The landscape in the testing world is shifting quite rapidly. As we move into 2018, we get a sense of what lies ahead – barring any unanticipated disruptions, of course.

We’ve rounded up the top five testing technology trends that we perceive to be making the biggest impact this year.

  1. DevOps will take a front seat

Even though it seems like a majority of organizations have a strong grasp on DevOps and Agile methodologies, there is a need for DevOps to mature and define itself further.  The previous year saw companies embracing agile methods such as ATDD and BDD to deliver applications as per customer expectations without any defects or delay while leaving legacy tools behind in favor of faster and more agile-ready ones.

This trend will cement itself further in 2018 with more and more manual and legacy tools being replaced by modern ones. Chances are also that the boundaries between the roles of testers, developers, and operational engineers will become increasingly porous due to overlapping competencies and the need to fit into continuous delivery cycles. This concept is well articulated by Lisa Crispin in what she calls the whole team approach. Developers will take on additional testing tasks and testing will be incorporated early in the development cycle.

  1. The Momentum will be clearly on Test Automation’s side

While test automation has clearly garnered a lot of limelight in 2017, the average rate of its usage still languishes at 16% across the board, according to World Quality Report 2017 – 2018 – even though it is a crucial part of DevOps. A strategic approach to increasing automation is currently lacking among most organizations.

Greater levels of test automation would help to drive faster turnarounds and identify bugs quicker. More crucially, test automation tools must support complete integration with DevOps toolchains (for instance, currently Selenium and Katalon have the capability to integrate with many DevOps toolchains such as JIRA and Jenkins). This would become a must-have feature in 2018.

  1. AI is set to transform Software Testing

Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, 50% of IT organizations will seek to apply smart analytics in application development.  Most experts believe the use of advanced analytics to make quality decisions is still at a nascent stage because the technology—as well as the processes around it—is still mostly emerging. But, there is already a buzz around how AI can do more to improve quality, and the future promises a lot.

Given its ability to make sense of vast amounts of data, AI will play an important role in the test case and test data management. There would be advancements in intelligent testing tools and technologies that are smarter in generating test cases, test scripts, alongside maintaining and reusing test scripts. It seems reasonable to assume that AI could work its magic on formulating various test scenarios, predicting application behaviors, and identifying problems as well as potential areas of improvement leveraging multi-source data.

  1. Automated API Testing will become a priority

As more and more companies make the shift towards APIs and microservices architecture, there’s often a requirement to test the API level separately. As mission-critical resources that now serve as the primary interface to an organization’s business logic, APIs demand rigorous testing and a greater level of automation. But, the main use of test automation currently focuses solely on UI testing while most API testing is carried out manually.

GUI tests require considerable rework to keep pace with the demand for shorter iterations and faster feedback loops in a world of agile and DevOps. Tests at the API layer are less brittle and easier to maintain. This is why API automation would be a part of the test strategy for an increasing number of businesses that wish to cover increasing API testing requirements and deploy more secure, quality applications on time.

  1. Cloud-Based Automated Testing Will Gain an Edge

Cloud-based testing has been a hot buzzword in technology circles for some time now, and not without reason.  Gartner predicts that by 2020, the shift to the cloud will have impacted business decisions worth about 1 trillion dollars. The evolution of TaaS (Testing as a Service), unique from SaaS, further highlights the importance of the role the cloud plays in software testing services.

Cloud testing provides the benefits of easy availability, great scalability, and reduced costs. It allows for automated testing in various environments and several machines without the need to build your own infrastructure. The increasing prominence of cloud testing has already given rise to a slew of cloud-based testing tools in the market and each has specialized in supporting commonly used automation frameworks/tools. With cloud-based on-demand scalability, help to define a completely automated environment that can be scaled up and down in order to optimize resources while enabling testing to scale.

Spurred on by DevOps, TaaS, and cloud, automated testing will evolve into more complex integrated models this year, and continue to increase the speed with which code is able to be released.

2018 will be all about speed

At the end of the day, the greatest requirement for tools and best practices in 2018 is to enable testing at greater speed while maintaining the right level of quality. What is certain is that the world of software testing will continue to move beyond the mundane and cement itself into a strategic position in the overall software development cycle. We hope to see a lot of exciting innovation that would accentuate the digital revolution and drive growth.

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