ISTQB - "The vision on the future of software testing"

ISTQB published this recently (here - https://www.istqb.org/references/white-papers.html):

I ‘enjoyed’ this snippet in particular:

Over time, software testing will become fully automated and embedded in the processes and technologies within the overall software development life cycle.

Thoughts on the article? I wonder if they’ll be adjusting their training courses in accordance with this document in the near future…

I don’t believe testing will ever be “fully automated”.

Some aspects certainly can be, like API testing. I have worked with scenarios that require making sure the response code is a certain value which is a yes/no answer.

However, I don’t believe we will see a time where automation is favoured over manual checks for things like accessibility and usability.

Also, what if I only want to run a test case once or twice? I’d spend longer coding the test and then battling with flakiness than if I just tested it myself manually.

The ISTQB qualifications are controversial though in terms of whether they are useful or not so I’d take whatever they say with a pinch of salt.

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I’m with Faith on this. We have all come across apps in our everyday lives where it’s clear that the code works 100% but that the system was never evaluated by a human being before rollout because it behaves in ways that run contrary to the ways human beings perceive, think and act.

Any system intended to be used by people needs to be tested by people.

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Another +1 for Faith’s comment - I get the feeling that whoever wrote the ISTQB paper has bought into the hype about how everything can be automated and AI can be trained to create the automation. Yes, we can automate happy paths and predictable error cases, but you really need a human doing exploratory testing on top of your automation pack if you want real assurance.

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The article was a though-to-read one and in all honesty, I don’t like it in any way (be it a message or the writing style). They speak of “everyday” things like it is something futuristic.

Some of their “new” messages:

  • quality qualifiers always change
    • It was like that always
  • quality assurance should be everywhere
    • It is. Trust me. Even your shirt went through some QA
  • automate everything
    • Something everyone strives for already, but everyone sane knows it is not 100% achievable. They just tried to sprinkle some “AI/Machine learning”-like terminology on it so it sounds cool.
  • promote testing
    • This might be only 10 years old message. Don’t know when QA gained the popularity and lost the mantle of the hated team.
  • engage stakeholders
    • I think we have this since “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”
  • software systems are spreading amongst the general populace
    • Again like 10 years ago

If I did misunderstand it, I am open for any comments/advice.

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Agreed on testing and “full automation” particularly around the classic “non-functional” areas.

If ISTQB want to introduce courses on continuous testing, DevOps etc. then great. But there is a risk that the “testing vs checking” argument becomes even more prevalent particularly given ISTQB’s position in the industry.

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I would like to make a bold comparison: testing is like a yeast culture, there are highly bred forms in the big industry but in the wild you find undreamt-of varieties whose aspects are lost in this. So one document does not manage to bring them all together. But there are some nice inspirations. For me, I take it with me that testing resources may be also a good source as an educational tool so making testing a comprehensive util for both. What remains is the problem of implementing all this - but do not let up to make YOUR vision come true :wink:

As a matter of fact, It’s OLNLY ONE future vision about testing believed by ISTQB.

I don’t share the same vision and I feel we may have different understanding about “what is testing really about”.

The future of the testing is laying on testers’ hands.

So take control over with it and let no one drive it for you but yourself.

:eyes: What’s your vision of testing in the future?:ear:

Agree with what Robert said here.

A perfect working software for human test by machines may not be the same feelings human may have about the app.

We are two different kind and one still can not think at the foreseeable future.

It’s still different even the robots can think. It’s like you are telling me siri or google assistant has real human feeling when it interacts with people. :speech_balloon:

Can’t see it ever being fully automated.

Automation is a test on rails, it’s testing something specific by looking for something specific. We can expand the number of specific things it looks for but it’s still going to be in the confines of a group that is defined.

AI/ML may expand this defined group without the need for manual intervention but I still think a manual tester is going to be able to spot things on a GUI which don’t fall into that defined group, i.e. manual testers can go off the rails.

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