Impacting factor
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The Single Most Impacting Factor for the Future of Manual Testing

In the last article posted by Fortitude 17 Limited, we gave away the answer right after answering the question. This time, you’ll have to hang fire.

Weirdly, I’ve seen a lot of posts on LinkedIn of late that focus on the future and longevity of manual testers. You could be forgiven for actually thinking some of these posts are merely there as clickbait and to provoke.

What disappoints me about the posts I’ve read recently is that they have been authored by writers with a substantial following and the comments; oh, the comments! Within the comments, appear to be people new to the software testing world and looking for guidance and clarity – and not necessarily receiving such feedback. The gist of the comments: “I need to become a test engineer or automation specialist now” and “how long before I’m out of a job as a manual tester?”

Whilst, like a lot of systems, processes and careers in the world, software testing and all it encapsulates doesn’t escape the evolution of technology and the role it plays in the world. Manual testing still plays a huge part when it comes to the improvement and validation of software. As does automation.

Let’s take Microsoft Dynamics 365 for example. Launched in Q4 2016, MSD365 didn’t have many options in terms of automation. At the time, we had to think of alternative methods and ways to test load, and even plan our testing around the fact automation often just wasn’t feasible. Since then, RSAT and other compatible tools have emerged in the market but even with the most recent version of the D365 for Talent solution (before it was re-amalgamated with D365 F&O), automation was not an option due to Microsoft’s delivery of the ‘locked-down’ solution. As the saying goes, you can only play the cards you’re dealt.

In terms of automation in testing, the future is definitely bright. More automation software is developed based on test modelling and doesn’t necessarily require coding acumen or skills, allowing manual testers to segue naturally should they choose to become automation testers. As it stands, there are still undefined areas of automation testing, though. Can exploratory testing be automated across all types of software? Which automation tool helps walk the UAT group through their testing?

As a client, your Test Lead should liaise with the project team and if available, your company QA resource to establish the right test tools for the job, factoring price and post-project maintenance into the collective decision.

Remember, a strong Test Manager will work with clients and teams to alleviate panic by testing using the most efficient and effective means necessary – not create fear and pedal their own agenda, probably based on their own limitations.

So, to answer the question, the single most impacting factor is people. People in the testing profession that rock the boat and scaremonger to further their own cause, rather than finding a place for both manual and automated testing at the table.

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