The Future of Software Testing

The Future of Software Testing

I was recently featured in QASymphony’s e-book, The Future of Software Testing: 12 Testing Experts Share Their Predictions discussing my thoughts on what’s in store for the future of software testing, and how testers can prepare and adapt to this transformation. Here’s an excerpt of my thoughts.


THE FUTURE OF SOFTWARE TESTING IS… about deep thought and exploration. As software becomes more sophisticated and interconnected with our physical world, traditional approaches to testing will need to evolve. In a world dominated by the IoT, AI and Machine Learning, the tools, techniques and approaches to testing must evolve. When dealing with smarter systems, tests are not as simple as an action and a known expectation. Sometimes the expectations won’t be known and it won’t be clear how systems will react in certain situations. Testers will really need to explore and be extremely creative in their scenario generation to determine how these “smart” systems react. They’ll also need to be sensitive to what these reactions truly mean for customers and advocate for those customers like never before.

THE FUTURE OF SOFTWARE TESTING MAKES ME FEEL… extremely excited. Many people think that these emerging trends will put testers out of work. I don’t agree. I’ve worked on applications in these spaces, and they need serious thought-provoking testers. There are so many scenarios to consider as we face this smarter digital world. It’s an absolutely fascinating time to be a tester.

SOFTWARE TESTING HAS ALREADY CHANGED DRAMATICALLY DUE TO… Agile practices. Teams are moving at lightning speed with continuous integration and deployment, and this change has required everyone to pick up new skills. Testers are now required to shift left and test much earlier in the process than we did five years ago, and we’re now providing valuable insight and customer advocacy much earlier in the delivery cycle. At the same time, developers are now doing a better job of testing their features before check-in. And perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen is that testers no longer solely own quality. We’ve learned that to truly succeed in this fast-paced game, everyone must make quality initiatives a part of their job.

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO EMBRACING THESE CHANGES IS… learning so many new skills. In testing IoT or AI applications, I’ve needed to code to truly test, and this is not just automating the tests themselves, but setting up infrastructure to actually get to meaningful results. For example, with IoT applications, I’ve needed to set up mock services to fill in for third party integrations. For Machine Learning applications, I’ve needed to simulate thousands of interactions to trigger learning and analyze the results. All of this required a comfort level with code. In addition to code, testers will also need to learn about these new trends and their impact on the software as well as customers. There’s lots to learn, and as someone who plans to continue in this industry for a while, I recommend getting started on learning as much as possible now even if your immediate job does not require it.

The world is evolving. Software is evolving. Testing must evolve as well. Let’s not be frightened. There’s a place for us and it’s exciting!

Angie Jones
  • Bradz

    Hi Angie,
    Thank you for the overwhelming article. I am unable to download the ebook? Is the link broken?

    August 21, 2017 at 4:30 pm Reply
  • santosh

    good read. thanks

    August 21, 2017 at 5:25 pm Reply
  • Divakar

    Nice read… thought provoking

    March 26, 2018 at 2:19 pm Reply
  • VillageIdiot

    I know its a 2017 article. In 2020, it seems like testing as a career is a dead end job, at least in USA, unless you are comparable to Angie Jones, James Bach etc., or at least their younger self.Some companies are making their devs do more testing, some pay QA lower than what they deserve & some are simply offshoring testing jobs. During the Covid pandemic, I see many lay offs, but I also see many new developer jobs. But, I see much less QA/Tester jobs. Seems like 2 QA jobs for every 10 dev jobs.I wonder if it is better for QAs with “good” dev skills to just start as a developer, get testing experience by testing as dev, make more money and then finally become a QA. That way, you at least have a back up if you need it. Examples of when you might need this back up -(1) Want to move to a low cost of living state. Such states will have few IT jobs to begin with. But, there will be far more dev jobs than qa. So, you have more options.(2) Devs can make their own app or company. I guess QAs cannot be founders of any software company other than perhaps a QA testing service or their own QA consulting company.(3) Although events like recessions, pandemics etc. are rare, it seems that you have better chances of surviving them as a dev (both healthwise, due to WFH & financially if you make decent money). Of course, only until the market is flooded with decent devs with or without CS degrees.

    May 21, 2020 at 12:03 pm Reply
    • VillageIdiot

      I wish the comments retained their formatting. But, then how many people write essays like me in the comments section 🙂

      May 21, 2020 at 12:05 pm Reply
      • Nickel

        Learned quite a bit from your comment.
        I wonder what makes a dev a dev, and a tester (automation engineer) different.
        I get it, their work are different, but don’t they learn the same core programming principles?
        Therefore, shouldn’t the tester be able to easily switch to a developer role?
        Also, regarding QAs, at my job they seem to do all the tedious work regarding manual testing.
        And I’m pretty sure they don’t get paid what they are worth.

        Although, I plan on starting the computer science program next fall, I’m already trying to decide what career path to choose from.
        It seems with full-stack , there are way too many tools to learn. Also, I have been focusing more on Python (though I plan on checking Angie’s free course on Java), being a software engineer is much more than programming. And as this article suggests, it’s about a way of thinking to solve problems. It seems Angie knew earlier on being an automation engineer (specifically, as a tester) was going to be her career path. And this is commendable as she’s a leader in her field!

        October 17, 2021 at 8:13 am Reply
  • rihana

    thanks for the information

    July 20, 2020 at 11:41 pm Reply
  • Venessa Serrao

    Interesting. Thanks for writing. You sure do know how to keep your readers interested!

    October 12, 2021 at 3:46 am Reply
  • Kanika

    Hi Angie. What do you think of AI tools that generate code. Given you are an expert in Java, what do you think about Diffblue Cover that helps in generating JUnit ?

    March 29, 2023 at 9:32 pm Reply

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