Monday, 30 July 2012

So what are we all going to do?

The world of IT is changing with a speed that could go beyond comprehension if we don’t pay attention. People around the age of 60, and even earlier don’t know how to deal with computers. As our kids have an iPad in their cribs and learn how to interact with software, the elder are struggling to even try to understand a concept such as e-mail.

And as a tester of about middle-age, let’s say around 40, you’re in the middle of it. Maybe you started to work with computers on your twelfth birthday, maybe you started earlier or later. Did you for example use MS-DOS? Did you create a .bat file to make a menu on your green and black screen, so some tasks would be easier to do? Did you work with a word processor, that couldn’t show pictures on the screen yet, but appeared when printed on paper?

Not too long ago it seemed strange that a four voice harmony music could be created with a computer. Now we take it for granted that you can watch video in HD. You had a tape recorder that took 5 minutes to load a software program, now we go to an app store to get our software.

Not so long ago in my testing study I learned all the rules for a date field, with all its exceptions. Nowadays a date field has the least of our attention. We worry about virtualized Windows versions and virtualized apps in the cloud, that could be serviced from anywhere. We are trying to find ways to measure performance of systems that have millions of external influences. And how to verify if a system is secure enough. We struggle to automate our tests. We experiment with ways to get at least a test coverage that is important enough to test.

And this is still the beginning. At this moment testers are looking into other directions for measuring quality. Quality checks by building a model of the software in another system, quality of requirements and management of requirements. Building the right product, instead of building it right.

And time is going faster and faster. We build software that exists in that form only for a few months, weeks, days. Changes are going even faster than that, every minute the IT as a whole changes. Related software to your product could change even every second. With systems interconnecting all the time, the changes could go even faster than that.

Testing will not be the same any more in ten years, the principles will hold maybe, but until when? Commands such as ‘If, then, go, else’ don’t work in the new quantum computers of the future. Will we understand that technology? Is there any reason we need to understand that technology?

Wow, when I think about this I believe it will some exciting years to come and I want to be part of that revolution. You too, or are you getting afraid already?