2022? Everybody else just send me their trends for 2021, what is this?
If you look at those trend emails you receive by end of the year you will usually see a clear relation between the trends and the corresponding product roadmaps. That is the reason why it is usually only done for the next year, there is no detailed roadmap further than that.
What makes 2022 different? Simple, it cannot be the year of AI again. As 2019, 2020 and apparently 2021 is already the year of artificial intelligence. But then again, perhaps the roadmaps will still include it and you will see it as a trend again next year.
The big 3 Trends we expect for 2022 can be summarized as decentralized; more visually driven testing & tooling that is aligned to real automation problems.
It must start with COVID-19, correct. We are all used to it meanwhile.
This trend is more about digital natives (long term) but facilitated by COVID-19 home office workers as well. Both require the same: Access to anywhere from everywhere.
In 2022 you will see more centralized testing platforms that allow you work as a team from different locations while still having full access to all your test infrastructure. Testing will start using the same technologies as development already does, central repositories, central reporting portals, access-anywhere, managed resources, etc.
Additionally, testing will start working with so-called “offline models”. Models of an application the resemble the application in any way (without real business logic) that can be used to write and automate test cases from everywhere.
In summary: You will not need to be in the office or have access to your work laptop to do test automation.
Testing will become more and more driven by visual testing. While companies like eggplant provide kind of visual testing a long time, newer tools like applitools Eyes or Tricentis Neo show that what we started with TestResults.io is the way to go if you want to be future proof.
This trend will give you freedom on the platform you can test on, any, as well as application frameworks, again, any. It is far more versatile than traditional ID/X-Path based testing and can copy with underlying technology changes.
While visual testing is a trend, we expect 2022 to open the door for interactive visual testing, e.g., functional testing based on images and text only. This will fix a lot or problems that vendors are currently trying to fix with AI based selectors. Forget dynamic IDs, shadow DOMs, virtualized lists, just test the application the same way the user interacts with it.
Tools Focused On Real Automation Problems
While still covered under the umbrella of AI we see a trend towards finding solutions to the real problems in test automation, like changing XPaths in Selenium tests. Vendors came up with weighted multi-attribute selectors that can partially adapt element definitions to changing code.
While this is a good thing, it is just a workaround for a limitation of ID based test automation systems. Or in other words, you do not gain any additional testing from it.
What we expect for 2022 instead is tooling that solves real world questions, i.e., “I have this set of requirements what is the minimum set of test cases that are required to cover those scenarios and how are they split the best”, or for automation it can be “I do not have to put in Sleep() or Wait() anymore because my test cases continues once the screen is ready”.
In summary, this trend will reduce flakiness and increase coverage. A bit step forward to a useful automation of End-To-End tests.
2021 vs 2022
This brings us back to the initial question, are you serious with 2022? Yes, because the roadmaps for 2021 are already set and major vendors cannot adapt that fast.
The only trend we see for 2021: More marketing than ever before in 2021 to tell you what will come in 2022 because the roadmaps need to be aligned to the new situation first.
If you want to be the lead, better as your competitor, you need better tools! TestResults.io! Go get it now.