Great topic. I was about to start a new thread on this but had a feeling there MUST be a discussion about the future of testing on these forums already!
I’m about to hold a series of meetings with my team to discuss the future of testing within our company. The majority of our testers are automation testers. That is, they spend almost all of their time involved in AC, writing & execution automated tests and raising/verifying bugs.
It worries me that we could have a lot of automated checkers rather than a team of testers.
Before we talk about the future of testing within our company I’m going to explore with them what good testing looks like and importantly, what value it brings to the business.
For me, good testing is a lot about combining an excellent knowledge of the product with an excellent knowledge of the customer. If you understand those two you put yourself in a great position to be an effective tester. One concern I have with the tester of today, and I see this in different businesses, is that the focus is on writing code and not on understanding the customer or working with colleagues in Support to find out what customers are reporting.
Having thousands of automated or manual tests does not demonstrate the value of a tester or testing team. The value comes, and this is from experience, where someone says “I want X to test this before we ship because I know that X will find any problems in the product”. We can dress testing up as many things, and talk about different methodologies and techniques but it comes down to supporting release decisions and reducing risk.
In the last 15 years, I’ve seen testing move from 90% manual to 90% automated but it concerns me that I see fewer examples of testers who’re the expert when it comes to the product AND the customer.