Three Things We Learned from PractiTest’s State of Testing 2019 Survey
How Agile and DevOps are reshaping the industry
Testing, One, Two, Three . . .
PractiTest, a leading end-to-end QA and test management solution company, recently released its annual survey of what’s happening in the field of testing. The participants were more than 1000 professional testers from over 80 countries, with experience ranging from less than one year to more than a decade. As in previous years, Qualitest was proud to be a survey sponsor.
The survey is rich with information and insights about what testers are doing, how they are doing it, what’s changing, what’s challenging and what opportunities lie ahead. We encourage you to download State of Testing 2019 in its entirety. Meanwhile, here are some overall thoughts, three trends we see as standouts, three more that are emerging, and various items we felt deserve special mention.
Overall: Healthy and Stable, Yet Dynamic
PractiTest’s State of Testing survey is like an annual wellness check, taking the pulse of our industry and benchmarking changes over time. We’re happy to say that in 2019, the patient seems very healthy and on track to stay that way. Responses paint a picture of a stable yet evolving field, one attractive enough to pull in increasing numbers of professionals from IT and non-IT positions within a corporation.
Testers say they intend to stay in the field, and perhaps one big reason why is that they see their jobs as secure. More than half (53%) of respondents chose Not Concerned when asked about job stability, up from 42% in 2018.
Top Trend: Agile Still Rules
Widespread Agile adoption in testing is now undeniable. For the third year, “Agile or Agile-like” topped the Development and Testing Models section, rating nearly 9 out of 10 responses. Agile workflow tools, such as Trello and Jira-Agile, scored high among tools testers use most.
Top Trend: Smaller Teams on the Rise
Consistent with continued Agile dominance, the number of smaller teams (1-5 members) keeps increasing. More testers appear to be working either alone or within larger cross-functional teams. However, the survey’s creators stress that there is still a substantial number of large teams. So small teams cannot be considered universal—yet.
Top Trend: DevOps/Testing Alliance Strengthens
The survey underscores the strengthening collaboration between DevOps and testing, with organizational and functional lines between teams becoming ever blurrier:
- Among reported development and testing models, DevOps jumped 8 percentage points to claim second place after Agile, demoting Waterfall to third.
- More testers now report to Dev Managers or CTIO/CIOS; fewer to QA and Project Management.
- Shifting Testing Left (earlier testing) claimed the high score of 60% on a question about testing techniques in use, as opposed to 16% for Shifting Testing Right.
On the Increase
1. Mobile Testing
The web holds fast at the top of what’s being tested, with mobile testing on the upswing and desktop going down. There is also more testing reported for microservices, containers (sandboxing, Dockers), security and AI/Machine Learning.
2. Tester Responsibilities
Testers are assuming more responsibilities, and those responsibilities are becoming more wide-ranging and cross-functional. Test automation and scripting are still the tasks performed most often, but more testers are also doing test coaching and consulting, customer support, writing code and working with TDD/ATTD/BDD. Write-in responses attest to nontraditional tasks such as onboarding new team members and UX design.
3. CI/CD and Unit Testing
Although the percentage of automated tests reported hasn’t significantly changed, Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery and Unit Testing saw increases. In fact, the great majority of organizations report using CI/CD in some or all projects. The number of respondents reporting no use of CI/CD has dropped dramatically in 3 years.
An open question asked participants to share changes recently implemented in their organization. Some interesting random responses:
- Added a dashboard to show team the impacts their changes make
- Introduced metrics to measure the success of testing
- Catching problems earlier
- More Dev involvement in automation
- Introduction of mind maps across organization
Where should career testers invest time and training over the next 3-5 years? The suggestions include a wealth of opportunities for professional growth:
- Cloud technology
- Data-driven testing
- Virtual reality
Secret Sauce for Career Success? You May Be Surprised.
So what does it take to get ahead in a testing career? The survey lists 20+ skills and capabilities, predictably weighted towards technological and testing areas. Less predictably, the high scorer was Communication Skills, rated very important or important by 98% of respondents.
Your Feedback Welcomed!
There’s so much more in PractiTest’s State of Testing 2019 Survey. Again, we urge you to download it and spend time noodling its insights and implications for the future. And we’d love to hear your own thoughts on the subject. What’s the state of testing where you are? What’s happening in your organization? What’s not happening that you think should be? Drop us a line!