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What does the future of web testing look like?

Posted by Dan Berry on Friday 15 September 2017

Websites and applications are changing. They’re changing in the way we use them, the devices we access them on and our user expectations have skyrocketed.

So, it’s no surprise that businesses are pulling out all the stops to make their applications are secure, stable and user-friendly. And they’re achieving this with robust web testing.

But just like the sites such tests probe, the world of web testing is changing on a monumental scale too:

Release cycles are speeding up

Agile methodology and other new development methods mean we are now working with hourly or daily release cycles. As such, testers need to match this fast pace of development.

It’s not an easy task and web testers are placed under increasing pressure - research reveals the gap between the desired and actual hourly deployment time has increased in the past year from 8% to 14%.

One way to alleviate this pressure is for testers to collaborate with the development team and initiate a form of pair programming.

For example, easy problems in a test environment can be fixed with a tester and a programmer working together to fix bugs faster, instead of waiting for all the issues to identified and then fixed with a looming release date.

But this way of working may not be feasible if you don’t have the in-house test capacity. In which case, you can outsource to our external testers to make sure no bugs are missed as new devices and updates enter the online world.

Agile testing is entering the mainstream

Collaboration is not just required between your development and testing teams to futureproof your web testing environment, you may need to take things one step further with agile testing.

Agile testing requires collaboration between your customers and your testing teams. The basic premise is that agile testing aligns your website with the needs of the customer.

Agile testing is an integral part of the wider software development lifecycle (instead of a standalone phase) where your website is continuously tested and feedback from customers is fed into the process. This ensures that progress on your website is continuous - and your site delivers the experience your customers expect.

Other advantages include the early identification of critical issues, because testing starts as soon as your code is workable. You can also easily adapt to any changes on your site - whether that’s changes in your requirements or customer expectations - because your development work is conducted in smaller increments, over a smaller period of time - meaning a shorter time to market. Agile testing also generally requires a smaller team of testers, bringing efficiency to your resources and streamlining your costs.

One way to implement agile testing is to utilise crowdsourced web testing. This enables hundreds of tests to be completed in a few hours - and it’s a more cost-effective solution than hiring in a fleet of new software testers too.

Web Testing

The diversity and scale of the device market

There are currently 7.2 billion SIM cards operating across the globe on a huge range of disparate devices. How can you make sure your website works on all the devices, operating systems and browsers that your customers use without spending a small fortune on the devices and in-house testing team?

Crowdsourced testing, again, can bolster your test environment as you will get device coverage on a scale that’s simply not feasible in-house. The crowd can also offer a large number of tests – potentially hundreds in a short time space – and these tests are conducted by real users on their actual devices.

Crowdsourced testing is also a fraction of the cost compared to traditional testing methods - so you’ll get the best coverage for the best cost. Win win.

Security issues are getting more complex and important

Innovations such as the IoT and mobile and cloud environments mean the risk of a cyber attack on your site has increased. In Q3 of 2016 alone, 18 million new malware samples were captured and more than 4,000 ransomware attached occurred every day in 2016 - a 300% increase over 2015. High profile attacks such as the recent breach at the NHS are just the tip of the iceberg.

As such, keeping your customer information secure is a priority and a challenge every business faces within the digital world.

Two-thirds of senior executives said that security testing is now a priority for them, according to the Capgemini Quality Report,  because of the consequences they could face such as a loss of business and customer trust. To give another high-profile example, Apple’s shares dropped 4% after the recent spate of celebrity iCloud scandals.

Bigger web testing budgets will bring further disruption

It seems as if more people now understand that cutting your web testing budget is not a wise move. As such, many businesses are re-thinking how they spend their web testing budget and recent studies have predicted that security testing will grow to $4.96 billion by 2019. The World Quality Report also expects to see a 40% increase in web testing budgets by 2019.

But you don’t necessarily need to throw money at your web testing environment - there are plenty of innovative solutions to help you give your customers the robust, secure and accessible website they want and need in today’s changing online landscape.

If you want to find out more about how to revolutionise your web testing strategy, please click here.

Web Testing