Testing as a service has evolved over a period of time. Some of the levers used commonly to deliver faster results in the last decade include:
Usage of Automation tools to accelerate productivity and gain effort and schedule reduction
Offshore based testing (onshore-offshore model to compress timelines and gaining access to a scalable cum flexible resource pool)
Free to Use Automation Tools
With the availability of free of cost automation tools and test driven development models gaining ground, the boundaries that separate development and testing have reduced. Test driven development model advocates early involvement of testers during the software development life cycle wherein test cases are made available ahead of development. Some of the distinct trends that are emerging are discussed below:
The advent of cloud and virtualization is a recent trend that enables access to vast computational resources in very short time. The implication is already evident when organizations have started to move away from traditional offshore based models to crowd sourcing of talent. Such talent would be disparately located across time zones, but work as a team to deliver testing projects.
Risk based testing techniques
With testing being conducted near the end of the software development life cycle, there is very little time available to perform comprehensive testing. In such cases, testing teams need to undertake testing based on the criticality of the business functionality being tested. Risk based testing calls for selective execution of high criticality test cases. This model works best for conducting regression testing when major releases are being tested, wherein testing teams are already familiar with the composition of the regression pack.
Increasing adoption of Agile and Iterative methodologies
With increasing realization that requirement stability as advocated by the waterfall model is not practical, many organizations have started adopting Agile model of software development. The result is that testers are getting embedded into the project from the requirements definition phase onwards to promote increased interaction with the Business Analysts and developers with the testers moving away from (traditional) separate organization structures.
Increased focus on security, performance and usability testing
Across industries, organizations are embarking upon digital initiatives to improve customer experience. This would mean an increasing allocation for load and performance testing (to address scalability issues), penetration testing (to address security flaws) besides cross browser and cross platform testing (to address usability issues). Faced with constraints on budgets, CIOs would increasingly focus on metrics around usage of browsers and platforms to optimally allocate budgets.
Testers’ career paths
Testing professionals would be required to upskill themselves to keep pace with the emerging trends. This would require that testers become specialists in the emerging technologies, methodologies and software.
The impact of various trends around social media, mobility and cloud computing is already influencing the direction in which software testing is headed. The focus would have to be on defect prevention rather than defect detection.