Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Future of Software Testing

Now and then I see and hear questions about what the future of software testing will be.

While starting this post I simultaneously started a search on the internet and find out that this particular question doesn’t stand alone. As it seems I'm not the only one who asks this question and leaves his/her thoughts about it.

Currently (February 10 2008 9:57 AM (GMT+01:00) ) there are about 9,780 hits with this particular search criteria: "The future of software testing"

A presentation by Cem Kraner held on Software Testing Day, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland, May 4th 2004.

Unfortunately I did not attend his presentation which makes it harder to interpret his ideas. The benefit of this is giving my own thought about it. Assuming future cannot be predicted I think he started correct by not giving answers. Instead he posed questions. Questions will make you think about the item. In my opinion a great statement he made there: "A key risk is the long-term de-skilling of the test group." should trigger us how to look at the future.

Though we cannot oversee the whole community and their impact on our profession. We should be able to create some kind of radar-persons. People who monitor the environment and act when necessary.

Another article I found was written by: Stewart Noakes & Ed Adams wrote a whitepaper in July 3rd 2006 Called: The Future of Software Testing: Over the next five years
In this whitepaper they defined 3 watch words:

  • Efficiency
  • Value Creation
  • Quality build in from the start

Also on seminars this question is getting in the picture as like on EuroSTAR 2008 – “The Future of Software Testing”

On WikiPedia Future is the portion of the time line that has yet to occur, i.e. the place in space-time where lie all events that still will or may occur.

Quote from this site "the stochastic nature of many natural and social processes has made complete forecasting the future impossible"


  • If complete forecasting of the future is impossible to do;
  • Future is controlled by natural processes;
  • Future is controlled by social processes.

Combine these assumptions with these quotes:

Eleanor Roosevelt United Nations Diplomat, and First Lady (1933-45), wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US president: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Malcolm X (1925-1965): "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Perhaps we are not being able to forecast the future completely, though we are able to dream about it and start preparing it today. The preparation could start with:

  • Defining our "radar" persons;
  • Defining our areas to focus on;
  • Become stakeholders of new areas to explore;
  • Define how we see our future, not how our future could be based on ideas of "others";
  • Define what is best for us as group and also as individual.

Especially the last item could be interesting. Sometimes decisions are taken based on the idea what is good for the organization, like out-sourcing, off-shoring. I wonder if that is good for us. Did we have a vote on it?

We can think about the future. Perhaps we should be careful what we are saying. As it might turn into a self fulfilling prophecy.

Therefore also think what could be good for you and start dreaming.

What is good for you and what are your dreams related to Software Testing?

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