The Quality Assurance (QA) industry is susceptible to technology disruptions that impact the system being tested. Additional change agents include new development methodologies (e.g. agile and DevOps), the advent of microservices, open-source tooling, persona-based testing and more. During the past decade, these and other innovations have impacted QA evolution, and they may define how the industry will shape up during the next decade. What are the major QA trends to watch?
Changing QA Ways of Working
Agile as a software development methodology was devised in 2001, but it was only in the early part of the past decade that there was a change in mindset toward QA. Specifically, how it needs to evolve into quality engineering to support the agility required to respond to market changes. Several themes are developing in how companies address QA.
- Alignment with different methodologies
Wipro’s recent QA report , “Quality Engineering in a Cloud-Centric World,” found that most organizations claim to have adopted agile. The reality is, close to 50% of development programs continue to be a rendition of waterfall, iterative or hybrid methodologies. This is due to the complexity associated with architecture or even business involvement in IT programs. This has a significant impact on the way service consumption or delivery models for enterprise testing are designed today. While organizations try to adopt the classic “tribe-squad” model evangelized by Spotify, they invariably see a need to create squads focused on end-to-end testing to handle complexities associated with back-office and monolithic applications.
- Service delivery and consumption models
The service delivery and consumption models tend to follow concepts evangelized for other technologies. For example, the center for enablement model, evangelized by MuleSoft for platform enablement, became an approach that organizations could easily adopt and implement. This model is used to define enterprise test operations and governance models. The success of this model has resulted in its use by a mature agile organization to overhaul its test center of excellence into a test center for enablement.
One area where the QA industry matured beyond others was the adoption of crowd models. There has been a surge in platforms providing QA on crowds across the globe, either by partnering with crowds or by providing a test crowd. While public crowd adoption continues to be a focal point, the utilization of private or internal crowd has become popular and will likely grow in this era of “the great reshuffle.”
- Quality enabled and Quality driven
Behavior-driven development and acceptance-driven development gained increased acceptance as they are designed for deep integration and the ability to define test scenarios using the gherkins construct with mainstream automation solutions.
- Newer techniques with cloud adoption
Cloud adoption had a major impact on ways of working, requiring a move to a microservice architecture. Operations started looking at new paradigms like site reliability engineering and observability. Traditional testers had to evolve to test the cloud-based apps differently with a “shift-right” mindset. The aversion to testing in production started to wane, while techniques like chaos engineering gained traction.
The New Age of QA Tools
QA tooling has undergone major innovation, with the use of AI in testing now starting to change. Multiple meaningful use cases were explored, but scalability and self-healing test automation were the most popular concepts.
This was influenced by two factors. The first is the increase in the adoption of agile and DevOps. This popular methodology led to more changes in apps or products, which ultimately impacted the existing automation. The dynamic nature of screens, like Salesforce’s lightning UI, led to a need for more flexible and reusable automation solutions. While there were products from tool vendors in this space, a lot of innovation has come from global service providers with intelligent solutions such as Wipro Intelliassure. These AI-based solutions have increased in number, but they can’t displace traditional automation, because they support legacy technologies. Interestingly, toward the end of the previous decade, these solutions started introducing AI and redefining solutions.
What Does the Future Hold for QA?
Innovations in the use of AI, the enhancement to platform capabilities via acquisition, and integrated toolchains can be expected to continue evolving QA during the next decade. Based on the pace of change in both the business and technology worlds, expect a much more accelerated pace in QA innovation as well. The sheer number of patents filed in the QA domain, the active open-source community, the investments in startups, and mergers and acquisitions during the past few years indicate that the industry will continue to evolve rapidly. Additionally, with more QA communities and chapters guided by pioneers and influencers across the globe, engineering talent will also evolve.
The new cloud paradigm is growing rapidly, and so is the need for quality engineering. In the next decade, a true business-aligned, quality-driven development approach will be the new focus. To understand how organizations are successfully implementing QE strategies for a cloud-native environment, please read Wipro’s Quality Engineering in a Cloud-Centric World report.