Our Top 6 Software Testing Trends 2013

Happy New Year to everybody! Time to think about 2013 and the work ahead of us.

The ecommerce market is growing and becoming more competitive every day. This means, the customer experience is going to play an even bigger role in 2013. Online shops are expected to be stylish and beautifully designed – but customers are getting more demanding in terms of performance and usability on multiple devices.

The following topics are our point of view on the most important issue that will keep us busy in 2013.

1. Mobile Usability

Mobile shopping is growing really fast. You might think that every company is ready for this, but that’s not what we see. Many mobile shops display basically the standard shop but smaller. This is often a disaster in terms of usability and wastes a lot of potential.

2. Client Side Performance

No need to discuss the importance of lightning fast websites. Considering the huge success of powerful JavaScript libraries and the integration of third party apps, the client side performance will suffer. So the focus will be on testing the browser performance impression in combination to the server performance.

3. Automated Cross-Browser Testing

In a perfect world, every site behaves the same, no matter which browser is used. But we do not live in a perfect word. So not only test automation is important, but being able to perform them on different platforms running different browsers.

4. Mobile Performance

Okay, we have mentioned the mobile sector before, but nonetheless in times of infinite bandwidth not everybody keeps in mind that mobile surfing is usually much slower than browsing the web with a regular computer. Standard performance tests will be extended to mobile sites covering bandwidth as well as client site issues.

5. More Realistic Load Tests

Do real users do the same stuff again and again on a web site? Do customers really search for one specific product, add it to the cart, and order it repeatedly?

We are convinced that load tests have to simulate the real world as best as possible. Let the users browse freely and order random products with random quantities. User behaviour variance during load tests is the key to detailed insights such as cache patterns, memory behavior, and load distribution. Additionally it makes tests more robust, because the data dependencies becoming smaller.

6. Exploratory Testing

Our world is moving faster, agile software development cycles are getting more and more popular. Is it about time to adjust testing to the more exploratory approach? The ability to deliver creative and quick results without having to set up a full-blown test project is becoming increasingly important. Test design and execution are performed simultaneously.

Exploratory testing requires highly skilled testers who are able to produce results quickly and consistently. Testers who work structured and cover all bases but do not spent days or weeks organizing and maintaining test cases. Testers who can apply their knowledge to any application in no time. Testers who are pair with the developers. We feel well prepared for that.

Your comments are highly appreciated. What topics do you see in 2013? What will be the next big thing in testing? What should be the tester’s focus?


Update: Read more about our software testing trends in this follow-up article: Our Top Software Testing Trends 2013 – Continued.

18 thoughts on “Our Top 6 Software Testing Trends 2013”

  1. Testing in the cloud is just another environment, but you are right it might gives us more testing possibilities in terms of OS and device variations.

    Please also understand that it what we expect to be important for us in 2013. Depending on your market or industry, it might be different.

  2. Dennis, I see crowd sourcing as additional step in testing. This means the company building a web site or mobile app, ensures the standard quality with internal or standard outsourced testing and when a certain level of maturity is reached, other folks are involved.

    In the past, this was often called closed-beta or usability testing, but with a new tool to distribute and coordinate testing, it is crowd sourcing now.

    The crowd gives you the ultimate unbiased feedback. This works great for consumer applications, but rather not for enterprise software from my point of view. Of course, you can invite people to do all the clicking in different browsers based on a workflow you defined, but this does not leverage the knowledge or opinions people might have.

    So, from my point of view, crowd sourcing adds to the overall test coverage due to unbiased feedback, but we have to do our homework before that. I see the advantages here clearly in the areas of usability and coverage in terms of devices or browsers.

    I do not know how much of a trend this will be for the market, but I do not see that for us this year. Rather our customers will, additionally to us, involve crowd sourcing as early beta program I guess.

  3. Rene, thanks for your views. Indeed I agree that both the above are rephrasing and restructuring of solutions which existed in some form.

    To be specific on my thought process;

    Cloud specifically,

    Performance Testing and Load testing – arent people chasing more and more to leverage the benefits. This is not 2013 trend but been onset and now will receive much more attention.

    Crowd – this is specifically from consumer device & tablet point of view. The number of models to support and vendor support is just going far more than people can manage. The cloud + crowd solution seems to be the answer for people to get coverage of variety of scenarios. In some ways testing in the wild. Considering the number of applications IOS & Androids are creating year on year it all need to be tested and we need more flexible models of managing the capacity.

    if you look both are cost initiatives rather than anything fundamentally changed and yes applicable for certain industries than others.

  4. Glad we are on the same page. I fully agree.

    Performance and load testing is not new, but lately a lot of companies are focusing more on it, because they have experienced problems or have seen competitors fail. Also because pages (talking ecommerce here) are getting bigger and including more functionalities, they become more prone to performance problems, such as client side issues.

    Also we face two main access path to data now: mobile and “conventional”. Mobile has more latency and the devices vary more. Slower cpus and less memory, as well as longer runtimes of requests, just due to the nature of mobile connectivity are challenging designers and engineers.

    Crowd: I do not think that we can test everything and even crowd testing is not the solution. Just to manage that and to get enough feedback from strangers is hard. Also because a lot of people have that as a second job, does not necessarily count for quality and trust. Additionally you cannot test secretive or sensitive stuff that way. Big guys, such as Google and Facebook just use their own employees for these programs, but not every retailer can do that.

    But another valid approach to crowd testing is the 10% rule. Deploy your software/change or app to 10% of your user base and collect feedback and even implement a feedback process that is easy and reliable.

    Market: Yes, this list is very Internet and ecommerce centric. This is not valid for medicine, banking, insurance, or aviation of course, just to name a few.

  5. Nice post.According to me apart from the types of testing mentioned by you, the testing for the cloud based apps is going to be the next big thing this year.Also I can say the testing strategy that requires no or less coding would gain much importance.

  6. May I translate this post in Korean for my coworkers? If the author doesn’t mind? I’m a mobile application tester in Korea.

  7. The few more latest trends in software testing fields are cloud app testing,keyword and data driven testing and integration of database management tools within the software.

  8. An excellent write up. i found the blog on searching trends of 2013. Rene i really thank you for a beautiful explanation about cloud sourcing and also for Denies.

    I feel Manual testing and Regression testing is just time spending process which doesn’t help us to learn any technical.

    I feel Mobile app dev and Cloud is the best of 2013.

  9. Regression testing is also one of the trend that is being accepted in many software testing companies.Regression testing can be used to detect the bug appeared due to addition of of new codes in some part of the application.It is better than re-testing.

  10. How can we implement the Exploratory Testing in real time agile world? do we have any separate process to follow?

  11. That again depends on the experience and functional knowledge that we posses on the project/Application. If you really follow a agile methodology or scrum models then if a new functions is being introduced we need to know on where it will have major impact on the inter-dependency module and by the way we can implement the exploratory testing

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