Just to be on the same page, Agile testing is the approach to Quality Assurance that extends the principles of Agile software development to testing. We have looked into this in more detail in our separate agile testing vs traditional testing overview. These days, most companies run their testing the modern way, so don’t be surprised if some of the Agile testing trends below don’t have to do much with textbook Agile fundamentals.
We also discussed other tendencies in the video:
Trailblazing AI automation
It’s hard to miss one of the next year’s biggest Agile testing trends — 2022 wraps up with a huge boost to it. In early December, OpenAI released the beta of ChatGPT, a chatbot that takes instructions in plain English to write you practically anything. It is based on the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) language model that the company has been developing for years.
While the chatbot is increasingly reluctant to write code, the language model is actually one of the best when it comes to it. Industry leaders and startups alike had an early start to use the GPT for automation. Companies that started fast are already releasing their products, e.g. Notion’s AI solution for creatives. We ourselves launched a beta of aqua AI that already supports generating entire test cases from requirements or creating test steps from a test description.
AI-powered QA solution to generate tests from requirements or plain English
Adopting unit testing
Agile is about flexibility and delivering iteratively, and unit testing fits that perfectly. You can avoid hassle for both development and QA if devs make their own simple tests. They would usually run the tests themselves to find obvious issues and immediately fix them before shipping the code to QA. While setting up unit tests is extra work for devs and might require QA’s involvement, you’ll save much more time even in the short run.
Moving on to Kanban
While a lot of companies take the Scrum in agile testing route, some take things further. Regular sprint intervals can feel pretty restrictive to product owners, and you certainly won’t want QA to become the bottleneck if devs can match a faster pace. Adopting the Kanban flow of getting things done ASAP is a tech team-wide effort, one that can’t happen without testers on board. We have made the move and now add release features to aqua 300% faster.
Scaling up test automation
While far from the latest trends in agile testing, automated QA makes a huge difference and more companies realise that. The cost to get started is not terribly high apart from finding the engineers, as most solutions are free and sometimes even open-source. You can maximise the time savings even from very conservative implementation by using a tool for test automation that centralises all automated and manual tests in one solution.
Exploring low-code test automation
Compared to writing software, low-code test automation is a surprisingly underrepresented subset. It won’t take you many fingers to list all low-code solutions that specialise in quality assurance. This does feel like a missed opportunity, because there are certainly use cases to lower the technical entry barrier for people with the QA mindset. Perhaps OpenAI’s GPT model will make it more attractive for vendors to prototype a QA-specialised low-code test automation tool.
Stepping up Continuous Integration
In terms of team-wide time savers, Agile testing and DevOps trends go hand in hand. There is hardly any better way to save time yet maintain (or increase) quality than adopting a continuous integration pipeline. The less human factor and idle time you have, the more polish and speed you add to your software releases.
Setting up Testing Center of Excellence
Standardising QA processes may seem straightforward enough, but things get much more difficult with multiple projects. The vanilla approach is making a practical test strategy document that can be supplemented by a high-level test policy if needed. A more complex and large-scale answer is the Testing Center of Excellence, which would allocate QA resources between different teams and govern how they use it. Good tech specialists are still hard to come by, so big companies will find value in optimising the work of people they already have.
Visualising the QA effort
When it comes to fixing defects, reproducing them can be a real challenge. Whether it’s unclear bug reports or genuinely confusing issues, having a visual goes a long way. Both major players and emerging companies started releasing test recorders to facilitate troubleshooting. The idea is to capture test execution and supplement the test report with video and/or relevant screenshots. Some tools go as far as capturing DevTools logs and transcribing all tester’s inputs. This is simple yet promising tech that will ideally extend beyond testers and devs.
We too have created a tool to make bug reports visual and straightforward. It integrates well with issue management solutions but can also be used independently. Click this link to get a beta version of Capture.
Extending metrics to QA
Given the recession, companies absolutely will try to make the most of what they have while finding a new competitive edge. Giving extra attention to the quality assurance team is the obvious choice for higher-ups. Internal metrics are fine, but it is external metrics that will tell how the QA effort (or lack of it) helps a company acquire and retain customers as consumer spending goes down.
Handling hybrid work
The least technical trend on our list, hybrid work is a prominent example of how non-technical things affect the QA output. An increasing number of companies, especially in the US, take a turn from pandemic-prompted remote work to a hybrid approach. The same tech people will be working in the office and at home. These people will not always be working in the office and at home on the same day. The hybrid model will require extra effort when it comes to documentation, written communication, and process formalisation.
The Agile testing trends for 2023 overall paint an optimistic future. QA specialists will be able to test faster, improve communication with devs, and release even more polished software in an increasingly competitive market. We are excited to see where the next year takes testing.
Kick off your year with a forward-looking test management solution