Our company provides software quality assurance consulting and testing services, so I’ve been invited to speak at several conferences lately on mobile quality and user experience. In the last few years, the software testing conferences seem to have two overall themes. 1. Testing Is Dead. 2. Testers Are Under-appreciated, Poor me Poor me. Perhaps the original inventor of the term “Testing Is Dead” just wanted to provide some link bait, but they didn’t really mean it? Anyway, here’s my take on it.

Agile Development Methods and Lower Barriers to Entry

In a traditional sense, testing is dead regarding the past paradigm of throwing software over the wall and having some monkeys pound on it. Mainly because software organizations discovered that it was expensive and ineffective, not only as a testing strategy, but as a development strategy and method. This has been coupled with the lowering of barriers to entry via cloud computing, mobile computing, and development platforms with various tools and widgets that let you get an app out the door in a few weeks or less. So does this mean testing is dead? Yes, the old days of testing are gone.

Software Quality Versus Software Testing

But Software Quality Assurance is alive. Testing is a method to ensure quality, and its role has been reduced. But that reduction has only been for monkey testing. Hence the other recently coined term “Sapient Testing”. It took me a while to understand this term. Basically testing with a brain since the root of sapient is sapien, from Homo Sapiens.

So, we say that with, Sapient Testing, or Smart Testing, using your brain, software testers are now required to do more than pound on keys. What we need to do other than using our brains is to raise our level of thinking to software quality, not testing. Testing is after the fact, after the app has been developed. What activities can raise quality other than testing? And what skills are needed for this? That is where we need to go. Maybe instead of testers, we can be “QA’ers.”