Testers Then and Testers Now – A Role that Digital Has Transformed

Ten years ago, the iPad didn’t exist. Neither did the selfie stick, Oculus or Bitcoin. Snapchat, Instagram, Uber, and Lyft? Nope. Google Chrome, Airbnb and Spotify had just been launched. And some of us in the software development industry can remember even further back! The year Infostretch was founded, 2004, was the same year that Facebook and HDTV were born. I could easily name another 10 digital services or gadgets that have become so integral to everyday life it’s hard to imagine living without them. So obviously, the software design, production, and development that makes all of this possible has evolved as well.

In the beginning…

Not all the way to the beginning, but going back ten plus years, being a tester was a very different role. It meant operating towards the end of the SDLC. We all remember the waterfall days, right?! Each of the stages of software development were sequential and siloed from the rest. By the time testers got hold of the product, the underlying business requirements may well have shifted, or got a little lost in translation.

We could test whether or not when I pushed button X, that then Y happened. (And if it didn’t, the process of working backwards could be long and painful). The concept of testing for a great consumer experience was a long way off, but then again, the whole approach to how we optimize quality was about to change.

Enter… Agile

The adoption of Agile methods really helped to speed up the whole process, while also ensuring quality earlier in the process. Small groups working on iterative projects enabled products to be delivered faster. Feedback loops could start to become tighter and the role of test and Quality Assurance (QA) teams began to Shift Left – that is to say, they transitioned to testing earlier and more often.

Established roles in development, testing, and operations became even more blurred as DevOps practices gained traction. DevOps, with its focus on integrating different areas of the business in small working groups, placed the test and QA team in contact with the rest of the business as never before. Rather than verifying that button X did indeed get result Y, test and QA became increasingly concerned with enhancing the customer experience as a whole.

If delighting the customer is the aim, digital delivery is the game

Working within a DevOps framework, using Agile methodologies, today’s test and QA teams proactively assess the look, feel and performance of the products.

Thanks to DevOps and Agile, many teams are now closer to, or engaged in, continuous testing and continuous feedback. Testers today are closer to understanding the performance of a digital service, as it is experienced by users, in the wild. Frequent releases and tight feedback loops raise an alarm pretty quickly if a feature isn’t performing as it should. Increasingly, lab-based testing environments, with their ability to simulate a wide variety of scenarios and devices, actually iron out any wrinkles before release.

Testing in the era of digital transformation

The brave new world of iterative (continuous) development, or CI/CD, is not without its challenges. One of the biggest is transitioning to automated testing. Despite recognition among test and QA teams themselves that digital transformation requires increased automation, manual testing levels remain stubbornly high.

Every tester needs these three things for digital transformation

Testing as we have known it is changing. Test and QA teams are poised to become architects of consumer experience. Where once the intricate tasks of manual testing were the mainstay of their working day, testers will increasingly be responsible for driving digital transformation, powered by innovations in analytics and AI.  Tomorrow’s testers are the creative architects of customer experience. Here’s what they need to know to succeed.

Automation – The Art of the Possible

Powerful tools that enable test automation have a transformative effect on what test and QA can achieve. Let’s be realistic: it is no longer feasible to manually test for all the permutations even a “standard” digital initiative needs to cover. Instead, automation frees up the most precious resource – testers’ time – enabling them to focus on… whatever they want that can accelerate an organization’s initiatives. The sky’s the limit with a good automation program in place.

Big Data – Big Potential

Data is what powers every digital initiative. At times over-hyped, always under-used, data has steadily grown in importance. Data can change businesses, inspire new business models, confirm competitive edge, reduce costs and streamline systems and processes. There’s just one problem. Data comes in disparate forms. Organizations need strategies and processes to extract real business insights and be able to turn these insights into actions.

AI – Loves the jobs you hate!

Bots are increasingly being put to work to solve some of the biggest challenges in digital transformation projects. Bots can help with test optimization, automation of backlogs, de-duplication, debugging and test case maintenance. Infostretch’s own AI-powered test solution, ASTUTE, comprises intelligent testing services and BOTs that leverage advanced machine learning techniques for every phase of testing. What this means for enterprises is that they are able to launch digital transformation initiatives in a matter of weeks, as opposed to months, while reducing test efforts by at least 35 percent.

If your testing team is winning in these three areas, tell us about your experiences! On the other hand, if there is room for improvement for your testing and QA, why not get in touch and we’ll show you how to get the most out of your test environment and accelerate digital transformation? Fill out the form below!

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