SwissQ has been feeling the pulse of the IT community for the past five years. We annually publish facts and figures on the current status of software testing in Switzerland and present an outlook of the future trends. Since last year we have added the disciplines of requirements engineering and agile to the Trends & Benchmarks survey. Those will be published in separate reports. The data on which this report is based, on the one hand comes from an online survey and on the other hand from one-to-one interviews with various IT decision makers from different companies, industries and regions. For this year‘s issue we were able to make use of 580 filled questionnaires – a new record – and 25 interviews. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have contributed.
Starting this year, we are collaborating on the report with the Institute of Technology Management of the University of St. Gallen (HSG). This collaboration demonstrates how important these topics have become for companies today and we are very pleased to have built a new bridge between the academic and the entrepreneurial world.
You can download your report here.
The report is structured in two parts: the SwissQ Trend Wave® and the Benchmarks. In the first part of the report we are showing how individual trends are developing based on the Testing Trend Wave 2013. The condensed representation of the most important topics on one page allows for a quick overview. As a result, you can estimate the influence of the market changes on your company and initiate the appropriate measures, if necessary. A simple method to show the pressure for change is to present the trends and benchmarks within your company.
As in the past years, SwissQ is offering you the opportunity to present the findings to your employees. The target audience includes the testing community, software engineers, project leaders, requirements engineers, and the management. The presentation can give you an outside look on the current changes and increase the motivation and the status of testing. The findings of the requirements engineering and agile report can be included as well, if desired.
The second and significantly bigger part of the report consists of the Benchmarks. The informative graphs and figures build the backbone of this report and give you the opportunity to position your company in comparison with others. Comparisons to previous years also show the direction in which companies are moving.
In the project area for example, the numbers show that there were less new developments compared to previous years but more big projects. So all in all there are less, but bigger new projects. This might have something to do with the fact that less and less projects are started from scratch. Existing solutions are enhanced or built completely anew which usually is very expensive.
Waterfall and Agile are still the most common methodologies used, but many companies use more than one model. At best, it is possible to merge the benefits of the two models. In practice, this is a difficult task especially at the transition points between the two and when defining the various roles and collaboration models. Especially testers have to learn how to work and think in both worlds and have to show the required flexibility to move within both areas. A lot more experience and training will be required here.
The biggest challenge in testing remains the (still) insufficient quality of requirements. It is interesting to notice that the most used techniques in test case specifications are methods based on requirements and business processes. Both techniques call for carefully modeled and adequate requirements. This again is expressed in the fact that test case specification is seen as the least satisfactory of the test activities. Might this be a reason to increasingly consider agile methods?
The focus of investments in testing remains on test automation and the creation and development of regression tests. This corresponds with the fact mentioned before that there is a high number of extension and maintenance projects running. And these by nature put a particular emphasis on ensuring the existing functionality through regression testing. Automation on the other hand is a binding instrument to control the ever-growing regression.
We hope that the present Trends & Benchmarks will inspire you to actively address new challenges and to choose the most appropriate measures for your company.