PractiTest State of Testing Report Highlights Agile Values Growing in “Testers”
May 11, 2022
Increased development costs, time-to-market delays, and security vulnerabilities resulting from hidden bugs are perennial setbacks in the software engineering industry. But as technology and use cases evolve, the testers and developers who contend with these setbacks are adopting new approaches to dealing with them.
PractiTest’s Ninth Annual State of Testing report surveyed software developers on the current testing landscape. And this year, for the first time, the survey showed a large shift in the way software developers think about – and use – Agile and DevOps practices in their testing efforts.
The report was distributed to testers worldwide, including test and quality assurance engineers; test leads, managers, and directors; and test analysts. The majority of respondents were based in the U.S. and Canada and had more than two years of professional experience.
DevOps Testing: Inside the Shift
The most notable trend in the latest version of PractiTest’s State of Testing report is undoubtedly that standalone test teams are shrinking as organizational dynamics change.
Specifically, the number of dedicated testing teams with 6 or more members decreased by 15% over the last year in lieu of larger, more comprehensive Agile/DevOps teams. This new dynamic has caused a domino effect in testing where many “testers” now identify as engineers. Correspondingly, the number of respondents who identify as engineers increased by 14%.
By definition, Agile/DevOps seeks to support continuous delivery of software at high velocity and quality by integrating software development, deployment, and maintenance functions into a single collaborative effort. Testing, of course, falls into this mix, as having developers and testers work in unison helps software mitigate the number of bugs discovered later in production and subsequent delays associated with testing by traditional means.
In line with the migration to Agile/DevOps environments, more than half of the PractiTest report respondents indicated they are “shifting right” their practices to support ongoing maintenance of software deployed in the field. Not surprisingly, the increased frequency of feature and functionality releases led two-thirds of respondents to report increased productivity and collaboration in these workflows. Somewhat surprisingly, more than half recognized fewer bugs in production.
Agile and DevOps: Skills You Need to Test Efficiently
Agile/DevOps practices are a marked change from traditional waterfall development models, which means that roles, responsibilities, and skillsets are also evolving. QA professionals who answered the survey highlighted API testing, functional testing, and scripting as important skills for succeeding as a tester in an agile organization.
More than half of respondents also noted the importance of communication, coaching, and training other team members who weren’t formal testers prior to DevOps consolidation.
For Yaniv Iny, CEO at PractiTest, this “improved collaboration between testers and developers.” is among the report’s most significant findings.
“Testers are more involved in projects and are fulfilling the role of testing coaches within the development team,” he explained. “When viewed in that light, it's no surprise that nearly one in five hiring managers view communications and soft-skills as the most desirable skills in their recruits."
A Positive Shift Towards the Future
Some of the primary application focus areas referenced by developers included Big data testing, IoT testing, and AI and machine learning testing, which were identified as either important or very important to the majority of respondents. For software organizations to keep up with the increased pace and demand of these use cases, testers, developers, and the organizations that employ them must be able to scale efficiently into new practices and methodologies.
“The challenges being faced by testers are shifting as the practices followed by our organizations evolve with time,” the report reads. “This is not surprising and definitely not new, but what is surprising is that we continue taking time to adapt to these challenges.
“Overall we need to see this challenge as our golden opportunity to provide more value to our organizations.”