From technical queries to more advanced topics, there are numerous questions associated with QA that individuals want to know. We gathered them all and consulted with industry experts to gain an in-depth understanding of their outlook on the future of the Quality Assurance industry, its current and upcoming trends, any potential issues that may come up, and potential opportunities for growth.
Who are our experts?
Elena Droi is a motivated Quality Assurance leader with more than 15 years of experience in fast-paced, complex environments. Currently, she works as a QA Manager at Canadian Real Estate Association.
William Daly is a seasoned professional who works as an Engineering Team Manager at Squarespace. In the past, he occupied the position of Test Team Lead on BBC.
How will the appearance of QAOps shape the new software development models?
As companies move towards more agile software development models, the need for quality assurance (QA) operations will become increasingly important. QAOps will play a critical role in ensuring that high-quality software is delivered on time and within budget. Its appearance will shape the future of software development as we know it. However, QAOps is not the trend of the future. This trend is already here since the businesses that embraced DevOps are also actively implementing QAOps step by step.
Understanding DevOps is already a requirement of test automation developer positions. I believe everyone who is developing scripts should be able to create a pipeline and implement continuous integration and deployment.
How will AI and ML algorithms impact QA in the short term and in the long term perspectives?
I think in the short-term, we won't see much to do with AI and ML.
The development and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies have not yet reached a point where they can entirely replace the human role in the testing process. Despite significant advances in these fields, software testing continues to require highly trained professionals who can evaluate results, debug issues and ensure that tests are correctly designed and implemented.
At the same time, testing AI is a challenging task, as it is an incredibly complex area of technology that has a multitude of parameters that need to be taken into account. Traditional methods and tools used for testing may not prove to be adequate in such an advanced field, thus requiring new methodologies and tools to ensure proper quality assurance. As AI continues to develop further, more sophisticated strategies and approaches need to be established that are able to deal with the complexity of this technology.
AI is not easy to test using traditional ways. I think more methodologies and tools will be created for that.
The future may bring changes to how AI and ML are used to predict user behavior and complete random/chaos testing. This could optimize the work of QA teams, making it easier to identify which requirements need more attention.
Will manual testing die?
With the pace of the industry ever increasing and the tools for making automation more accessible, there will be less need for manual testing.
By the year 2026, it is anticipated that the global test automation market will experience considerable growth and expansion, reaching a total value of a whopping $50 billion. This strong performance is expected to be driven by numerous factors, including the increasing demand for automated testing solutions across many verticals in order to save time, optimize cost efficiency and increase accuracy. Additionally, the surge in the usage of agile development practices and DevOps initiatives are also likely to have provided a significant boost to this burgeoning industry sector.
Despite this, manual testing is still an essential part of software development, as human testers are able to find errors and flaws that automated programs simply cannot detect. This is because manual testing requires a level of analysis and intuition that computers lack; humans are able to recognize patterns and discrepancies that machines may miss due to their limited understanding. Manual testers also provide valuable feedback on the user experience with the product, allowing developers to make the necessary improvements prior to releasing the product. All of this contributes towards creating a better quality solution that meets all customer expectations. Ultimately, automation technologies can be great for streamlining certain tasks, but manual testing should still be employed in order to optimize the end result and ensure customer satisfaction.
How will codeless test automation impact the quality assurance projects?
I don’t think that a codeless test automation is a good solution. I believe it’s always preferable for testers to know how to code in order to have the logical understanding of how the software works.
Codeless test automation is an emerging concept that offers multiple advantages which can be leveraged today. Despite this, it is still in its nascent stages, and therefore expertise in coding is crucial for Quality Assurance (QA) experts. This is due to the fact that having a logical understanding of how the software works require knowledge of coding.
Hence, while codeless test automation may be able to cover basic testing activities such as smoke tests and regression tests; complex scenarios must be tackled using a hands-on approach with coding at its core. Coding proficiency allows QA specialists to explore the system more deeply and uncover hidden issues or problems that could potentially cause major disruptions or affect user experience negatively in production. It also helps them come up with better strategies to validate whether features including usability and accessibility, meet expected guidelines or standards.
