Over time, programming languages have developed, technology has changed, the process of developing software has transformed, and the types of applications created have evolved. Is quality assurance (QA) testing next to change?

According to Archie Roboostoff, director of the Borland testing portfolio for Micro Focus, it is. He outlines three trends changing the way QA testing is being executed:

1. Quality testing teams and development teams are becoming more aligned
The current (but changing) practice is to leave QA testing to the end of the development process. QA teams go through the development teams’ code, and if any bugs are found, they are sent back to developers, who fix those bugs, send the code back to the QA team and so on until a product finally gets out to the market.

But that luxury of time no longer exists for software companies, according to Roboostoff. QA and development teams are starting to become more aligned, and in some cases becoming the same team.

“It is very critical that those two teams are in constant communication in terms of their tools, collaborating and then seeing what’s happening in real time, because one little miscommunication or misstep can have tremendous ripple effects downstream,” he said.

2. Consumer expectations around performance
Performance is everything to consumers. If an application moves too slowly, they will move on to another one.

Typically, performance has also been a part of the quality assurance team’s job, but it usually is left to the end of the road until all functional issues and coding is taken care of, according to Roboostoff. Now, developers are starting to run performance tests more regularly.

“We are seeing customers use performance testing to sort of track the performance trend of their application as it progresses through the development cycle,” he said.

By keeping track of an application’s performance trend, developers will be able to easily tell when and why something becomes sluggish.

#!3. All things mobile
“We’ve seen the need for mobile test automation to be not so great a few years ago due to the complexity of the application and overall immaturity of the knowledge out there in the market,” said Roboostoff. “Now, we are starting to see a lot of things changing that makes mobile test automation a lot more important in the organizations.”

(Mobile testing is no mere monkey business)

Applications are starting to become a lot more sophisticated and functional, and the need to test that functionality has become more critical. The need to constantly automate those tests and run regression testing is necessary, just as it is with desktop and Web applications, according to Roboostoff.

Also, developers are starting to embrace more hybrid applications, he said. This saves a lot of work for developers, but the problem is the burden now lies on the QA team. Where they used to have a specific application and platform from a developer, now QA teams have generic sets of code, libraries and style sheets that have to adapt to different platforms. The QA team has to make sure that the code will adapt itself to every single platform and mobile device they are going to support.

“You are starting to see a real need to do very strong mobile and mobile Web test automation,” said Roboostoff. “Where customers had the luxury of being able to ignore that a few years ago, now we are starting to see a real need.”