In today’s digital world, software development methodologies have transformed to align with change in enterprise software development strategy. Most enterprises have shifted from traditional Waterfall model to Agile and various customized versions of iterative development.
Today, focus is to get to market as soon as possible to enjoy early bird benefits and market share, and then improvise continuously to keep customers engaged. Continuous enhancements and periodic re-platforming/redesign of digital applications are also required to leverage technology advancements that happen time to time (at a much faster pace compared to last decade). This is very visible in case of mobile applications, which are now well integrated with payment technologies that enable seamless transactions online or at point of sale. This is very visible in case of mobile applications, which are now well integrated with payment technologies that enable seamless transactions online or at point of sale.
Digital era has profound impact on software testing as well. From long manual testing phases after development in Waterfall model, now testing starts the same day as development sprint starts. Many enterprises have already implemented in-sprint automation in which testers develop test cases while developers are busy developing features. Some enterprises have implemented Test-Driven Development approach in which code is developed against test requirements. This shift has influenced the role and competency of test engineers in digital programs. Today, in digital, a test engineer is aptly named as quality engineer, as his role has shifted from executing test cases developed to ensuring quality of product.
The digital quality engineering strategy
Changing times demand paradigm shifts at the quality organization of the enterprise. Adopting automation is not just enough in most cases. In many enterprises, automation is not providing consistent results or covering applications fully. In some enterprises, product teams are not willing to trust automation results alone. These real-life challenges demand a solid Quality Engineering strategy that will cater to continuously changing business expectations, which will only get more and more aggressive and demanding.
One of the clients that we work with, had an ask that sounded impossible 6 months back. This client wanted to reduce its regression certification timeline from 1 week to 3 hours. Pre-requisites were not to reduce any test cases (in the name of optimization) and all tests must run. This is the scale of change digital is daring to embrace.
Many might propose expansion of automation coverage as the solution. This alone will not help us achieve the goal, as it is not just about executing test cases but about certifying a release.
When we did our analysis on how to go about it, following emerged as the key elements: