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30 Jan 14 Industry Insights

Testing in 2014 - Automation, Mobile and BDD

I work as a Recruitment Consultant for Burns Sheehan, a leading IT & Digital Media Recruitment Agency based in the heart of the city. I specialise in sourcing Testers from Junior through to Director level, and recruit for companies ranging from start-ups to some of the biggest companies worldwide. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the areas that I think will be beneficial for testing in 2014, and hopefully to give you a good overview of what I believe the most sought after skills will be.

 

Automation: Selenium Webdriver


One of the most noticeable changes over the past few years, and particularly during 2013 is the emphasis placed by companies on Automation testing. The most obvious of these tools is Selenium, in particular Webdriver. With the ability to write tests in the most popular programming languages and the fact it is Cross Browser and runs on Windows, Linux and Mac platforms, it has become the automation tool of choice for the vast majority of our digital clients. With Selenium 3 on the way ( good article  on this) it seems Selenium will be fundamental in testing for the foreseeable future and so is certainly a tool worth adding to your repertoire during 2014.

 

Mobile: Automation Frameworks
 

Whilst automation is a lot more established on Web Based Applications, 2013 certainly saw the rise in Mobile Automation Frameworks. As it stands, there isn’t a framework that has cemented itself as the ‘go to’ option, however there are a few staking a claim. The most obvious option is Appium, being that it uses the Webdriver JSON wire protocol and works on both IOS and Android devices. I’ve certainly seen an increase in the amount of companies adopting this after running Proof of Concepts on a number of frameworks, and with the Webdriver compatibility it is in a strong position. For those that are not completely sold on Appium however, Xiamings Calabash framework also has gained a lot of traction over the past year. Again with the ability to execute scripts on both IOS and Android devices, its main selling point is the fact is supports Cucumber and by extension fits into the BDD model that a lot of companies are adopting. Whilst there are other tools out there, such as Robotium (Android) and Frank (IOS) which do have a good following, I predict Appium and Calabash really taking off throughout 2014, and either would be a great addition to your tech stack.

 

Software Development Processes: BDD
 

Aside from testing tools and frameworks, there has been a marked shift over the past couple of years in Software Development Processes. The most notable current one is BDD, with a lot of companies attempting, albeit some more successfully than others, to follow this. Combining the general techniques and principles of TDD it has taken the idea of a Ubiquitous language from Domain Driven Design and made it a central to its theme. With the focus on allowing communication and collaboration between technical and non technical participants in a software project, the business value of following this method has started to become more noticed by companies. A number of tools have been created to help implement BDD (JBehave/Cucumber/Specflow), so it is certainly worth gaining exposure to these tools where possible.

What are your thoughts on the outlook for testing in 2014? Is there an automation tool that you think should be mentioned that hasn’t been? Do you think different Mobile Frameworks will stake a claim? Do you think BDD is as valuable to an organisation as many believe it to be?

 

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