Ultimately, it is clear that codeless test automation has great potential for automating certain aspects of QA processes; however, QA engineers who know how to code will continue to be highly sought after as they bring much more value than what a codeless approach can currently provide.
Will security testing evolve as the strong independent branch of Quality Assurance?
As cyberattacks increase, businesses are realizing the importance of security testing in order to protect themselves and their clients. However, this type of testing is not likely to become its own branch of quality assurance; rather, it will continue to exist as part of the software engineering cycle.
Hiring a security specialist costs lots of money now. Training QAs doing penetration testing is one of the best decisions companies can make to ensure the security of their solutions.
Security should not be viewed as a stand-alone element of the software engineering process but rather as something that requires the collaboration and hard work of multiple professionals. It must be taken into account at all stages of the development cycle, from planning and design to implementation and testing.
I think security is something that needs to be the responsibility of everyone in the team. Specifically, security testing or practices belong to a whole different role apart from QA. The stakes are too high for it to be part of somebody’s job.
When looking for a software engineering company to help with the security of your digital solution, it is important to choose one that can be trusted to keep your business safe.
Will the need for QA specialists increase in the future?
The demand for Quality Assurance (QA) professionals is not likely to diminish in the future but would rather evolve as the requirements of the industry shift and become increasingly complex. As businesses strive to maintain their competitive edge, they need individuals who have in-depth technical knowledge, analytical skills, and attention to detail so they can effectively evaluate products before they are released into the market.
The need for QA specialists is not going to decrease, but requirements are going to change. Companies will be looking more for “full-stack” testers.
At the same time, the outlook for jobs in the quality assurance space appears to be slightly more muted than in sectors like software engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning and anything related to big data. Those industries are all growing at an accelerated rate as businesses continuously seek to leverage emerging technologies for increased efficiency and improved customer experiences.
I think the demand for QAs will be smaller compared to other IT professions (SRE, AI, ML or anything to do with data).
Still, QA professionals will still be in demand, as businesses would always need experts who can ensure that bugs don't slip through the cracks and that each product release meets exact specifications.
What types of testing will prevail in the future?
In the future, companies will be increasingly reliant on testing in order to ensure their products and services are of the highest quality. Some types of testing are expected to be more popular than others.
In the near future, performance testing is expected to become even more widespread and popular among developers and software engineers. This type of testing is expected to be trendy since it helps to ensure that digital products are quick, scalable and efficient.
New generations have less patience; everything has become faster and shorter. Look at the TikTok platform.
We are also convinced that API testing will have a larger impact compared to other types of testing in the years to come. As the foundation for the functioning of numerous digital systems, APIs have become a critical factor in the quality assurance of programs, applications and software.
More and more companies are making their platforms and APIs more accessible. This means a greater need to test how the components integrate both internally and with partners.
Selenium is not going anywhere. Most of test automation frameworks are based on it now. Selenium is like the iPhone of cell phones but free.
Every year, new QA tools emerge in response to growing business demand. To stay ahead of the curve, it's important to keep an eye on the latest trends. Who knows - you might just find the next game-changing tool!
What skills will become a must-have for QA specialists?
When employers are selecting the best candidate for a job, there are a number of key skills and attributes they look for. These range from obvious ones such as qualifications, experience, and relevant industry knowledge to more subtle ones like interpersonal and communication skills, enthusiasm and leadership qualities.
What skills are valued more? Let's see what our experts think.
If I were to pick one, it would be coding fundamentals. It helps in so many ways apart from purely writing automation. It allows us to relate to developers and offer other services, such as creating infrastructure, tools, etc. Data analytics and accessibility knowledge are also extremely important to me as the web becomes more integral to people’s lives.
There is also the other opinion regarding the needed skills for QA specialists.
Security penetration testing knowledge will be a must. Besides, DevOps is already becoming one of the requirements.
The ideal skill set for a job depends on the specifics of the project, as well as its size and industry. Still, we wish you to find your perfect candidate.
The responses from our experts offer valuable lessons for anyone interested in the future of QA. Pay attention to trends, but always stay true to your own personal approach. And most importantly, ask questions and search for answers - that's how progress is made!