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Five QA Trends to Keep in Mind in 2016

The seventh edition of the World Quality Report, the only global report for application quality, was published this autumn. 1,560 respondents from 32 countries participated in the research. What are the latest QA and testing tendencies? Are there any changes in them?

A1QA has analyzed the recent IT trends and would like to present the five most interesting and relevant research items that are confirmed by our experience.

1. Main areas in mobile testing

Mobile testing remains important in all spheres of business alongside with the increasing number of mobile devices. It is remarkable that there is a shift of attention from traditional testing (functional and compatibility) to security testing (55%).

Security testing is followed by performance, ease of use, and compatibility testing. Functionality testing still remains vital but its prioritization is in decline (48% compared to 54% in 2014).

This situation is quite logical, as appropriate security is strategically essential while other types of testing are significant in the application performance. The number of the challenge areas is declining, because organizations are becoming more mature and experienced in mobile testing.

2. Common security testing activities

As it can be seen from the previous point, we observe that the main attention is payed to security. There is a set of testing activities that are commonly performed. They include:

  • Dynamic application security testing, performed by running test cases to expose the application vulnerabilities (57%).
  • Static application security testing, performed using scanning tools to check code by development teams (52%).
  • Manual code checking, carried out to find out whether anything can produce vulnerabilities using the physical line-by-line code review (52%).
  • Penetration testing (39%), aimed at trying and demonstrating infrastructure vulnerabilities.

For maximum benefit organizations need to combine the use of automated checks with manual testing.

3. The increase in test cases automation

Every year the number of automated test cases within the organization is rising. The level of test automation is considered to be one of the key indicators of a testing company’s efficiency. It’s a common belief that in a few years all testing will be automated.

A great variety of test automation tools (both licensed and open source) is currently available in the market. Test automation has evolved dramatically and now embraces the integrated automation of QA aspects across the lifecycle. However, manual testing is still prevailing (55%). Thus, automated testing has a considerable way to go. In the mature testing environment some 70-80% should be automated.

4. Test automation challenges

The adoption of automated test cases is slowed down by a number of challenges:

  • Functionality changes very often.
  • Test automation is not supported by delivery methodology.
  • There is an absence of appropriate automation tools.
  • Organizations don’t have the required automation testing process/methods.
  • There are not enough skilled and experienced test automation resources.

Despite the above-mentioned challenges organizations have achieved a considerable increase in the level of automation. In future automation won’t be considered as the secondary activity behind manual testing.

5. Test data management

Test data management (TMD) is still a relevant problem for a large number of organizations. The adoption of agile, DevOps and cloud initiatives makes the test data creation and maintenance complex. It becomes difficult to synchronize the testing, control and maintain the data in different versions of environment under test.

Managing test data is a growing concern. Some companies are introducing a new role of the Testing Data Manger. It means that TMD starts to get the attention it deserves. The creation of complex test data sets for end-to-end workflows is expected to become easier in future. It is confirmed by the fact that the reducing trend in test data challenges from 2013 has continued in 2015.

Comparing with the 2014 research findings, this year we witness the shift to security testing and rapid development of automated testing. Will these trends remain relevant in 2016?

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