The future of software testing – QA innovation and test automation

Sogeti’s annual TextExpo event discussed the future outlook for the software testing industry, led by top professionals in the field. Read about my compilation of how artificial intelligence, machine learning or intelligent systems affect testing now and in the future.

TestExpo is a software testing industry event that brings to Finland a number of top professionals in the field to share their views on the future of testing and discuss what it means for testing here and now. This year I was able to get involved in the event and I collected the most interesting speeches and thoughts about the future of testing.

What is your superpower?

The theme of this year’s TestExpo was “What’s your Super Power?” In the theme, speakers were in two adjacent halls on two different paths: Is your superpower QA innovation or test automation? Speakers’ topics ranged from happiness to artificial intelligence and test data management to continuous testing.

The first speaker of the conference was Michiel Boreel, who talked about digital happiness and what it means to organizations. According to Boreel, digitalisation will also bring digitalisation to life. In practice, this means that in future we could also have a digital twin that works for us in the digital world. For example, an oil rig can be used to create a digital model that can simulate its performance with unprecedented accuracy.

At the end of his performance, Boreel urged us to remember three important words: machine, platform, and crowd. These will replace our current ideas for building products and services: mind, product, and customer. Our mind replaces artificial intelligence, a single product is replaced by a chassis economy and instead of an individual consumer we listen to the forces and their wisdom.

Oh, is it already here?

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and related intelligent and learning systems were among the most talked-about topics. The presentation by Dell’s election architect Geoff Meyer told us how they built artificial intelligence people called Q and Jarvis to help in testing (Do you recognize movie references?). One of their testing challenges had been the staggering number of combinations of server components that approached a trillion. The artificial intelligence developed for this purpose selects the most important test cases according to regulated variables, for example, the priority, age, and history of test cases, thus limiting the number of test cases and easier to manage.

One of the challenges of artificial intelligence deployment is the huge amount of data needed – and the data must be of high quality and accuracy. According to Meyer, they had a lot of ready-made data for artificial intelligence, because they had previously collected and archived the data of the tests, even though they still had no use of data. Now, the benefits of archiving became apparent when a lot of data was available. This was one of Meyer’s messages; Even if you do not need artificial intelligence, it is advisable to start test data storage now.

What distinguishes the best from the good?  

The last speakers of TestExpo were the top sports coordinator Reijo Jylha and the Olympic champion Virpi Sarasvuota, who talked about what distinguishes the best from the good. The last question from Reijo to Virpi was “What was Virpi’s superpower that separated him from the rest?” “Trust and Responsibility,” was the answer. There must be trust between the athlete and the coach. I wrote the word down to my notebook. Trust. It is also suitable for testing. ”Testing is building trust. A human to a computer.”

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Tuukka Virtanen

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