Day 1 at the STARWest 2016 conference in Anaheim, California and I’m left with the question: “Where’s The Outrage?”

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I’m enjoying the new spirit of testers. There’s a spirit of optimism that the testing industry is prepared for the future. Maybe it’s just the incredibly sugary Mickey Mouse rice crispy treats they fed my pre-diabetic body…

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But, I can’t help feel outraged at the companies that are standing in the way of the test industry’s success:

  • HP trashes the testing business with poor support and multiple failed technologies over the past 10 years, before selling its Load Runner, QTP, Quality Center business to Microfocus. Who? Microfocus, the company that has taken so long to do something with Borland’s Silk test tool. Microfocus didn’t want to talk about the acquisition since it will close a year from now. In the meantime who will be left standing around that knows anything about LoadRunner a year from now? Think of all the money everyone has spent on LoadRunner, and for what?
  • Apple has its own iOS (iPhone and iPad) testing tool that it still does not publish to the rest of us in the real world, and we have to wait until next week to see an Apple sanctioned release of Appium that supports iOS 10. I’m sorry but it will take another 10 minutes before Appium finishes running my functional test – Appium is so slow since it has to jump through Apple’s kludge to work with my mobile app.
  • SauceLabs is the defacto commercial tool company for the Selenium and Appium projects at this point – and they touted an upcoming round of investment that will swell their ranks to 160 people. While their solutions to deliver Selenium testing of Web apps in the cloud is great, they are still stuck running the Appium iOS emulators on expensive Mac OS X cloud machines and they still have to deal with the slowness of Appium running tests on an iPhone. They should have solved expensive and slow iOS solutions long ago.

The rising star at STARWest is DevOps. A few people recommended I read the Phoenix Project and the newer DevOps Handbook. It has lots of examples of organizations going from releases every 6 months to twice a day.

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Melissa Tondi told me, “Automated tools should make the tester more efficient not less valuable. A good tester should be able to take the context and create a test: what do I have to do, what do I need to accomplish, how will I get there?” That’s the key of ending testing as we know it today, by helping testers transition into developers. They can still test, just now within the development organization.

Seems like the testing community wants the siloes to come down. But the test technology and methodologies are still left wanting.

Still to be defined is how to create standard packages along the creation of a new application in the development and operations team. Containers play an important role: Ansible, Docker, and Amazon Machine Images. Test tools that plug into these containers are important: Selenium, Sahi, Appvance, Soasta, soapUI, JMeter and others. And continuous integration and continuous deployment is important: Jenkins, Chef, Puppet.

And there it is again… outrage. It’s 2016. What little progress we’ve made and what a long journey there is ahead.

I pray for leadership and accelerated delivery for high quality solutions that will make our test industry achieve success!

-Frank Cohen