6 Test Automation Predictions for 2019

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6 Test Automation Predictions for 2019

Which test automation trends will you use this year?

· Performance Zone ·
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In 2018, the evolution of continuous delivery/DevOps accelerated the enterprise’s adoption of automation and software testing tools and processes. The enterprise is no longer asking “What is DevOps?” but is focused on how to implement and scale; according to Forrester, the pressure of delivering apps and services on an accelerated timeline, without additional headcount, has made this transition to DevOps mandatory.

Test automation continues to be a critical component of the DevOps solution. In past years, open-source products have been trending, primarily because companies prefer freemium options to better meet their customization needs. But in 2019, the industry trends to watch will be around AI, JavaScript, and the rise (and fall) of Selenium.

Let’s peer into the crystal ball to learn more.

AI-Powered Test Automation Tools

Artificial intelligence-enhanced tools have been used for some time. As an example, computer vision technologies, such as OCR and KeyPoint, help identify user interface elements when traditional automation tools are unable to recognize UI elements at the object level. But 2019 will be the year that AI-powered tools zoom in popularity by moving beyond the delivery of reliable performance; next year, we will see dramatic improvement in an automation engineer’s productivity through data-driven recommendations produced through AI. A few ways this will happen:

  • The proactive detection of changes at the UI and code level, which will decrease test failures
  • Automatic aggregation and analyzation of test results will prove particularly helpful for projects running thousands of tests overnight
  • Generation of automatic tests based on different sources: plain text test cases, application log files, test results, etc.

JavaScript Automation Gains in Popularity

JavaScript (or its super set, TypeScript) will become the definitive scripting language for new automation projects in 2019. JavaScript is already the most downloaded language for new application development project frameworks, and test automation choices will continue to follow that adoption curve. Additionally, Selenium WebDriver (already the leading automation tool) is issuing version 4.0, making it easy to use JavaScript to automate browsers.

Test Results Management

For large automation projects that produce thousands of test results every day, having a dashboard and reporting solution in place is essential for analyzing and managing results. This functionality has historically been provided by traditional test management software. These tools work well with standard and primitive data, such as test case status, but they are not comprehensive enough to effectively report automation-specific errors, such as script issue or application changes. This is why we predict log management platforms, such as Elastic Stack, will be widely adopted in the year ahead. These tools make it possible to collect, search, analyze, and visualize the logs that are consolidated from different machines as well as detect statistical anomalies that require attention.

The Rise of Intelligent Automation Utilities

While there are many automation tools to choose from today, most are siloed or don’t have a lot of support for teams with multiple levels of technical skills. Commercial tools offer numerous ready-to-use features, but they don’t work with each other or even with WebDriver. In 2019, we’ll see a host of small utilities built around WebDriver to improve the Selenium experience across the test automation cycle for test management, test design, page objects repository, autonomous test execution, test result management, and more. This will come about as Selenium 4 is issued with an updated protocol and emerges as a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard (scheduled to occur in December 2018).

The Powerful Web Just Got Better

With new technologies such as Progressive Web Apps or Web Bluetooth, web applications can deliver great user experience just like mobile native applications. For this reason, we predict PWA will gradually take over mobile native apps because it’s much easier for developers to deliver great and consistent user experience across devices.

This is good news for test engineers as the web is so standard much less effort is required to ensure device coverage. On the other hand, test plans will need to extend to cover Bluetooth and hardware communication testing. In 2019, testers will seek out open-source projects like Web Bluetooth and Physical Web to enable web applications to interact directly with mobile devices through communication standards like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

A Selenium-Free World

Product ubiquity always leads to developers thinking they can build a better mousetrap, or in this case, test automation library. As Selenium continues to dominate in 2019, we’ll see an increasing number of developers talking about Selenium-less automation. One example is Cypress, which has its own JavaScript-based automation library that runs inside the browser instead of using WebDriver. In order to succeed, Cypress and other Selenium-free automation offerings will need a larger ecosystem of supportive third-party tools (critical for large projects and large-scale adoption) — and we will see these begin to emerge in 2019.

And there they are — our top six predictions for test and automation in 2019. Expect to see more new and exciting methods and tools, requiring quality assurance organizations to reconfigure existing teams and processes to be more efficient. And while the strongest trends are poised to reshape the industry, others will surely be replaced by something better.

Which test automation trends will be most important to your organization in the year ahead? Let us know in the comments below.

AI, Performance, Selenium, automation testing, continuous delivery, devops, software testing, test automation

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