am familier with Siebel, oracle, .net applications. Currently planning to enhance my career. But confused on what to chose between technology or management. Kindly suggest me.

    1. It’s really nice to hear that you have versatile domain experience. With 10 years of rich experience in software testing, you have an option to either get into people management at a managerial level or try to get into the role of a Test Architect, which I am sure would be very interesting.

      Technology management will make your profile very strong and would be very useful for core operations and add immense value to the business. Hope this helps.

  4. i had 3+ yrs of experience in software manual testing in storage domain (backup technology) and am on break on 3 yrs and could not get any opportunities for my knowledge.
    please suggest me what can i improve from my side.

    eagerly waiting for your reply
    thank you
    saiprasanthi.

    1. You can focus on below skills for a career break in software testing. I would recommend you to gain as much knowledge as possible on storage technologies such as SAN/NAS and RAID storage, also explore FC, ISCSI and other storage protocols. It would be great, if you can gain some insights on white box/black box testing, system testing and automation framework development.

      Virtualization and cloud are also gaining huge momentum, keep yourself updated on the deployment challenges in these areas with respect to software testing. Knowledge of test automation, especially in scripting languages (Perl, Ruby, Python, etc.) also helps to a great extent. Developing back-end automation (API/Web-services testing – REST) test suites is also in demand. Happy learning…

  5. Hello Jagannadha ,

    Read your blogs find it interesting.Currently i am working as manual tester in retail domain,mostly on Oracle Retail product namely Oracle Retail Point of Sale,Mobile Point of Sale.

    I want to develop my skills in this domain and to grow as better tester.Looking for automation testing although I hate coding.I am in a confused state from where should i begin with.

    Can you please guide how could I proceed?

    1. That’s a really good specialization, Oracle testing has a lot of demand. It will be great, if you can obtain further knowledge in your current modules and think about moving towards automation. There are a few tools, which supports Oracle automation testing (Oracle Apps Testing Suite (OATS) from Oracle and QTP from HP). You need to gain some hands on experience in automation and start implementing it in your current project. It will be a good approach to begin.

  6. I want to grow my career in QA. I am into manual testing. Can you please guide me with the latest technology so that i can learn and grow my career..Thanks in advance

    Regds
    Syed

    1. Syed,

      QA and Testing are two different things. QA is technology independent as it is completely process oriented. If you want to grow as a tester then I would recommend you to learn mobile testing, cloud testing, big data analytics.

      Thanks
      Jagan

  7. sir i need some guidance in software testing in testingosftware in production manufacturing and automotive industries …about payscale and scope
    i will be obliged for your information ..
    i have done btech in marine engineering and i want to make career in software testing

    1. Software testing does not require you to be industry specific Pranav. If you want to be a good software tester, it is very important to gain complete business knowledge and understand the process workflow, other things will automatically fall in place, being industry specific does not add value to beginners.

  8. That’s a thought-provoking question Anil. Cloud computing is an evolving technology and there are certain core issues such as performance, security, compliance etc. that need to be addressed. I strongly feel cloud is not mature enough to host critical banking applications or banking operations owing to the above challenges. The following link might help you gain more insights with regards to your queries.

    http://www.capgemini.com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/Cloud_Computing_in_Banking.pdf

  9. Hi Jagannadha,
    Thanks for posting this topic. I have couple of questions/information needed.
    1. Cloud testing is a very interesting topic. Could you please provide me more material with respect to testing the banking operations in cloud environment.
    2. Are there any automation tools supporting cloud testing for Web Applications as well as desktop based applications? Please provide more information or give me references to know more in this area.

  10. That’s a good question Gurukaant, as we all know Banking is a vast domain and when comes to testing banking applications, we need to take a holistic approach, try and understand the entire banking systems and its operation. In a banking system, there are various functions ranging from core banking, card and payments, loans, so on and so forth. A software tester’s first approach should be to figure out the operations of each function within a banking setup, which would allow the tester to carry out test for each individual system. A tester should also find out, how these systems would integrate with other systems in a banking environment.

    A software tester should also gain understanding of the dataflow from the up streams and find out how it would be transforming the system that you would be testing. A tester should also be curious to find out, how it will be transforming the lower streams. Although, there isn’t a major difference in the testing approach that is followed in banking vis-à-vis other systems, but the major focus area in banking remains understanding the complete operations of each of the systems.

  11. I read this blog. You have provided very valuable information, thanks for it. I want know some different techniques/mehodologies used in testing of “Banking Domain” applications. Are their any different techniques/approach that you will suggest to me?

    Thanks

  12. Thank you for this post. It is very informative. I have a question about Emerging Technologies. What is meant by Cloud testing applications. I assume you mean applications that use the Cloud to perform testing because you have a different point about Cloud Testing (validating cloud applications). Can you please clarify and give some examples. Thank you!!

    1. Thanks for taking time out to post your comments. I must admit it’s a good question, when I say cloud testing, what I was trying to convey is “testing the cloud” itself and want to reassure the end user that hosting applications on the cloud is as safe as keeping your data in a safe deposit locker. The cloud is still struggling in this aspect, but as the demand for cloud computing is growing, businesses offering cloud services to the end users have to ensure that the data is secure in this environment.

      Here’s an example, if an E-Commerce website is to be hosted on the cloud, businesses or 3rd party service provider hosting the website has to take necessary safeguards to ensure that the sensitive data and online transactions carried out by the user are secure and confidential i.e. The website has sufficient protection against hacking, data is not lost etc. Though the businesses offering cloud solutions are taking increased security measures by offering “Private Cloud” etc., for these purposes, but still could not convince the users.

      1. Good to see such a explanation & would like to see what are the major areas we should focus when we are testing a hosted application ( Cloud application )??

        1. Thanks Jana for posting your comments, you have asked a very relevant and interesting question. Although, there are multiple advantages of cloud based application testing on the contrary, we also have a new set of challenges along with it. While performing software testing on a cloud model, we need to concentrate more on load balancing, network latency and multi tenacity. Additionally, security issues are also to be addressed, especially with the data management. Also keep in view that integrations differ from cloud to cloud and with each technology.

          1. sir i have a doubt about new technology,automation testing,which is good future for tester selenium web application testing ,or selenium mobile testing

          2. Arun, as mentioned in my recently published article software testing trends and predictions – 2015, the next big things is Internet of Things (IoT) and the next few years would be dominated by cloud, mobility, etc. Acquiring skills, knowledge of tools and processes in these niche areas will make your profile stand apart from your peers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: