There have been a number of publications, talks and threads on social media platforms lately about the possibility that testing is a “dying profession”. This has led many to wonder: Is DevOps killing testing?
Short answer: No, testing is not a dying profession. This discussion has been around for ages, simply because testing is accessible to everyone – from a manager, developer, chief executive officer to a young child, who can spot a problem when it occurs. Everybody can test.
However, this doesn’t imply, that everybody can also perform good testing. It’s like saying that everyone who can cook is a master chef, or everyone who can drive a car is a racecar driver, or everyone who can write is a poet. That’s obviously not true.
The discipline of testing is often reduced to just the ability to spot simple problems, and this then creates the impression that testing is not a skilled activity. Testing is so much more than that, in the same way that developing is so much more than just writing code. Michael Bolton put it this way: professional testers reveal problems in a structured, effective and efficient way based on different heuristics, identifying potential risks based on models we create, analyzing actual risks based on experiments we do, and communicating these risks in a helpful way.
Or, Is Testing Killing DevOps?
On the other hand, business leads are increasingly pondering a very different question: Is testing killing DevOps? These discussions are driven by survey after survey of testing being blamed as the #1 obstacle to accelerated software testing. For our thoughts on this issue, read our paper How Software Testing Kills DevOps.
Spoiler alert: Certain software testing approaches are indeed killing DevOps…but software testing has the potential to act a catalyst for DevOps: accelerating innovation while reducing business risks and increasing cost-efficiency.