Who is a QA Tester in the Future?
Change in software is constant, and testing is no exception.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
To automate or not to automate: that is a never-ending debate. Let's face it: a fast-growing amount of data in software testing and programming leaves no choice but to replace manual practices with more efficient automated solutions. Although it's still not always clear which situations are best suited for automation, the tools are becoming refined and more accurate with each year, while the role of QA automation tester is dropping. The world of IT is moving fast to automating technical aspects of software. But the use of the human resource is left for more important tasks.
You may also enjoy: To Automate, or Not to Automate, That Is NOT the Question...
Therefore, we don't believe an Automation Doomsday is coming for the role of a tester. On the contrary, a career in QA becomes more exciting, tedious testing fades away, while business understanding, user-orientation, and expanded project management opportunities evolve. But before jumping into the bright future of a QA tester, a bit of history...
Why Open Source Matters
At a time when open-source platforms were not more than an abstract idea, most software code were written privately. Although the Linux project added some value to the development workflow, the programmers' areas of expertise have been separated: some of them worked more on the backend, while others concentrated on the front-end side. As a result, creating an end-to-end system took a year or more and implied certain challenges to testing. Most of the system quality assurance process was conducted manually, including feature components QA integration, and the overall end-to-end tests. And automation wasn't always possible to ease the stress of massive data check-up.
Getting back to the present day, the use of open-source tools for coding doesn't have a wow-effect. Github enables millions of IT experts sharing their ideas and solutions. As the companies have access to the code pieces (with the license of course), end-to-end system creation and testing take now a few months.
That means that the way the QA process works has changed. Thanks to open source technology, developers create automated solutions for testing the code and eliminate some bugs themselves before QA gets involved. Moreover, the QA team uses open-source platforms to conduct integration tests. Automation leaves more time for QA specialists to do a helicopter-view analysis and apply an inclusive approach to the product.
“I do believe most testers need to up their skills and be more aware of how development works, how code functions and know how the business functions to make money. Yes, they need better technical competence, but that’s only one out of several areas where they need to improve.” – Henrik Andersson, co-founder of “House of Test”
QA Engineer: The New Edition
Since more and more enterprises adopt Agile methodologies and apply DevOps, quality assurance is no longer a pre-launch stage. Today, it weaves through the whole product life cycle with business goals and value proposition in line. As a result, QA experts are in a position to not only monitor software flow but also add value to business processes.
Our team collected the top QA tester positions required in the future. Have a look:
AI Automation Specialist
Do not mix this up with QA automation engineer. A recent World Quality Report states that 64% of companies plan to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning technology for QA strategy and customer-oriented tactics. Besides, Vijay Shinde, the founder of Software Testing Help, is sure that AI can take over 70% of quality assurance flow, while engineers would concentrate on the remaining 30%. So, what remains?
Business Strategy. The AI specialist will be directly responsible for implementing AI solutions into the company's life cycle. The broad understanding of data flow, math algorithms, robotics will help the QA team to make their “intelligent” assistant contribute to product goals.
Data and Algorithms. The analytical part of QA routine lies in building machine learning paradigms, data filtering, and predictive analysis to build AI-based models.
Machine Learning Control. This is a back-end focused, pattern-recognition technology already effective in testing user interface and improving UX. Facebook's AI-drive Sapienz analyzes programs through GUI integration and eliminates the bugs end-users might face. Such methodology doesn't require in-house QA team. It needs, however, a specialist who would monitor performance and work on its improvement.
In general, working with AI requires to diversify skills in math optimization, neuro-linguistic programming, business intelligence, machine learning data. Although the list sounds complicated, these skills will come in handy once AI becomes a part of testers' routine.
As QA embraces new challenges, is the second emerging role in our QA-tester-jobs list. Just because QA engineers have an in-depth knowledge of how to deliver the best software possible. They repeatedly analyze software and, in doing so, they apply methodologies to achieve commercial success of the company. The new systems become more and more complex, and software testing has shifted its focus from component tests to the system-as-a-unit evaluation. Therefore, QA engineer at the leading position would be effective for managing important business units.
Customer Experience Expert
Most of the online businesses have shifted to personalization and user-experience has come to the fore. Both Google and Facebook heavily invest in UI implementing tools like Protractor and Jest. But that's a QA tester who understands that the customer comes first and satisfying their needs is often a top-priority for client-oriented companies. Thus, the role of QA as a user-defender will gain its popularity in the future. As testers always consider the human element in technology-driven companies, they may fit best to become customers' voice.
Attention to detail, independent review, and the ability to see the software as a system are the skills usually required for candidates to lead large enterprise projects. Performing integration tests, QA takes moving pieces of software and fits them into the unified, comprehensive picture. This skill is critical for those responsible for massive software enterprise architecture and delivery.
The world of technology runs 100 miles per hour diversifying the expertise and knowledge of the testing community. QA is no longer a final check-up phase of software development; it embraces the role of leading quality assurance, provides insights for customer satisfaction, has a broad picture of a product, and deliberately moves forward to embracing intelligent technology.
Integration Testing: What It Is and How to Do It Right
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.
Hyperion Essbase Technical Functionality
How To Become a 10x Dev: An Essential Guide
Revolutionizing Algorithmic Trading: The Power of Reinforcement Learning
Implementing RBAC in Quarkus