2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 5
December 19, 2018

DEVOPSdigest asked DevOps experts — analysts and consultants, users and the top vendors — for their predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2019. Part 5 is all about testing.

Start with 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 1

Start with 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 2

Start with 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 3

Start with 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 4

CONTINUOUS TESTING

With adoption of Agile and DevOps, enterprises are developing software faster with a much higher deployment frequency and reduced lead time from commit to deployment. However, it adds a lot of risk of failure in the production environment, which ultimately impacts the end-user experience and brand loyalty. In 2019, enterprises need to focus on assessing the business risk associated with every software release and answer the question "Does this release candidate have an acceptable level of risk?" before deciding to deploy it in production. Continuous Testing, as an integral part of Continuous Delivery pipeline and DevOps, can help enterprises answer this question.
Anand Akela
VP, Product Marketing, Tricentis

In order to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer expectations, development teams seeking to speed time to market have shifted to agile development processes. Thus far, however, testing has not kept pace. That changes in 2019. Realizing that fast, continuous delivery of a seamless customer experience is a primary differentiator for just about every business, companies will modernize their approach to testing. Slow and expensive legacy practices will be replaced by increased automation and an emphasis on continuous testing delivered throughout all phases of the development process.
Lubos Parobek
VP of Product, Sauce Labs

AUTOMATED TESTING

In 2019, DevOps-centric organizations will conduct a greater shift to processes that automatically test every code change. This will allow development teams to solve the problems of slow development cycles by finding and fixing flaws early in the software development lifecycle, which saves significant time for both developers and security personnel.
Mark Curphey
VP of Strategy, Veracode

Organizations that have been slower to implement today's testing best practices will look for a fast track to modernization in 2019 — and they'll find it in the form of automated testing. The practice of writing a test script that interacts with the browser and functional elements on a web page with no human intervention (other than generating the test script in the first place), automated testing is essential for any organization looking to replace legacy, manual testing — and the costs and bottlenecks associated with it — with an approach appropriate for the high-speed world of the new digital economy. Look for it to take hold in big way in 2019.
Lubos Parobek
VP of Product, Sauce Labs

TESTINGS SHIFTS LEFT

As companies' desire to release their web and mobile applications more frequently continues to increase, and developers evolve to keep pace, the traditional approach in which testing is considered the sole domain of the QA team and is conducted almost entirely at the end of the development process is quickly becoming obsolete. This will drive testing to”shift left” in 2019, with teams implementing automated testing significantly earlier in the development pipeline. Not only will the volume of tests that shift left increase, so too will the variety. To date, even those early adopters who have shifted left have done so primarily with functional tests designed to ascertain whether something does what it's supposed to, regardless of the broader non-functional user experience. In 2019, non-functional testing will begin to shift left as well, with teams looking to validate performance, security and visual experience earlier in the process.
Lubos Parobek
VP of Product, Sauce Labs

HEADLESS TESTING GAINS POPULARITY

With continuous testing now virtually a requirement for teams to deliver quality apps at the speed their users demand, testing will continue to be pushed as far to the left as possible, giving developers feedback as soon as they finish coding a component. This instant feedback improves developer productivity, as it's much easier to address bugs in code that was just written than in code written hours or days before. Unfortunately, traditional cross-browser testing clouds often can't meet the volume, frequency, and speed requirements necessary for these early stage testing use cases. Enter headless testing, which combines new technologies such as headless browsers and containers to give developers instant access to fast and reliable test results at a cost-effective price point by. In 2019, we'll see a marked increase in the popularity of this transformative infrastructure approach.
Lubos Parobek
VP of Product, Sauce Labs

CONCURRENT DESIGN AND TESTING

Progressive development teams are already mandating that tests be designed at the same time code is written and features are added. That's a trend and best practice we'll see take off in 2019. If development teams have to wait around for tests to be run, and for the outcome of those tests to be delivered (and then potentially acted upon, thus restarting the whole cycle), that means releases are delayed and customers are left waiting on new products and features. And in the age of digital transformation, the one thing no business can afford is to keep customers waiting (because, spoiler, they won't). In other words, in 2019, if you can't test it, and test it immediately, they won't build it.
Joanna Schloss
VP of Product Marketing, Sauce Labs

EARLY PIPELINE TESTING MOVES TO THE CLOUD

With testing earlier in the development pipeline becoming the norm rather than the exception, development teams will increasingly leverage the cloud in 2019 to control costs and gain the agility to test quickly and at scale. Historically, one of the primary roadblocks preventing organizations from implementing testing earlier in the development pipeline has been the time and cost associated with creating the appropriate infrastructure. As the pressures of the new digital economy turn early pipeline testing from a nice-to-have to a must-have, organizations will seek fast, reliable, and cost-effective solutions, and will turn to the cloud to find them.
Lubos Parobek
VP of Product, Sauce Labs

MONITORING IS THE NEW TESTING

Monitoring is the new testing (again). At the current and future scale it is not possible or practical to test all possible scenarios and more fruitful to monitor for live issues and correct in short cycles. It requires a DevOps culture and fast iterations. Chaos Engineering (Resilient Engineering) will see a usage increase with more tools to make its adoption easier but won't become mainstream yet.
Carlos Sanchez, Software Engineer at CloudBees
Carlos Sanchez
Principal Software Engineer, CloudBees

TESTING BECOMES EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY

Here's the reality of the digital era: when a recurring or would-be customer fires up an application, and it fails, they move on, and they don't come back. In other words, testing isn't so much about checking code quality as it is safeguarding a business. Against that backdrop, testing can no longer be an afterthought left solely to the Quality Assurance (QA) team. And in 2019, it won't be. Instead, the new year will see testing become the responsibility of everyone involved with the development process. With agile development and continuous delivery fast becoming the norm, and apps being pushed continuously, teams will increasingly design their apps and their tests simultaneously. Testing might sound niche, but it's fundamental to the reliability of your brand, and 2019, it becomes pervasive.
Joanna Schloss
VP of Product Marketing, Sauce Labs

QA BECOMES QUALITY ENGINEERING

In 2019, as businesses keen on keeping up with the demands of the digital era work to modernize their approach to software development and testing, Quality Assurance (QA) teams will finally get a much-deserved seat at the table. The role of modern QA teams will be less about running tests late in the development process, and more about working hand-in-hand with developers throughout the entire process. Developers will increasingly rely on their QA teams to ensure code is created in a manner such that it can be tested the instant it's written, and with the integration of new technologies such as headless browsers and containers into the early stages of the testing and development process, QA teams will be less about quality assurance and more about quality engineering.
Joanna Schloss
VP of Product Marketing, Sauce Labs

THE HUMAN ELEMENT

As the role and scope of quality assurance evolves, tomorrow’s digital transformation efforts will see bigger gains from human capital where QA teams learn to be more cross-functional and take on a more end-user perspective, with the purpose of achieving better customer experience — today’s competitive differentiation. The amount of functional testing automated in today’s organizations, and lack thereof, is a key indicator of the increasing importance and investment in human involvement in the QA process. Heading into 2019 and through the next few years, it’s crucial that the human element of testing isn’t overlooked or discounted. Even with the growth of AI and automated testing, greater collaboration and more investment on the customer representation side of QA is where we think companies can truly establish positive differentiation.
David Binny
CPO, Panaya

Read 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 6, covering DevOps Analytics, including AI and Machine Learning.

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