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Agile testing

Chasing the Continuous Testing Rainbow

There is a German children’s story that Omas and Opas pass on to their dear grandchildren: the story of the rainbow.

Whereas the English tradition encourages children to chase the end of the rainbow to find a pot of gold, the Germans take a more pragmatic approach.

“Don’t chase the end of the rainbow”, an Oma will tell you, “rainbows are wily, they move when you blink. Nothing good comes from chasing the end of a rainbow, you will never find treasure there.” Instead, the child is taught to appreciate what is right before their eyes: the rainbow itself. “Don’t you see? The rainbow IS the treasure, my dear.”

At Tricentis we have our own rainbow; you may have seen it before. It looks something like this:

We introduced the “rainbow chart”, as it is known to our customers, at our recent enterprise software testing conference, Accelerate 2015. Granted, this rainbow isn’t quite as romantic as the wonder of refracted light found in nature, but it holds a certain beauty in its own right.

On the left, we see the start of the rainbow: Automated testing, comprised of mostly UI and API tests, is low – making up only 20-30% of enterprise testing effort. The remaining 70-80%  testing effort goes towards manual testing.

As we move to the right however, into the future of testing, the arc of the rainbow begins to form. Automated API and UI tests, supported by service virtualization, grow to an unprecedented 85%, with the remaining 15% diverting towards exploratory-based manual testing.

Just as with most rainbows found in nature, we don’t see the end of this particular rainbow – perhaps the end doesn’t really exist. But as any German Oma would tell you, the rainbow itself is the thing of beauty, and with this rainbow chart at least, we are inclined to agree.

Read more about the future of testing here.