QA is dying
Actually, let me start off by clarifying that the title of this article is a bit clickbaity. QA isn’t necessarily going anywhere; quality is still incredibly important. Purely Manual Testing is dying out.
I’ve been noticing a changing trend in the world of Software Quality Assurance and I like where it is going. More and more companies seem to be embracing Test Automation and some even have dedicated test team members to encourage “QA friendly” development practices. Sometimes it may not be feasible to have a dedicated tester for each dev team, but it is quite possible to implement some sort of automated testing. There are so many free tools that exist and so many resources that are available. A framework to functionally test a UI can be written painlessly and relatively easily using Nodejs and Mocha. Testing of a RESTful API can be automated with Python. Maybe there are some NFRs that need to be tested?
Companies embracing mobile technology are also a massive driver for test automation. There are thousands of variations of mobile devices and its practically impossible to physically test an app on all of them, but with an automated tool like Appium the barrier to being able to cross-platform testing is being able to write a script that will work with Appium.
There isn’t really much distinction between an Automation Tester and a Manual Tester. Automated QA testers need to have skills of a manual tester; a tester creating automation scripts will need to test some software first in order to become familiar with how the software works. Manual Testers need to understand how they can use automated testing to help them become a better tester.
As long as there is software being developed for humans, there will need to be some sort of human QA.
What the point is, is that if test automation is so accessible these days, then manual testing is slowly going to die out and eventually be mindlessly carried out by a clickfarm that charges $1 per 100 test cases. Real manual testing on something that requires human interaction (after all, nearly all applications are designed for human interaction) - where the Tester has to think about how something can break - will still be needed. Consumer demand to do more things with one app, means that applications can get incredibly big, so a Tester really needs to understand the benefit of how their manual testing can be augmented by automated testing, or their automated testing to be augmented by manual testing.