A Blog from QualiTest

Tech trends that have changed the way we test software

With a rapid influx of new technologies and a continuously evolving industry, there is a demand for shorter time to market. Keep reading to see what the trends show to be the answer to solve this challenge.

We are witnessing the rapid influx of new technologies and a continuously evolving industry which is always moving forward. Year on year, we are seeing new trends in technology such as ‘cloud computing’, ‘enterprise mobility’ and the ‘IoT’ that have changed the way we test software.

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*The graphs show the popularity trends vs other search terms. The numbers that appear show total searches for a term relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. A line trending downward means that a search term’s relative popularity is decreasing. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the total number of searches for that term is decreasing. It just means its popularity is decreasing compared to other searches.

In 2015 Big Data, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and 3D printing appear to be current trends that dominate the IT industry. While the popularity of “information technology” has declined, we see a rise in many specific technologies. As reflected in the graph above, as the diversity of technology continues, people are moving from the general search term to more specific ones. For example, living in this connected world, we can see a growth in “internet of things” which is likely to continue. Cisco predicts there will be 25 billion connected devices, which will double to 50 billion by 2020 (Information Age).

With these new trends in technology, companies are required to adopt new ways of development, essentially requiring new methods for testing. Therefore, we can presume that testing trends consistently follow those of development.

[bctt tweet=”While relative search volume for #InformationTechnology tumbles, other tech search terms are exploding. ” via=”no”]

Using Google trends can inform us of numerous details about the various up/down trends that are occurring, as well as the predicted forecast for the near future. Google trends delivers both timely and accurate information which can educate us in regards to the current testing space. For this particular article we have focused on the rise of Agile Software Development and DevOps which has led to the demand for Test Automation and the attractiveness of open source vs paid test tools.

Agile Software Development

Test teams are having to keep up with the pace of current development trends. With that said, we see more and more enterprises breaking away from traditional approaches to development as they need to remain competitive. With high pressure to reduce the time-to-market, where projects are being driven by fast paced and responsive testing solutions, organisations are moving towards being integrated in agile development methods.

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The above Google Trends graph identifies that the term “agile software development” is trending upward in search popularity with some small dips over the years. The worldwide interest over time increased by 28.95% in August 2015 compared with August 2010. Agile will continue its progressive journey and will receive increased worldwide interest, leading us to assume that more organisations will continue to apply agile to their test process.

[bctt tweet=”“Agile Software Development” popularity increased by 28.95% in 2015 compared with searches in 2010. #GoogleTrends” via=”no”]

Additionally, with the ability to develop faster and the more recent emergence of cloud computing, we are seeing a cultural shift towards DevOps. With benefits including continuous delivery, cloud providers and technology companies are adopting DevOps culture into their organisations. Google Trends reveals that the term “DevOps” has been growing since 2011, seeing its greatest growth in the past two years. DevOps average search popularity has increased by 50% in 2015 from 2014. According to Gartner, in 2016 about 25% of 2000 global IT companies will adopt DevOps.

[bctt tweet=”Over just 1 year, the search term “DevOps” has shown a 50% rise. #GoogleTrends #DevOps” via=”no”]

In this Agile and DevOps driven environment with the demand for shorter timeframes, there is a greater emphasis on test teams to embrace test automation wherever possible to reduce times, costs and improve efficiency. The role of test automation is considered fundamentally important to the continuous integration and continuous delivery of a project and is more important than ever before. As a result, the trend for test automation has also increased over the years as automation is a critical component to maintaining agility.

According to the World Quality Report 2015-2016 the average percentage of test case automation has increased from 28% to 45% in the last year. Furthermore, as suggested in InfoQ, we can agree that the complexity of testing will increase with IoT, having a vast impact on the testing community and with this there is likely to be a strong push to more automation.

Open Source vs Paid Tools

Suppliers are now offering more tools and services and the availability of a variety of tools is driving the increased adoption of automation across the development cycle. For automation to be successful, selecting the right tool is important. You must critically assess your own need and choose a tool accordingly, whether choosing to adopt a commercial or open source tool.

[bctt tweet=”In 2015 the search interest for #Selenium increased by 91.66% compared with the same time in 2010. #GoogleTrends” via=”no”]

There appears to have been significant adoption of open source tools over the years compared with commercial tool investment. Open source tools enable early code driven tests and continuous integration mechanisms, which are key to the success of agile projects. In addition, 45% of organisations cite a lack of supplier dependency as a reason for choosing open-source software (InformationAge 2015). Gartner has identified that the most widely used open source tools include Geb, Selenium, SoapUI, Sahi, Watir, Bugzilla and JMeter.

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*Selenium and QTP/UFT interest over 5 years

Vendor tools like HP’s test tool suite (QTP/UFT) have been on a downhill path and we are not sure that vendor-based tools will necessarily make a comeback anytime soon. There is no doubt that Selenium is the winner here, as it has advanced and is rapidly growing as one of the most widely used test automation tools, having almost doubled in search popularity in 2010 compared with 2015.

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Open source tool SoapUI has risen in search popularity and interestingly, more recently has become even more popular than Smartbear’s TestComplete. TestComplete has received the least number of searches in comparison to the other tools and its forecast has little/no data to show its estimated popularity for 2016. However, more test tool vendors are beginning to embrace open-source tools like Selenium e.g. Smartbear’s TestComplete can now run a Selenium test (Smartbear 2015). So here we can see that open source tools are continuing to make progress as they are practical alternatives to these commercial applications.

Considering the above statistics and projections, we can validate that as technological innovations continue to grow and with the emergence of new trends in the technology space, the trends in testing continue to be influenced.

Over the last decade the software industry has evolved considerably. We can see how the demand for faster time to market has seen the rise in popularity of agile development and the cultural shift towards DevOps, which in turn has stressed emphasis on businesses to embrace automation to reduce costs and improve efficiency. As test automation is continually adopted, we can realise first-hand the shift from commercial test tools as the search for cost effective solutions has encouraged enterprises to seek open source solutions and to date they have become an integral part of testing. Going forward we can continue to use google trends to inform us of how various software testing trends have altered over the years as well as helping us to predict the future of testing.