The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

The Future of Testing: Evolve or Elimination. It’s a Choice.

I’ve been seeing a lot of tweets and blogging around the future role of the Software Tester.  Some have suggested that, with all the recent advancements made in test automation, the test community may face employment challenges. I strongly disagree. That said, rapid technology innovation necessitates that users adapt and evolve, and the test community will not be immune to this requirement.

The fact is that today, in 2011, the majority of Testers are still relying on the same tools that they used in 1989. How is it that this community has been not been forced to change all that much over the past 20 years? This is highly unusual and counterintuitive in an industry that has long been affected by term limits for technology, one that is known for discarding old tools in favor of new tools to support emerging technologies.

How is it that so many Testers still use tools borne during the Reagan Era and when client server applications dominated the tech landscape? Have our applications neglected to evolve? Of course not!

One theory is that Testers are just wired differently, that they are more resistant to the forces of change. If this is the case, consumers beware: the impact will surely lead to an increase in web and mobile app failures. Why? If Testers hold onto previous testing practices then today’s dynamic applications will need more and more frequent performance testing because of the demands for speed, scale or cost savings.

So what needs to happen?

Like other professionals, Testers must evolve their skill sets. They must acknowledge and respond to the pressure to deliver actionable intelligence back to the business as a result of their testing. Further, they must begin to understand and accept responsibility for all aspects of delivering performance. Performance is the correlation of Application, Infrastructure, Network and Users, and a valuable, savvy Tester will deliver aggregated and correlated results to support their actionable intelligence.

It’s a new world of HTML, gesture-based UOs, Cloud, streaming video and voice, and Testers must embrace the opportunity or they will find themselves out of work. Carpe Diem Testing. Adapt and Evolve. Join me in helping the testing community become part of the cognoscenti, be on the forefront of this technology adoption lifecycle, earn industry respect by embracing testing’s place in the revenue cycle, and be the leaders in delivering the next generation of High Performance Applications.


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.