Industry Experts Give Their Software Testing Predictions for 2020
By Elizabeth Kolawa
January 10, 2020
5 min read
In an industry challenged by growing complexity and the trends of a rapidly-evolving software industry, we are constantly preparing for the testing needs of the future. So what are our predictions for 2020?
As we started focusing on the year ahead, we enjoyed many interesting conversations with colleagues in the industry about what we can expect to see from software testing in 2020. I thought I’d share some of these software testing predictions for the upcoming year, from industry experts and our own team at Parasoft.
Adopting Automation in Software Testing
As we enter a new decade, we are still painfully aware of how many organizations are not yet able to commit to the testing required to produce reliable, high quality, safe, and secure software, introducing automation to make testing more efficient and scalable with rapid development. As we continue to move forward, the imperative of software testing continues to grow as a core requirement of doing business, but we still see organizations being left behind.
From David Rubinstein, Chief Editor of SD Times:
“It is clear that the automation of test writing and execution is required in today’s go-go-go, non-linear software development world. But as companies struggle to understand what should or should not be automated, and how to assess the results of automation, I think we’ll see — out of this perceived need for speed — more software being moved into production without proper testing, and we’ll see a decline in the quality of software being created and released. Companies will say they want faster user feedback and call this “testing in production.” I call it shipping software without doing testing diligence. Testing will again catch up with development when automation is successfully implemented.”
From Mark Lambert, VP of Products at Parasoft:
“2020 is going to be the year that organizations look to quantify the business value of testing. We have gone through decades focusing on reducing the ‘cost’ of testing (both in time and dollars); first with outsourcing and then with automation. But just focusing on the cost does not increase the business value if you are not testing ‘smart.’ Testing advocates will need to change the conversation from one of purely cost, to one of benefits obtained and needs met.”
The need for software security continues to grow, as we continue to see the detrimental impact of cyber attacks and breaches on global brands. There is a greater need for following security standards, and organizations will continue to leverage automated software testing to address business risks.
From Joe Colantonio of Test Guild:
“Of all the topics in testing, Security was one of the most recurring topics I heard over and over again on my Test Guild podcasts. Based on a recent article in SD Times, security is at an all-time low point this year as 2019 saw the second, third, and seventh biggest breaches of all time (measured by number of people that were affected). And I’ve heard more, more that it’s becoming more common, especially with open source. So I feel that we’re getting to a breaking point here where if you’re not dealing with security, I think 2020, you’re going to be dealing with security for sure.”
From Arthur Hicken, Parasoft Evangelist:
“I expect that 2020 is the year where we finally start to pay attention to security and privacy issues. Specifically, privacy should take a front seat because of increased regulation and oversight from the CCPA. On top of GDPR, we should expect that on the one hand companies try to do a better job at securing user data as well as be more transparent about what they do with that data and whom they share it with. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the EU or State of California make a high-profile prosecution to set an example.”
From Christopher Rommel at VDC Research:
“Security and Safety Fuel More Test Investment in 2020: Gone are the days of the shift-left mantra driving procurement initiatives. Efficiency goals will be further subjugated as new industry mandates and growing software risk aversion sway minds and influence pocketbooks.”
From Scott Norberg:
“Companies and individuals will increasingly turn to OWASP’s ZAP tool for web security testing as the other (and mostly better) dynamic scanners will continue to fail to effectively differentiate themselves from the other scanners on the market. And IAST (Interactive Scanning Tools, which monitor sites for security vulnerabilities during normal testing) tools will continue falling under the radar of most companies, which is unfortunate because they are very much worth using.”
From Charla Griffy-Brown, Editor in Chief of Elsevier – Technology in Society:
“In 2020, companies will continue to embrace ‘Agile’ to develop and deliver software faster. In addition, there is an increasing convergence of hardware and software as well as an increasingly complex global supply-chain. The geo-political turbulence will enhance the need for greater security across the supply-chain as the ‘Agile’ process grows in practice. Therefore, automation and orchestration will see an increased focus across the cyber-physical lifecycle because of increased global cyber-physical threats and continued pressure for speed and agility.”
As artificial intelligence in software testing continues to augment the modern QA/software testing team, organizations that embrace AI and machine learning can dramatically augment productivity. But whether or not software development organizations are ready to trust AI-enabled technology? That’s another story. As Diego references below, devoting energy to testing the AI itself could be a helpful factor in enabling teams to trust their adoption of AI-enabled tools.
From Joe Colantonio of Test Guild:
“When I used to go to conferences in 2017, 2018, and beginning of 2019, I would hear much skepticism around ‘AI’ automation. Now it looks like more and more tools are being developed that incorporate AI functionality that actually add value that testers can see and believe in. I’ve also started to see demos for products entering the product that really have useful functionality that is being driven by AI/ML algorithms with Parasoft’s Selenic being one of them.”
From Diego Lo Giudice of Forrester:
“On top of the existing demand for supporting Agile+DevOps and continuous delivery with continuous testing practices, as enterprises open their eyes on the risk of not testing their RPA and AI Infused applications deployments, they will realize the need of internal and external testing resources and skills as well as existing and new testing tool features to address their needs. The risk of not testing RPA and AI infused applications is too high and not affordable for this to not happen.”
From Igor Kirilenko, VP of Development at Parasoft:
“I predict the appearance of new AI-based technologies around UI testing, which will perform automated exploratory testing of new functionality without scripting of dedicated test-cases or programming. Solutions will have ‘intelligence’ to understand UI and predict possible positive and negative responses of the system on executed UI actions. Of course, they will have a lot of limitations, but it will be a step forward to advanced automation.”
From Erik Dietrich of DaedTech:
“With the continued rise of the ‘shift left’ concept, companies will continue to squeeze traditional functional testing and the people who perform it. So I believe 2020 will bring increased emphasis on the use of machine learning for test suite management as well as technologies that allow for testing in production. Testing professionals will have growing responsibility for learning and managing these tools”
From Max Saperstone, Director of Test Automation at Coveros:
“AI has been a hot topic the past 18 months or so in the realm of testing, and I expect the buzz-worthiness of it to continue to grow. I expect to see more and more companies pushing ‘AI tooling’ to assist with testing, but I don’t expect to see a huge growth in it’s usage. I believe a small uptick in the usage of AI to assist with testing will occur, but based on the industry’s professionals, background, and past, I don’t see this as something exploding in 2020. I believe there is still a lot of skepticism out there in not just AI, but in automation in general that needs to be overcome…”
Evolving into 2020
As we look to the new year, we see 2020 bringing lots of change, risk, and challenges to the software testing industry. But we also see that test automation and increasing maturity of test activities will help organizations be ready to face the challenges ahead.