The evolution of testing: From optional to essential

Getronics Editorial Team

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In the modern world, testing and quality assurance (QA) are essential parts of the complete software development process. Today, Continuous Testing, following the DevOps culture, is a critical part of the quality control process, driving continual improvement through every stage – but this hasn’t always been the case. If we look back to the past, we can see an evolution of testing from an optional extra to an integral part of development.

All software isn’t equal

Traditional software testing focused on functionality, not programming quality. As the concept of DevOps became established, people assumed that if a piece of software was performing its role, that was enough. Until the advent of automated testing in the 1980s, all software validation and verification were performed by humans, which was a time-consuming and highly repetitive task.

Automated software testing emerged in the 1980s and was a paradigm shift for the industry. By automating the process, the software could be tested in high volumes much faster than traditional methods. Automated testing enabled all team members to focus more on the quality of the software itself, with fault-finding feedback into a loop of continual improvement.

The adoption of automation was widespread and helped to transform the way we, as software developers, work – but there were more changes to come.

Adoption of Agile

The Agile Manifesto, published in 2001, codified working practices software developers had used. Software developers recognized that long development processes could mean new programs were quickly outdated. A process was needed where new features, configuration changes, and more could be introduced, and Agile was born.

The agile methodology enables engineers and teams to adapt quickly and is ideal for scenarios where software must be dynamic and evolve quickly. Traditional development processes are still used where the customer has rigid requirements.

The concept of continuous delivery is now embedded in Agile. The DevOps automated delivery pipeline rapidly provides quality assurance that new code will deliver the functionality required and is of the right quality. As part of the process, testers began innovating and expanding their roles, introducing developments such as risk-based, rapid, and exploratory testing. Today Agile is everywhere, but there are new advancements that are transforming testing.

Move to the cloud

The transition to the cloud has improved software testing, with engineers now using third-party environments to validate software. Cloud testing allows testers to validate software in three ways:

  • Functional testing – Does it do what we need it to do?
  • Non-functional testing – Is it scalable, reliable, accessible, and usable?
  • Ability to emulate real application services from the cloud.

The cloud has huge benefits for testers, including compatibility, accessibility, and scalability. It’s also simple to develop testing environments that mimic those end-users will experience. As well as testing benefits, organizations find testing on the cloud is more accurate, replicable, and cost-effective.

Low-code development is giving smaller businesses the tools to build their own software. Within low-code platforms is the ability for users to run automated tests, validating that their software will deliver the functionality required. The ability to develop bespoke business software and test it is accelerating innovation.

Organizations are increasingly adopting new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), into their DevOps and quality control processes. New technologies harness the power of algorithms, data, and logic to improve the process, giving programmers and testers deeper insights. In the future, we will see testing platforms that can learn and develop, providing much more profound insights and creating a development environment that’s continuously learning.

Over the past four decades, we’ve seen a massive change in how software is developed and tested. Still, the fundamental driving force remains the same – to create high-quality software that delivers the best user experience.

Getronics is a trusted partner to some of the world’s largest businesses, helping them to adopt systems and solutions that improve how they work. Today, we provide a comprehensive range of testing solutions to validate software projects for all sectors. Contact us if you would like to know more about our software testing services.

Getronics Editorial Team

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