Graham Bath – Keynote: The Next Generation Tester: Meeting the Challenges of a Changing IT World [EN]
Speaker: Graham Bath
This presentation looks at the future of the professional software tester and how it must adapt to the demands placed on it by a wide range of technological and business factors. By developing an outline for a “Next Generation (NG) Tester” the presentation reflects on the future skills set of the professional software tester. This must evolve by bringing testers closer to their stakeholders in their day-to-day work and enabling them to cope with changes in IT and project life-cycles. Without adapting to this demand, the tester as a profession runs the risk of losing its relevance!
The presentation starts by identifying the key developments in IT which satisfy the demands of business for shorter delivery cycles, better cost effectiveness and increased flexibility. These changes enable business to stay competitive and include significant advances in the digitalization of Industry (“Internet of Things”), increased use of mobile solutions and the adoption of robotics and AI/Knowledge-based concepts. In addition to the technology-driven factors, different ways of working such as Agile and DevOps have been steadily adopted as development life-cycle models. Each of these factors is described and the impact on testing outlined.
In its response to these issues, testing requires increased levels of test automation supported by frameworks and integrated tool sets, the modelling of requirements for “seemless” test automation (Model-Based Testing) and the adoption of test processes which are better aligned to Agile and DevOps development life-cycle models.
Examples are given for each of these aspects based on the presenter’s insights into the current-day practices being adopted by industry.
The testing community (be it at overall industry level or within the organization or project) must now agree on what it considers to be good testing practice. This will have an impact (amongst others) on test processes, testing strategies and the tester’s contribution to quality engineering. It will also require the definition of an expanded skill set for the proposed NG Tester role which builds on the current tester role. A summary of this skill set is provided to support these discussions.
The presentation concludes with some suggestions on how the adoption of new skills can be enabled. This focusses not only on training and certification possibilities, but also on the overall approach we should consider in helping people make the transition to NG Tester.