Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about the future of testing. Recently, my dialogue with one of our customers on this topic engaged me extensively. The discussion focused on many trends including machines performing testing, growth in other parts of the world, 3D printing, digital wildfire, the need to be closer to customers, and the increased number of interfaces to the data center. We spent the maximum amount of time on the first two trends.
In the outsourcing world, it started with labor being replaced with cheaper labor. Can the cheaper labor now be replaced with machines? The driver-less cars will hopefully become a reality. Today, many service requests are being answered by a machine. Shop floor automation has become a reality. Similarly, can the dependency on human beings for testing be reduced further? Can a robot sit in front of a computer, read the test cases and execute them manually? Both of us thought this could very much be possible. So, in the future, it will not be restricted to only test automation. But, on this trend, both of us concluded that human beings will still be required to execute testing for the most complex scenarios.
Many multinationals are expanding rapidly in Asia, Africa and South America. How does this impact the future of testing? There will be an increased need for testers to think of the end-users in these parts of the world. Also, the cost arbitrage advantage may not exist.
As testing professionals, we will never stop thinking about the “future of testing”. Testing will always be needed, but the “who”, “why”, “what” and “how” of it will change from time to time. I am looking forward to your comments on this topic.