2016 is the year of India’s newest demonetization, Selenium3 and snow in Hyderabad. No, the last part isn’t true, but one can hope, right? And hope is exactly what New Year brings us; a treasure chest, an unwrapped present, a blank slate, a new mystery novel, a new beginning. You can make what you want of it!
STH is back with our tradition of highlighting a few areas that we think would be prominent in the coming year.
Last year, we predicted that cloud based platforms, agile, crowd sourcing and mobile testing as some of the ‘going-to-be-prominent’ trends of QA and I am sure you have experienced a palpable shift in these areas. Changes in the IT world aren’t usually drastic, so not much has changed since the last year, but
Here are 4 things that should be on your radar in 2017:
#1) Gaining popularity of SDET role: Stemming from Agile, SAFe, DevOps and Rapid development models becoming more and more common. I have been paying close attention to the US QA job market recently and there is already a domination of SDET over traditional QA analyst roles. So, if you have not planned for this role transition already, now is the time to do that.
#2) More and more IoT based testing: Pretty much every electronic device that we own now is in the process of transforming into a smart device. And every such said device needs testing. There is already a lot of buzz in this industry and it is not calming down anytime soon. I won’t say anymore on this because I know someone else who has said it better here => Internet Of Things Solutions
#3) Business language driven testing: I.e. rise of behavior driven development and test driven development. I personally love how humanized Gherkin makes the grub and grime of software testing (of course I am exaggerating for dramatic effect- the grub and grime part :)) and I am guessing so do business owners and non-technical stakeholders. It is a win-win for everyone. Let’s just say Cucumber will mean more than a good-for-you vegetable.
#4) Leaner and lighter software delivery and operation: Growth in container technologies and tools such as Docker. This will not impact any of our testing activities (test design execution, etc.) per se, but aids end to end automation and would streamline the builds, deployments and shipping. I recently read a wonderful white paper on this subject here => Containers 101
So prepare for a change in the way your test harness is prepared and delivered.
Now you know what is needed, it is time to set actionable goals; resolutions of sorts.
Here are 3 small steps that make a big contribution to reinvent you this year.
#1) Give more than you take:
- Participate actively in contributing to the QA community.
- Post learnings, thoughts, opinions, experiences and lessons, so the QA community can benefit from your knowledge.
- Mentor a QA novice.
- Start a group and host healthy and thought-invoking discussion threads.
- Answer questions on a forum to the best of your knowledge.
- Learnt something new? – Post and Share. Don’t have a blog? Don’t worry- Use LinkedIn or contact any of the software testing blog owners and request to do a guest post. Most of them will happily oblige and give you the platform.
- Make a QA concept video and reach out.
Not only will this help someone in need, all of these will help build your online presence that is an added boon to your career and personality.
#2) Master Soft Skills
Most of us in the technology industry are good at our work but pretty much shy away from everything else. Small talk, public speaking, presentations, confrontations, etc. are sore areas that we go out of our way to avoid. Whatever is your monster in the closet, it is now time to face it head on. Go ahead and look up your demon in the search engine (E.g.: How to make my presentations streamlined and effective) and take the first step to start conquering your fear.
#3) Know where you stand and branch out if necessary
This New Year, know your market worth and your relevance to the current state of things.
- Spend some time on the job portals and look for the current market requirements and trends.
- If it has been a while, update your resume and keep it current.
- Update your online profiles too and keep them current.
- Understand what you need to do to stay or move ahead in the market.
You will hear (and maybe even feel first hand) that your role is undergoing a transformation or if it will still exist in say, 5 years from now.
- BAs might wonder if they will still have their place with Product owners and sponsors being involved directly.
- If test managers are going to be relevant with small teams with one or two QAs.
- If manual testing is going to go out of style as SDETs take over.
- Or if you will lose your job to a robot anytime soon.
If you find your skills lacking and threatening your job security, take measures to fix the situation. Augment your skills, instead of going totally out of the way.
For example: If you are a content writer, it might be better to understand how SEO influences content writing choices. From there you could get into SEO copywriting or even digital marketing. So, now you are still a content writer but with a broader knowledge base.
If needed, plan to join a course or self-study, intern or volunteer. Be multidimensional. Consider certification to make career transitions easier.
STH has now given you the needed ammunition and now it is your turn to aim and shoot!
To bring this post to a full circle, here is a quick list of things we have managed to do in 2016:
In addition to our usual optimism-inducing-and-enlightening content :) we have also started a new series, “Know your leader”, to put you in close quarters with the QA pioneers. Here are our posts in the series so far:
- Know a Leader – 14 Questions with Neeraj Tripathi, VP of Global QA at Infor [Interview]
- An Interview with Michael Bolton – Read His Advice for Upcoming Testers On How To Be Successful
We are known for our detailed tutorials and this year we have added more to our roll. Learning something new? – We have it covered.
STH has your back. Whether it is a push in the right direction or a set of actionable “how-tos”- we have got you.
- How to Prepare and Deliver an Outstanding QA Testing Presentation to the Team
- 9 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Writing Skills as a Software Tester
- How to Get More Interview Calls? 4 Reasons Why You Are Not Right Now
But, we know that we too have a considerable learning curve. This year we will:
- Cover free live projects that are long overdue
- More free tutorial courses on interesting topics suggested by our readers
- New design for our websites .org and .com
- Better support for all the readers queries
STH thanks you for your readership and hopes as always that we have served you in 2016. We promise to outdo ourselves in 2017. And who knows, it might snow in Hyderabad this year.
Thanks Swati, STH team member for compiling the things that testers should keep on their radar in 2017!
Wishing you a fun, fulfilling and fantastic new year- Happy new year everyone! Cheers! :)