Could QA Be the Key to Unleashing Agile Software Development?

Selenium users from all over the planet converged on the beautiful Lalit-Ashok hotel in Bengaluru, India last week, and I was fortunate to join these enthusiastic groups of QA, Testing, and Selenium practitioners for a sold-out and very timely conference.

The Selenium stars were out, including Simon Stewart, Selenium WebDriver creator, and Manoj Kumar, who kicked off the proceedings with a keynote speech on state of Selenium.

It is my view that Selenium is going to surprise us all, and very soon. Selenium is undergoing momentous change. Selenium release 4.0 is in the planning stage, and Selenium IDE (dismissed as inferior), is being brought back in a new form. Plus, the Selenium grid is being updated with new features.

At the conference, I learned about new testing challenges where Selenium can be the silver bullet, the breakthrough testing solution:

  • Augmented reality (VR / AR) applications testing: With a steady stream of AR / VR apps being released into the market, Selenium appears to be one of the best testing tools available to handle the test flow.
  • Voice applications testing: As Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and many more voice apps are being launched, we need a test framework to test these apps.
  • Test process management: Collaboration tools including Hipchat and Slack are integral to this critical area of testing.

The conference not only gave me insight into the future of Selenium, but also was a great chance to learn about trends across software testing. Some of the trends I heard directly from users:

  • QA remains the bottleneck. More important than cost, what enterprises are struggling with is “time it takes to test.”
  • Human effort-based scaling, which worked for a while in the past, is a non-starter now, as it won’t accelerate testing to meet the timelines.
  • Organizations are ready to explore AI-based Autonomous testing solutions. They like the promise of this approach. They believe QA will be the area ushering in modern technologies and approaches to solve the problem at hand.

The Selenium Conference in Bengaluru provided many opportunities to speak with thought leaders, learn cutting edge frameworks, and have fun at the same time in an amazing city. As we continue our mission to make testing autonomous, I am reminded how critical a role testing plays in making innovation a reality, and how the future of testing will continue to reverberate across the entire agile development cycle, while unleashing cutting-edge technologies at an unprecedented scale.

So, two pieces of advice to testing practitioners: attend a global conference as soon as you can to learn from the diverse perspectives of the community, and pay more attention to Selenium. There’s more to it than you might realize.