2018 has officially arrived! Before we jump head first into the New Year, let’s review some of the most impactful events, trends, and changes that took place this past year. When I reflect back, there are a few changes and challenges that stand out in the mobile, browser, and IOT testing world. If you want to stay ahead of the ball (drop) in 2018, here are a few topics that took off this past year and are sure to continue in the upward trend for 2018:
- Digital Innovations and Transformations for Mobile and Web & IoT
- The Rise of AI and ML tools and Smarter Test Practices
- Continuous Testing and Automation for DevOps have become the standard
- Just for fun – Unforgettable Quality Issues Bloopers
Digital Innovations and Transformations for Mobile, Web, and IoT
Not surprising, both Google and Apple continued to take charge in 2017. Google terminated the “Nexus” brand and launched the new and successful Pixel. They also put more emphasis on mobile OEM’s adopting the latest OS versions. From what we have seen in the latest Factors Magazine, it seems to have moved the needle in the mobile arena because the top Android devices are spread “only” across 3 OS families (Android 8.x, 7.x, and 6.x).
Apple has added 3 new iPhones plus a new iPad to the iOS market this year. The biggest news for Apple in 2017 can be summarized into 2 points: iPhone X premium device launch and the constant iOS11 quality issues. There have been 8 patch releases to iOS11 since the launch on September 19th causing a lot of disruption in the overall mobile landscape. Which is forcing organizations to respond, adjust and plan for all of the patch releases causing chaos.
Apple also introduced a better version of its Apple Watch that now has the ability to independently serve as your phone by making/receiving calls. They also made enhancements to the audio capabilities, augmented reality (ARKit) and the smart home.
With respect to the web, 2017 served as a springboard to what we’re about to see in 2018. This year, we’ve seen a clear realization of the value in moving to a Responsive Web Design (RWD) site, and many enterprises either completed the shift or are in advanced stages of completing that shift soon. Next year, with the help of desktop browser vendors such as Google, we will see an advanced approach to web development that embraces Adaptive and Progressive practices. This will enable users to do much more within their browsers including location-based activities, receiving push notifications and other native capabilities that were mostly mobile-oriented until now.
We’ve also seen a growth in 2017 of the rise in quality responsibility by desktop browser providers that include Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, and Apple. These vendors invested in their browsers and enhanced their developer tools to include useful capabilities around accessibility validations, test coverage, network coverage and HAR file analysis, performance measurements and more. Google even took a step forward in releasing Puppeteer to allow more modern headless desktop browser testing.
Lastly, we’ve seen a standardization and adoption of IoT devices in specific use cases across verticals like Healthcare and retail. What we’re going to see more in 2018, is the standardization of DevOps methodologies that cover these devices.
The Rise of AI and ML Tools and Smarter Test Practices
In 2017, organizations have been challenged with shortening their testing activities that span authoring, debugging, execution and maintenance. This challenge expands quality responsibilities beyond QA to dev teams or creates a merge of Dev and Test roles in agile teams. We’ve seen a rise of a few new tools that aim to solve the flakiness of test automation, such as Appdiff or Testcraft. In order for these tools to evolve and deliver the required value, there needs to be a better design to tackle the non-critical use cases as part of the digital platforms within the DevOps processes. 2018 will most likely be the V1 of these AI and ML tools where organizations are starting to explore more and provide early feedback that will shape the entire tool suite.
Continuous Testing and Automation for DevOps Have Become the Standard
Based on a recent publication by Forrester, 50% of enterprises are already post-adoption of DevOps processes.
And we are seeing that those that have not successful adopting DevOps, are exploring practices such as BDD and TDD. These practices will allow them to better connect the business, dev, and test toward a working product that meets its business objective and overcomes technical skillsets within the extended agile teams.
In 2018, in addition to tackling challenges around integrating AI, and ML tools, in order to achieve a higher degree of automation, organizations will face the challenge of managing large data on a daily basis which is a product of the continuous development activities and in order to enhance quality, organizations will mature the shifting to the build cycle with non-functional testing that includes performance, accessibility, and security.
Unforgettable Quality Issues in 2017
We cannot close out this year without mentioning some remarkable glitches that made the news this year...AKA the digital bloopers of 2017. We picked our top 3 and hope for a “cleaner” 2018!
Blooper One: Date Related Bug in iOS11.1.2 caused crash loop
Blooper Three: Lowes website crashed on Black Friday
Blooper Four: For the 6th time in 2017 – British Airways had a major IT software failure that led to massive cancellations and significant delays
Happy New Year and Happy Testing!