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Did COVID-19 boost open source testing?

Did COVID-19 create the perfect storm for open source testing? According to a new TechStrong TV episode, the mounting pressure to reduce costs – paired with a newly-distributed workforce who had extra time for professional development – certainly made some waves, at least.

That’s one of the main points that Alan Shimel (CEO & Editor-in-chief of MediaOps) and Kevin Dunne (SVP Strategic Initiatives at Tricentis) chatted about in their TechStrong TV discussion of the State of Open Source Testing 2020.

Here’s the complete recording and some key highlights from the discussion.

Kevin: We obviously planned out this study earlier in the year. But with everything going on in the economy right now, free and open source tools are gaining more popularity than ever before. So, I think the timing was just really great to have a report like this hit the market now.

Alan: Absolutely. And I mean, but to be fair, look at the open source market in general. Open source testing has been thriving for as long as I’ve been involved in DevOps – which is probably about seven, eight years now – and in my time in security before that. Certainly, with COVID, maybe people are looking for less expensive solutions – though when you talk about open source, you also want to look at the total cost of ownership. It’s also about how well can I do it in a distributed team? We were lucky to have Grigori Melnik from Tricentis on a couple weeks ago. He was talking about how he set up his own team for working remotely and making that as efficient as possible, maybe more efficient than before. So, you know, we’re seeing that too. But tell us: what do the surveys show?

Kevin: There’s a lot of interesting findings there. We’ve got an infographic on our site, and we’ve had about 10,000 people in the first two weeks come and read that report, so it’s getting a lot of traction. It’s certainly worth checking out. But yeah, to your point about distributed testing, I think one of the most interesting findings that we saw is…there’s been a lot of talk over the years about how you can’t succeed in Agile development teams that aren’t co-located, so people were predicting that there would be a drop in offshore testing. Our results suggest that’s really not the case. We saw that 61% of the respondents to the survey were from somewhere in Asia, and most of that 61% was in India.

So, I think to your point, we’re seeing a lot of tools, not just testing tools, but tools like Jira, tools like Slack, allowing people to continue to do agile development because we know agile is not dead. If anything, it’s continuing to accelerate. But these tools are allowing the teams to be able to succeed without being in the same location physically and that’s something that we’ll probably have to be ready for in the future. None of us are really working in the same location as our teams today. So I think this is a positive finding, but one that sort of goes against the grain of a lot of things that you hear about how you can’t really succeed if you have people located in different areas around the globe just because of time zones and communication, collaboration, and whatnot.