It took us over 100 years to add wheels to our suitcases. If you count from the invention of the wheel it took over six thousand years. We even put a man on the moon three decades before we add those wheels. It is just an example how much time we needed for really simple invention. Based on that I would like to ask you a question – how much time and effort is needed to learn how to test new technologies and what is the future of software testing?
In 2015 one of the most popular themes for many testing events was – the technologies of the future. We discussed a lot what we can expect in the next 15 or 30 years but we didn’t talk how to test it. Recently we had a short discussion about our future.
Vision of Future
Firstly, we needed to build a vision how the future will look like. Our ideas show that automation will become more significant, we will live with robots, we will use intelligent equipment. In general we observe the process of limiting the role of human beings. Most of the people in discussion thought that technology revolution will slow down due to our own limitations.
Further we started to think what will probably change in our testing environment. We already see that our role is changing. Every year we become more and more specialised. Several years ago we were just testers, and now we are specialists from many fields like automation, security or performance testing. Probably we will split even more in the future when more and more opportunities to pursue will appear.
Next huge thing that should be set are the law regulations of our work. We all know that safety critical or health care projects are restricted by law.
In the future or even sooner we will need additional regulations for testing new technologies. The recent example of the fact that the law is dragging behind the technology was the mass introduction of drones. Now there are finally rules on where and when to fly.
Internet of Things will be the next challenge. Testers will be interested in safety regulations, standards and definitions of a good quality.
Furthermore we will have more and more regional regulations that we can already see in our everyday work. Law becomes a problem when a product or a service needs to be customised to every market. Does it mean we will be dedicated to test devices or items to one market only?
For me it is always easier to focus on something so I chose an example on which I would like to show what issues we can face and few ideas how we should prepare for them.
Let’s start with something small but powerful – a chip. We already have people that inject them into their body but should we test them at the same way? That will be one of the first challenges how to build testing environments that will behave as humans. One of the suggestions were to use animals. Yes it is crucial but if you look at the health care companies they didn’t found anything better than an animal trial before the tests on humans. Would we really like to test all kinds of chips on us? Other questions are: what would be our limitations, how companies will recruit us, what will happened when we would go for a vacation and others.
We can point further problems like unpredictability of reactions. That would be especially big concern when testing many of chips that should interact with external world.
Below I would like to share other ideas on which we would should think of:
- I already mentioned which challenges we can have with testing a chip,
- After that we let’s think about something bigger – robots, for example in 2015 Tesla proved that it’s car can be self-driven, we also have more and more storage robots,
- Next thing that is growing every second – Big data,
- Last but not least – Internet of Things.
To not leave you alone I asked myself questions that would support investigation about our work in future and how to find possible areas of improvement. I hope that can help you as well. Those questions are:
- How we can building and support test environments that can simulate towns or humans?
- Is there any law regulations and how we can test against them?
- What tools we need to support testing of new technologies?
- How to test security of chips, robots, internet of things? That domain of testing that will grow even faster than we expect.
- How we can test performance of devices and networks of devices?
- How we can use more and more methods from other domains like testing with control groups, blind tests? What other domain we can use?
- How we will present test results?
Future of Software Testing
What else we can start doing? For sure look around with open mind. Everything can change quickly and become our next testing target. We should read how things works to understand later more complex solutions. Few years ago we didn’t think about cloud testing or we didn’t work with DevOps. Now for some of us is part of everyday work. We should prepare that for example occupational risk will increase but this should only motivate us to go into direction of safety driven development and focus more on safety problems we already have. We should be ready for the future of software testing.
I don’t know answers to all questions asked in that article but I think it is a good start for us to think about our future. We can use knowledge of testing games, health care systems or companies that are working on big data. I would like to inspire you with some ideas but also I would like to start discussion how we will prepare as testers. What technologies we should learn, what tools are needed and what what should be our approach. Maybe there is something we should start doing now, maybe create new tool or new way of testing. What do you think? What is the future of software testing?