Why (and How) Manual Testing Must Change

Software testing 101

Why (and How) Manual Testing Must Change

As Continuous Testing becomes imperative for large enterprises, it also becomes essential for every organization involved in their software quality processes. This includes the Testing Services industry as a whole (which Gartner estimates as having global revenues of 32 bn USD) and the GSIs—mainly from India—responsible for roughly 60% of that staggering amount.  

However, the software testing being performed by testing service providers is still largely manual—and therefore unsuitable for Continuous Testing:

Source: Tricentis Survey of Customers and Prospects

A recent Tricentis survey polling large global enterprises revealed an average automation level of 18%. For large enterprises, the percentage of test automation is as low as 8%. Moreover, much of that automation occurs at the UI level (as opposed to API-level tests, which are much better suited for Continuous Testing but are traditionally implemented by developers testing software, not professional testers).

Given that most test automation initiatives still use heavily-programmed frameworks (requiring developers) for test automation, this low percentage of test automation is not all that surprising. Continuous Testing, however, simply cannot become a reality with that level of manual testing! 

Continuous Testing requires an entirely different picture to be implemented:

To enable Continuous Testing, automation rates needs to exceed 85%–so manual testing must evolve dramatically. The only remaining manual tests should be exploratory tests, and the type of automation should shift as well. Automation should focus predominantly on the API or message level, requiring Service Virtualization to simulate the many dependent APIs and other components that are not continuously available or accessible for automated end-to-end testing. 

UI test automation will not vanish, but it will no longer be the focal point of automation.

Closing the Gap with Tricentis Test Automation

How can testing service providers achieve the required level of extreme automation? Will all manual testers need to become developers now? And if they fail to convert, will they be out of a job? What is the overall impact on testing services?

The answer is simple: Manual testers do not need to become programmers! They can use software testing tools that are already available today to efficiently provide test automation.

Source: “2016-2017 World Quality Report,” Capgemini, HPE, Sogeti

Tricentis Tosca’s test automation is especially well-suited for this task. Tricentis is committed to helping manual testers become test automation specialists, and our success in achieving that goal has earned us “leader” rankings from both Gartner and Forrester Research. Through innovative technologies such as model-based test automation, we help testers achieve test automation rates of greater than 90%. 

For example, here are results that we have measured with teams applying Tricentis Tosca: 

More specifically, we recently initiated a competition between two equally-sized and equally-skilled teams of manual testers at one of our GSI partners:

  • Team A tried to train the manual testers on test scripting (using Selenium). After 3 months, 15% became productive!
  • Team B trained manual testers on test automation with Tricentis Tosca. After 3 weeks (5 days of training and another 2 weeks of coaching), 85% became productive!

As soon as these results became evident, the partner decided to roll out Tricentis Tosca to their entire staff, designate this solution their number one choice for transitioning their manual testing business into Continuous Testing services, and make Tricentis Tosca training an integral part of their consultants’ standard education. 

Wrap Up

In conclusion, testers don’t need to become programmers in order to meet the needs of modern development processes such as Agile and DevOps. Many are already becoming automation specialists and achieving impressive automation rates with Tricentis’ test automation. By providing the industry’s most innovative functional testing technologies, Tricentis helps testers break through the barriers experienced with conventional testing tools and achieve 90%+ test automation rates. As many leading GSIs have already experienced, this transition is critical for keeping pace with the evolving needs of the enterprises they work with.

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