2020 software testing industry predictions from Edge Testing

We’ve seen frontiers continue to expand in the testing sector during 2019…

With advances in DevOps, CI/CD, security testing and performance testing to name a few. What can we expect from the software testing sector in terms of growth and trends during 2020?

Test professionals at award-winning software testing consultancy Edge Testing Solutions cast their predictions…

DevOps will settle down

The hysteria of stating that testers are no longer required due to the introduction of the DevOps methodology has been more or less put to bed. DevOps (a culture and set of processes that bring development and operations teams together to complete software development, allowing faster paced creation and improvement of software) will go the same way as agile in that it will become a ‘so what’ topic. Agile is now a fully matured methodology with the majority of testers having some exposure which they can put on their CVs. DevOps will follow this route.

Although we will continue to see one new tool or another being launched weekly to bolt onto the DevOps tool suite, the main set of tools are maturing nicely and the skill sets to support these in the industry are growing.

Software Development Engineer in Test in demand

The demand for SDETs, IT professionals who can work equally effectively in development and testing roles will continue to rise. SDETs are still hard to come by but, as fresh blood continues to be introduced on to the IT career conveyor belt from our universities and apprentice schemes, more and more technically able young testers will become available.

Need for cyber security testing skills will grow

We have seen an explosion of cyber security tenders on public and private frameworks this year. Stronger certification will be required including Crest, Check and CESG. Any security test experts with at least one of these certifications will be in great demand in 2020 and beyond.

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Multi-layered testing of Internet of Things

There will be more testing of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). The IoT presents a number of security challenges and test professionals will increasingly be called upon to test end-to-end encryption to avoid any data leakage. Advanced analytics tools, potentially based on AI or machine learning, will be testing the huge amount of data generated by connected devices.

Automation will play a key part here with many products on the AI market already promising seamless integration with DevOps based methodologies, full end to end test coverage with the capability to test the complete customer experience and alignment to all major technologies.

Additionally, testing organisations will be called upon to ensure that IoT networks are scalable and devices are interoperable. This means that we will need more technically capable testers who are able to align to the various layers of technology supporting the overall IoT solution. Thus, the need to accelerate the growth of a technically savvy testing workforce will be a key driver for 2020.

Legacy systems fading out

We are in the most exciting times for software testing since the 70s and 80s (when software testing really took off). Big testing was predominantly the testing of corporate networks: Migrations from servers, increasing capacity requiring more performance testing, increasing hacking requiring more security testing.

But, as more migrations take corporate infrastructures into the cloud, which provides more secure and expandable based on performance demands, there will be less need for legacy driven testing and a migration towards cloud driven testing. The question is will the legacy testers disappear with the legacy systems? The majority of testers are excellent at reinventing themselves so for the many this will mean retraining but for the few it may become more challenging locating work.

Real world testing

The need for big testing will shift focus from “corporate infrastructures” to “the real world”, featuring the combination of large datasets to individual requirements: Fertilizers for a specific field, drugs for a specific cow in an automated milking shed, information about one bus in a city of thousands of buses to one specific handset.

IR35 and how organisations are going to adapt

Standard limited company driven contract work will shrink with a greater focus on end clients deploying lower risk third party services either through offshore, onshore managed services or, at the pointy end of the risk mountain, umbrella-based companies.

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There will be more of a shift in the world of recruitment to fixed term contracts (FTC roles) to eliminate large redundancy packages if the demand drops. We will see the large FTSE 100/250 organisations advertising for more fixed term contract resource. There will also be a greater reliance on specialist UK consultancies who can offer a flexible workforce.

Testing rates will need to remain competitive

During 2019 there has been a great deal of noise around potential test market rate increases predominantly linked to IR35. We do not believe this will be the case as the end client community has become expert in publishing highly competitive tenders – many of which have 50% of the score based on the rate presented. We believe if anything rates will continue to become more competitive as 2020 progresses – this definitely being the case for framework driven tenders.

Blockchain could finally take off

Some predictions last year forecast that Blockchain would explode onto the market in 2019 – our view is that folk out there are still working out what to do with it and it remains cutting edge but difficult to apply practically. This means that testing services are predominantly still waiting in the wings to come onboard and support specific blockchain functional solutions. Once Blockchain can be applied in a more practical way and end customers better understand its power, capability and application then the testing industry will follow suit and become better aligned to ensure quality is in the mix. Will this occur in 2020? Watch this space!


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