Thanks everyone for joining us in the first webinar of the year, “Software Testing Trends for 2017“. With over 3,000 registrations, Keith gave a great outlook on what we can expect in technology, and in testing specifically, for the upcoming year and answered many questions. But because we weren’t able to answer them all, Keith was kind enough to answer extra questions in this webinar recap, as well as provide many of the resources mentioned on the webinar (see the bottom of the blog post).
Software Testing Trends for 2017: Q&A with Keith Klain
Thanks, everyone for attending my webinar with Tekmark and QASymphony – I had a great time doing it, and there were so many questions that we grouped them into themes. Here are my answers, and as usual, these are my opinions. Hope to see you all on the conference circuit soon! Cheers!
Q: Will manual testers still have a job in the market after test automation?
A: As I said in the webinar, in my over 20 years in this business, I have never fired a tester because we automated their job away. That being said, if you are not remaining relevant to your companies’ cultures, meaning congruent with their technical requirements, providing valuable information, tuned into the products/customers, then yes, you might have something to worry about. At the end of the day, I don’t believe I have seen evidence of “manual” testers being any more at risk of being made redundant than other roles.
Q: How can be “DevOps” be beneficial for testers?
A: Any attempt to push testing further upstream to get a higher quality product out to customers is ultimately a good thing. There are lots of opportunities for testers to increase the scope and coverage of testing in a “DevOps” environment, but that term has become a bit “buzz-wordy” lately. I’ve seen in enterprise IT shops that “DevOps” has been interpreted as automated unit tests and release processes which have the ability to change the traditional relationship of “testers as checkers” to more meaningful and deeper testing.
Q: Isn’t the rise of DevOps killing the concept of having a Testing Center of Excellence?
A: My opinion is that the Testing CoE is dying under its own operational weight and limited ability to adapt to more modern delivery methods. DevOps might be an accelerator, but some of the archaic aspects of Testing CoEs are more than likely their downfall.
Q: As a tester, how do I leverage these market disruptions for my growth and career? What skills or new technologies should I learn?
A: I tend to spend a lot of time talking about communication and articulating your test approach in regards to your business, which, in my opinion, are both skills that can be practiced and learned. As for good testing practices, I would point you to the following from my good friend Michael Bolton:
Q: What are your suggestions on improving test reporting?
A: Focus less on numbers and counting things and more on qualitative measures. Paul Holland gave a good talk on testing reporting, but as we are trying to tell a story about the multi-dimensional aspects of quality with our reporting, I concentrate our energy on lists of defects, coverage, effort, and risks.
Q: What are your thoughts on moving testing completely to a 3rd party vs in house TCoE?
A: My first piece of advice when people are planning to build a TCoE is simple: Don’t. Now obviously, these decisions are made for a lot of reasons (primarily commercial), so I have a series of heuristics I use to evaluate whether a CoE is functioning properly. You can hear more of my thoughts on this in my recent keynote “Lessons Learned in (Selling) Software Testing”, but in short, here’s the list:
Q: From an agile testing perspective, do you find that clients are interested in testing full agile or hybrid agile-waterfall?
A: My experience is that our clients and prospects in enterprise tech are extremely confused as to what “agile” actually is, despite all the information available. I have done with with clients that have termed their approach “wagile” (my personal favorite), especially where they are cobbling together a new digital/mobile strategy into their legacy technology. Personally, I don’t care what approach you use, as long as you are “context aware”, meaning you are going into it with eyes wide open, focusing on communication, business value, people/culture, and make the mission of testing actionable information.
Q: Will there be a link to the research paper Keith mentioned earlier?
“At PLATO Testing, we are developing and leveraging a network of Aboriginal software testers across Canada. PLATO Testing provides outsourced testing solutions to clients throughout North America, with a focus on projects that would have previously been sent offshore.
Established by industry veteran, and PQA Testing founder, Keith McIntosh, PLATO Testing addresses the technology talent shortage in Canada and brings meaningful training and employment to Aboriginal people.
Working with PLATO Testing, whether as a client or as part of the team, makes a positive impact.”