Software Testers - Past, Present and Future
Early during the last decade, software development companies were producing applications by the bucket-load to keep up with the incredible customer demand. The role of the Software Tester then, was to (in my opinion) detect the critical and major issues, and most minor issues were simply brushed under the carpet to get the product out of the door on time. For the Software Testers, it was (to coin a phrase) "A much simpler time". During this time-frame the Software Testers actively working hard to get themselves recognized as a necessary part of the software development process, and not just some kind of 'bottle-neck' that delays a products release. Credit to the testers for actually achieving that goal!
Having worked so hard to achieve their aim, Software Testers found themselves under threat, a threat which in a way came from inside their own camp. The threat I am talking about was 'Test Automation'. Loose talk around the offices focused on how 'so much more useful' this kind of testing was. Testing could be ran 24 hours a day and repeated many times faster than a manual tester could perform. The humble Software testers were considered a dying breed. But, hang on a minute.....we are still here!
Rather than migrating the manual testing over to automated testing entirely. The move was actually more of a 'leaning' instead. A typical software development company will include only 'some' automated testing. Just tests where automation would enhance the manual testing or save a bit of time. Some testers have switched over to becoming devoted to test automation and that is now their primary job.
So while the road of a Software Tester has been 'uneven' to say the least. They have in fact, now firmly established their role as a necessary part of the software development cycle. Once considered to 'dying out', the Software Testers have not only 'beaten' the threat of test automation, but actively use it alongside their own work to assist it and to enhance it.
So what it is store for the future of Software Testers? Well, software is still going strong and is now present on other platforms. The most popular 'new' platform has to be the 'iPhone'. It pretty much came from nowhere and has now topped 250,000 Apps that have been developed. These iPhone Apps are just regular software applications designed to work on a specific type of hardware. Many software testers are realizing that their software testing skills can be transferred over to this new kind of software development, and are becoming iPhone App Testers. There now exists iPhone App testing companies that are dedicated to providing iPhone App Testers to improve the quality of this rapidly growing phenomenon.
The future looks bright for Software Testers and iPhone App Testers alike, and that's good news for the people who want quality from the software they are using, whether its a PC application, web application or an iPhone App.
Author: James S Clark