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Software testing trends for 2023

Software testing trends for 2023.

With software becoming the main value driver and the primary interface between developers and customers, focus on software quality is growing. The need to deliver high-quality, bug-free products in ever-accelerating cycles is putting pressure on software teams. Software testing has to apply new methods to keep pace. Here’s a list of new testing strategies that are gaining ground in 2023, and which software testing trends Symflower expects to continue to unfold this coming year!

1. Shift-left testing: Unit testing becoming a must

We expect shift-left testing to become universal in 2023. We all know the stats: a bug fixed in production costs 50-200 times more than a bug fixed in development. Not to mention all the time saved: every hour spent on preventing defects will slash repair time by potentially 3-10 hours. In essence, the earlier a bug is caught, the easier and cheaper it is to fix – that’s the gist of shift-left testing, i.e. moving testing as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. In practice, that essentially means more unit testing to catch problems when they are introduced.

Dig deeper into the shades of testing:
Effective software testing: the testing pyramid

A 2021 survey of QA, product, engineering, and DevOps professionals found that 86% of companies that release software multiple times a month are already testing features immediately as they are being developed. However, 27% of these companies spend 5-8 hours, while 44% of them spend more than 8 hours a week testing code!

Practically applying that quality-first mindset translates to hours and hours of laborious manual work writing unit tests. That’s time that could have been spent coding. In 2023, we expect to see growth in the adoption of solutions to automate unit test case generation.

A comparision of the shift left model and the traditional model Source https://mobilefirstcloudfirst.net/2017/01/2017-test-automation-not-optional-building-mobile-apps/

Automating unit test generation

As a virtual programming buddy, Symflower spots errors and unexpected behavior, takes care of routine tasks and generates unit tests with meaningful values in real time. Forget fiddling around with test values to reach certain parts of your code. Let Symflower’s symbolic execution work its magic and generate readable high-coverage unit tests in real time to validate your implementation and reveal bugs such as security issues.

2. Integrating data in testing processes

Another way to tackle the test acceleration challenge is to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as Machine Learning (ML) applications for automating certain testing tasks. However, the real question when aiming to apply AI is how to train and test these novel solutions. The answer is, of course, more data.

Therefore, 2023 will likely see a shift towards efficient ways to harvest testing data as well as data on software usage patterns. This will enable machines to converge toward human-like behavior when exploring and testing possible software paths. As the technology evolves, AI-based testing applications should support developers by automatically checking for issues of duplication, consistency, validity, accuracy, and completeness in code.

3. Autonomous testing

The next wave of automation, already expected to gain traction in 2023, is autonomous testing.

With autonomous testing, even the generation of test cases is automated. New solutions are emerging that can automatically analyze code to identify software behaviors and possible paths, and design test cases to test those behaviors. These auto-generated tests can then be executed automatically, making testing (almost) completely autonomous. Full autonomy is yet some ways ahead, so don’t expect to be able to lean back just yet. But smart solutions should be able to suggest test cases for you to simply accept or reject very soon, reducing the amount of tedious and error-prone manual tasks in testing.

An illustration of a testing pipeline

Symflower takes a huge weight off your shoulders by either preparing complete test cases that you can add to your test set with a click, or preparing boilerplate code that you just need to fill in with values for a high-coverage test suite. Our Symbolic Execution engine is constantly getting smarter, advancing towards full autonomy in generating meaningful test cases.

Curious about Symflower’s innovation? Read our blog post:

Symflower’s inner workings: the technology behind the curtain

4. DevSecOps: Growing focus on security testing

With the number of connected applications and dependency on the cloud increasing, cyberattacks are on the rise. Accenture research from 2021 suggests that cybersecurity attacks grew by 31% last year compared to 2020. Companies are evidently feeling the pressure to step up their efforts for digital safety, making security testing and the adoption of the DevSecOps approach a top priority. As a response to mounting risks, DevSecOps adoption reached 36% in 2021, up from just 27% the previous year.

In terms of testing technology, this means a shift toward automatic prevention rather than automatic detection. Instead of treating vulnerabilities ex-post, we’re taking a proactive, shift-left approach to treating security concerns. This change prompts developers to identify security risks during development by placing emphasis on integrating security testing throughout the development lifecycle.

The DevSecOps cycle

5. Automated infrastructure testing

Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) has been the latest advancement in the DevOps world, resolving the problem of inconsistent manual configurations in defining and deploying infrastructure.

But how can you be sure that your cloud resources have been successfully initialized and updated? Checking this, as well as automatic monitoring, is likely to become part of what IaC provides. The same stands for “late Day 2” operations like backup and restore. Most companies have some sort of backup and recovery policy – but the infrastructure and processes that it relies on are tested manually (if at all). With automation, this process is likely to be streamlined going forward.

Overall, the key software testing trends in 2023 point towards more automation and moving testing upstream to fix issues early on and with minimal human intervention. As in other areas of software & IT, security and data-based solutions will be gaining more traction. Are we missing a trend? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and make sure you subscribe to our newsletter for valuable updates about testing & software development!

Technical | 2022-11-03