Testing Trends 2021

Hello all, I have been wondering what will be the trends for this year. Last year, I noticed an increase in accessibility and performance tests concerns because of the increased number of users going online due to the pandemic.

I believe this is going to continue this year and then we will definitely have an increase on the other trends that were already around for the past years. I have condensed some of these trends here:

Blockchain

Think about how the world changed after the internet, everybody is connected. Billions and billions of transactions are made per second, because of that, the concern with the security is even more important. Blockchain arrived with the idea of making it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions and smart contract (chaincode) services to applications that is distributed across an entire network of computer systems.

This has been a hot topic in the past years, so nothing really new, but you will definitely see an increase as people are still learning and understanding what are the benefits of it and what are the problems that Blockchain solves. Once you understand you never go back.

Augmented Reality

Again nothing really new here, you can see videogames have been using this a lot and it was definitely a boom when you could catch Pokemons in the middle of the street !

With Augmented reality (AR) you can have a real-world interactive experience. The objects from the real world are enhanced by the computer-generated perceptual information, or even combined with digital created objects. You can see an increase on this trend as again people are getting more and more online and avoiding going to the stores because of the pandemic. Now you have the ability to try clothes online for example.

I have never really joined a project with Augmented Reality, but this would be another challenge since you need to keep in mind things like speed you move, lights, objects and other variants.

Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

I know many people hate chatbots but, for someone that hates calls or just wants to make a quick question, or even just want things to be solved as fast as possible like me, this is the right option. Of course there is still a lot to improve on the machine learning side of the technology, but depending on the how you were able to train the bot, you can even think you are talking to a real person.

I am not going to deny that there is a lot of training of words and phrases until it feels like talking to a human but, some chatbots are really useful, for example if you need to return a purchase on Wish app. Today, chatbots are used most commonly in the customer service space, assuming roles traditionally performed by living, breathing human beings such as Tier-1 support operatives and customer satisfaction reps.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay since the beginning of its creation. Big companies like Tesla, Amazon (Alexa), Apple (Siri) are more and more sophisticated. You can expect Machine Learning to be used in the automated tests more and more and also to think about the tests you will need to perform on AI projects.

Mobile Apps (Fitness, Mental Health, E-commerce, Services in general)

It is rare to find a person that doesn’t have a smartphone nowadays, even kids need to have so the parents can contact them to see if everything is okay. The pandemic brought more people to look for mental health and fitness apps than ever, is this going to stay even after our current situation ?

Mobile tests are way more full of details, things you need to consider, like the speed of the internet connection, orientation of the screen, sending the app to the background and opening again… The market is flooded with millions of apps and we have too many options now, so how will new apps find their place? Quality of the service, Usability and Price.

Usability and Accessibility Testing

This is another hot topic as the pandemic pushed more people to go for online services. Keeping accessibility tests in mind you will help people with disabilities to be able to navigate and interact with websites and tools. It also means that they can contribute equally without barriers.

Usability Tests is more about the design of the products. People don’t want to tap 300 times to be able to login or pay for a product, your app needs to be efficient, effective and satisfying. A lot of people don’t realise how this is important, but once you lose a client because of a small mistake it might be hard to get it back.

Internet Of Things (IoT)

Share data and automate services are a must have ! Nowadays you need to have the option to share your fitbit steps with your scale, for example. There is a huge demand to access, create, use and share data from any device.

The thrust is to provide greater insight and control, over various interconnected IOT devices. Which means you need to have the option to tell Alexa to turn on or off the lights when you are too tired to get out of the bed to do it.

I particularly didn’t see too much movement in this area last year, maybe because of all the other more urgent things we had to deal with, but this is another thing that is going to continue increasing, even though I can see a lot of security concerns around having everything connected. Imagine if somebody is able to hack your printer and then getting access to your front door lock ?

Data Protection and Security Tests

This is something you need to keep in mind every time you have a new feature coming up, or even updating a current feature. We need to identify the threats in the system and measure its potential vulnerabilities, so the threats can be encountered and the system does not stop functioning or can not be exploited.

Security tests were always important, but I always felt it was a bit neglected until something bad happens, then was treated as first priority. Here in Europe we need to be super careful with the GDPR rules and make sure we are not exposing personal data anywhere. So, another thing to keep in mind as if we have more people accessing the internet, it means we have more people trying to steal data as well.

Coding Skills and QAOps

Another name for the QA role, like we don’t have enough 😂 (QA, Tester, SDET, Software Developer in Test, Test Automation Engineer, Full Stack QA and the list goes on…). What is this new QAOps name ?

It is a combination of Quality Assurance (QA) and software operations. QAOps combines QA practices with software development and IT operations to develop a long-term, integrated operational delivery model.

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