Free-Work users, is a software testing job your next temporary IT assignment?

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When it comes to organisations and their digitisation efforts, software testers play a critical role.

Very often freelance, software testers have become essential components in the development process, ensuring the quality and functionality of the software programmes companies rely on. So:

What is software testing?

In simple terms, writes Guy Arieli, co-founder and CTO at Blinq, software testing is the process of ensuring that an application does what it's supposed to do.

Innovations in technology have made software testing seamless and swifter, thanks to the introduction of testing bots and the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

By organisations adopting hybrid testing models which use both automation and manual testing, freelance software testers can help companies achieve greater success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Quality, functionality AND efficiency? It must be software testing…

If they’ve been working in silos, as they did historically, event talented IT contractors in the UK may be unaware of the significance of software testing.

Not only does it play a critical role in ensuring the quality and functionality of software applications, but it also ensures more efficient operations for organisations.

Traditionally, testing involved manual execution of cases. While manual testing remains important for specific scenarios, automation tools have become increasingly prevalent, helping accelerate operations for the biggest companies.

What are the benefits (and potential pitfalls) of software testing using generative AI?

As with almost everything innovative in the tech space, there are benefits, limitations and some things which are just less obvious but nonetheless important.

My take is that automation in software testing offers many advantages, and chief among them is faster execution of repetitive tasks, leading to broader test coverage and quicker feedback for developers.

On the flip side, however, it is crucial to design automated tests effectively. Poorly designed software tests can miss critical issues and in that case, they require human oversight for complex scenarios. And in turn, human intervention somewhat defeats the purpose of having automation on your side!

What does successful software testing look like on 2024-25 projects?

For most organisations nowadays, a successful testing strategy leverages both automation and manual testing.

Automation streamlines repetitive tasks, freeing up software testers to focus on strategic areas like User Experience (UX) testing, and identifying ‘edge’ cases that automation might miss. In my experience, this collaborative approach ensures both efficiency and a comprehensive quality check.

But back to limitations, if I may, of importing automated testing and thinking the AI will do the rest.

What is technical debt, when automated software testing goes awry?

From what I’ve seen, inadequate test automation can lead to ‘technical debt,’ which refers to the hidden costs associated with poorly maintained code.

Unidentified bugs and issues can accumulate over time, impacting product quality and delaying launches.

However, effective testing -- encompassing both manual and automated methods, helps identify these issues early, saving companies significant resources.

AI-powered coding tools can lead to new bugs

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, presenting new challenges for even the most talented of software testers.

This rapid development pace, fueled by AI-powered coding tools, can introduce new bugs and complexities.

In addition, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) demands a focus on ensuring reliability and security across interconnected devices.

When it comes to the importance of testers in the UK market, we believe British software testers face additional complexities specific to what has become a rapidly evolving tech industry.

Tools like GitHub Copilot, while boosting productivity, can introduce code quality concerns, further increasing the testing backlog. So testers must adapt to advanced frameworks like Playwright and the growing emphasis on test maintenance and failure analysis.

Stringent regulatory requirements and high consumer expectations in the UK market further emphasise the importance of human testers in ensuring software meets both functional and legal standards – while of course exceeding user expectations.

The future

In the age of automation, I believe that the role of the software tester is not diminishing, but rather evolving. AI-powered testers are becoming strategic partners, collaborating with developers from the outset to ensure quality is built into the software from the very beginning.

Their expertise in user behaviour, coupled with their ability to analyse test failures and adapt to changing technologies, remains irreplaceable to organisations across the UK and -- so far at least -- continues to evolve for the greater good.

Written by

Guy Arieli

BlinqIO

Guy’s passion and interest in computing began at the age of 10 when he started playing with an old computer in his family home and taught himself about programming. He began his career working as QA Manager for 3Com, before moving to Cisco in January 2000. In 2005 he co-founded AQUA software, later selling it to Matrix. Harbouring a passion for test automation and software, the pair established joint venture, Experitest in July 2009. It was later sold to TPG in 2020. Following this, Guy went on to establish new AI-powered venture, BlinqIO alongside co-founder Tal Barmeir.

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