The Interview: End of Manual QA is nigh

This post is the translated version of an original interview by DINS. We thank our dear colleagues for the opportunity to share it with our audience in this blog.

Artem Eroshenko is the CPO and co-founder of Qameta Software. He shares testing expertise, hosts the IT podcast, and is a frequent speaker in the testing automation community. On December 1, he was a host at the QA Meeting Point conference and the conference team asked Artem questions about QA life and the future.

In this interview, Artem explains why knowledge should be shared and why the end of manual testing is near.

Motivation to Talk

A year after Artem started working in Yandex, he started sharing his experience with colleagues. By making it public, it allowed for unifying knowledge.

Now, talks complement my professional activities. First, to continue developing Allure (Report and TestOps), Qameta Software needs to follow the trends, get feedback from real-world testers, and understand their needs. Second, public speaking allows getting fellow customers for consulting projects.

The true motivation has always been sharing the vision of what’s right and helping people implement it.

For us, our public expertise must help real-world companies avoid unnecessary mistakes. For example, a client planned to build automation processes in the team. In two years, they had 200 automated tests but half of the tests have been constantly failing. After sorting it out, at a conference, I talked about the issues and the process for fixing them, which I referred to as TestOps. Now anyone building automation testing can find this talk to refer to.

I would also like to highlight QA. GURU, a school for automation testers that we created with Stas Vasenkov, is the first step of our expertise exchange system, where we pass all our knowledge to QA automation engineers. The second step is conference talks that show trends and the path to automation success. Step three is consulting, where we implement our ideas. I challenge my vision and approaches with different conditions and teams, consequently, Qameta Software embodies all this learning in the Allure tools family.

The End of Manual Testing

To note, we are talking about the end of manual regression testing here. It would be naive to believe that there will be changes other than automation. Today, even at the household level, everything is automated. For example, we used to go to stores where the salesperson at the counter collected groceries for us, but when the supermarkets showed up it all changed. Self-checkouts popped up and now, most of us use food delivery services from mobile applications.

Even though all these changes were accompanied by anxiety from conservative business owners and workers, ultimately, it solved lots of problems and more convenient ways to do the same job appeared in a short time, which is great!

The number of companies relying on manual testing does not mean this is the norm for the industry. It means our industry has not matured enough to change yet but I have seen dozens of companies that have no manual testing at all and this fills me with confidence.

I believe there is a trend where testers are loosing areas of responsibility.

Seeing developers take over API and UI tests, I strongly doubt testers will continue building new testing frameworks. New tools appear in JavaScript, Microsoft with Playwright keeps a high pace in this direction and it’s hard to imagine a new Selenium will come from testers. This initiative was intercepted and is now led by developers.

QA Engineer Future Growth Directions

In my opinion, there are several areas worth developing:

  • Native automated tests. The all-in-one frameworks are awesome! They are more powerful than the tools we are used to. Take a look at the Cypress, Playwright, or Spring Test to see that API and UI testing is much easier with them.
  • Keep automated tests closer to production code. Move your end-to-end tests closer to the code so that they run business scenarios and work correctly on real-world infrastructure. This is the way to go for folks who want to stay engaged in testing.
  • Testing Infrastructure. The developers are already solving the problem of the code automated testing, but they usually do not want to dive into configuration and infrastructure testing yet. This is an opportunity to take a position and study the area: testing servers deployment and build; environments configuration and management automation; getting used to Docker; high-level testing organization. This field is new and exciting, and the niche is open.
  • Methodology implementation. Sometimes, companies don’t build their teams for processes and approach generation and implementation. Be the first one to go! A tester’s background lets you get deep into the product and the development lifecycle — take the responsibility for making it a single entity. Look at our DevOps and TestOps conference talks and build your vision to boost your team productivity.
  • Look for Ops practices. Work at the intersection of infrastructure and development to gain new experience: maintain releases, set up technical stuff. That being said, you don’t have to know how Docker or Ansible works under the hood to use the team infrastructure.
  • Dive into DevOps. The best thing to do is transform the company as a whole. The challenging part here is understating the goals and their justification. Get rid of your skepticism. Find out other companies’ cases, adjust them to your situation, build and expose the advantages, and then “sell” them to the management. It is an awesome job, either from a task or a career opportunities perspective.
Opportunities for a tester to grow

In summary, we recommend our readers to look to the future and not stick with good old traditions in testing! Find new ways to make your job more engaging and effective, aim for automation, and feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter or LinkedIn!

Learn more about Allure tools

Learn more about Allure Framework (and give us a star!) and Allure TestOps, the all-in-one DevOps-ready testing platform.

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