The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Evolution vs. Revolution: What will it take for testing join the 21st Century?

Put aside, for a moment, the extraordinary events of the last 12 months. Then hear me out on this one, which falls into the category “It Generally Goes Like This.”

While great ideas ignite the flame for change, real change, meaningful change comes from the advancement of an original thought.

Here’s an example:
Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. It’s widely assumed that it was Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. While Verbiest was clearly visionary, the world wasn’t ready to embrace the idea until 1906 when Henry Ford made cars affordable by optimizing their production. This changed the world. Although the rate of change has advanced quite a bit since the 17th Century, it still takes a few years to evolve even in this, The Digital Age.

Now let’s relate this to our industry. There has been some progress in test automation over time. However, significant change, change along the lines of what we have seen in Operations (deployment) with cloud computing, has been elusive for the testing business. At some point you have to ask why. Roughly 80% of all mobile applications today are still manually tested. That’s somewhere around 600,000 apps!

Surely I am not the only one who thinks this begs for improvement since so many companies are reducing the cycle of development to one or multiple times per day. The impact of this slow adoption of test automation is felt every day by consumers like you and me as we impatiently wait for apps to be loaded. It’s irritating when our airline cannot process our reservation or when we have Bruce Springsteen tickets in our shopping cart, only to see that they disappear before we enter our credit card number.

Innovation has led us into the Test Automation Renaissance that we’re currently enjoying. There are new vendors and new technologies making this easier and less expensive. But why, then, is so much testing still being done manually?

Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.