I had a chance to interview with Alexandru Zaharia, Software Testing Manager and Anca Dogar, Business Developer of WHYTTEST about their company and the future of software testing.
TechList: Firstly, tell me about your company and your team?
Whyttest: We are a young company, with a friendly culture, located in Bucharest, Romania. Since 2014, here you can find the perfect mix between the professionalism of an international company and the freedom of a local company.
The testing process of a software application needs to be very well-structured, and it is done in certain key stages of the project. From the pre-Alpha stage, to the finished product that is ready to hit the markets.
If we test from an early stage, we can help the development team move faster, be more focused and therefore save production money. Video game testing and software testing are nowadays a necessity.
Choosing a good testing studio to help you, may prove even more important and cost-efficient than you think!
TechList: What will software testing look like in next 10 years?
Whyttest: Technology is evolving incredibly fast and with so many options to choose from, that it might be hard to tell. We cannot predict the tools which might be used 10 years from now on but one thing is certain: there will always be a demand for manual testing, at least in the video games industry.
From our point of view, Automation will not only be a thing, it will be a MUST and most people will be doing it, from back-end to front-end. The need for Automation comes from daily mundane tasks, which are repeated at the start of every testing Cycle.
Automation is done now by application specialized for this or those that facilitate, besides the already known script/code value.
It is likely that Automation will have some assistance or a learning curve, similar to an AI, for assistance during unexpected assertion or errors, or quite possible a scheme which would help the tester write the code which will cover most of the possible scenarios in test.
A lot more crowded, the market is realizing that anything it delivers has to cater to a higher and higher standard, as clients become more demanding with any software they interact with. In other words, the market is ridiculously competitive. This, in turn, translates into a necessity for testing practices and philosophies, that is becoming intrinsic to any development team in order to deliver any block of code with confidence that it will fulfil and possibly exceeded the client’s expectation. In the next 10 years the demand for strong and efficient testing will rise because of this fact, to the benefit of the entire market.
This opinion is based on information discovered in the “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies“, “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us“, alongside online discussions and articles related to Testing, Software Development, Artificial Intelligence, Futurology, Human-Based Programming Languages, deep learning etc.
I believe that Software Testing will change dramatically as Software Development evolves with it as they could be characterized more and more as a symbiotic relationship. Some of the major differences could come from an array of subjects related to Artificial Intelligence and Automation, that are one of the main selling points when it comes to a better time and resource management:
1. Testing tools might require a different approach, potentially, a natural-language testing method for a natural based programming language, where white-box testing could change dramatically in the way the code is analyzed and tested by using a U.I that combines the latest benefits of Augmented Reality and Hologram Technology which could be needed when it comes to a dynamic method that is also influenced by an intelligent agent. (Microsoft HoloLens is one of these technologies that has great potential in the way we create and develop software, and not only that.)
2. Instead of testing actual software under a development cycle, Testers might be re-tasked to validate through more types of tests, an automation system capable of learning the software-at-test by itself and take an approach to testing based on its expertise. This idea is broadly explained at page 22 of the Testing Trapeze magazine.
3. At one point, perhaps later than 10 years, another problem will arise. What happens when both testing applications and system under test use A.I? How would an A.I that tests know that the system under test is correct?
Currently, automation may know how to interact with the system, but it is missing a “a procedure that distinguishes between the correct and incorrect behaviors of the SUT.” as Rößler brought up in the “The Oracle Problem”.
The problem could be solved by analyzing how humans do this, which is by finding a source of truth – a product owner, a stakeholder or a customer. This means that Test engineers would need a different set of skills in order to build and maintain AI-based test suites that test AI-based products. These requirements will most likely require a more in-depth analysis on data science skills, and test engineers would be required to understand some principles regarding deep learning.
4. Going even further into the future, Testers will become extinct. Jason Arbon, the CEO and founder of AppDiff (a software testing services that lets A.I handle your mobile tests) has expressed this opinion in the following quote “I frankly can’t recall a single testing activity I’ve done in the past that couldn’t eventually be done better by an AI with enough training data.” This idea is shortly explained in a TechBeacon article.
Our predictions should be taken with a grain of salt, as Artificial Intelligence is still a young, mostly unknown subject (although progress has been exponential since the 50s) and even though I strongly believe that we are heading directly into this technological age, the timeline in which these milestones are accomplished could be much longer.
Overall, the future for Software Testing is on an ascending path which will increase even more during the following years due to the rise of new technologies and the desire to increasingly master new skills and methodologies.
TechList: How do you recruit testers? Do you have special in house trainings for your testers? How do you upgrade their skills?
Whyttest: Recruiting software testers is challenging, as is IT Recruitment in general.
Our situation is a bit different in comparison with other companies that need QA specialists. We are proud to say that since 2016, when the Software Testing department was established in Whyttest, our turnover rate is 0%.
Whyttest offers software testing, video games testing, mobile testing and support. The whyttesters that work in the video game testing department, show interest in software testing and have potential, go through an intensive 120 hours, practical, “Introduction to Software Testing” Training, thus giving us a great pipeline of juniors.
When it comes to recruiting Mid/Senior QA Specialists we rely on recommendations and networking because “Friends bring friends”, and of course, if it is necessary, our recruiter will do some headhunting.
In conclusion, in a candidate we look for: desire to learn and potential. In the fast-paced IT world, new technologies appear frequently. To keep the pace with all the new trends, we offer in-house training sessions and individual training budgets. We strive to plant, in the heart of every whyttester, the desire of self-improvement.
TechList: So, thank you so much Whyttest for sharing about your company and the future of software testing. I wish your company have all the success in 2018.