Not everyone who can swing a bat is ready for the World Series. As the Washington Nationals taught us this Fall, it takes dedication, practice, and goal setting to get from the minor leagues to the championship. The same goes for QA Automation.

This year, Pyramid Solutions’ QA experts attended our partners’ event, EggPlanet, where QA professionals from across the nation gathered to discuss the state of the industry, and their goals for the future. Exciting, fun, and insightful, EggPlanet gave us the opportunity to preview the results of our survey of QA processes, roles, and functions in 2019.

The key learnings from our survey provide valuable direction as we lay down a 2-year roadmap for ourselves and our clients. So let’s dive into the numbers and illuminate the state of QA Automation in 2019.

Who did we survey?

About half of our survey respondents were executives with over 10 years of experience. With 70% working in internal IT departments and the other 30% coming from ISVs, we found our population fairly represents the industry as a whole.

Interestingly, while 80% of respondents agreed that QA automation is impactful to their organization, the results showed that hundreds of employees with QA in their job title don’t actually perform QA functions. This illustrates a clear gap between how companies view QA and how they act upon improving QA. For many IT professionals—even in multi-billion dollar global organizations—QA seems to be seen as a stepping stone to another position, or a place people go to retire.

That’s a problem. QA is an integral part of the software development lifecycle, and needs teams with the right skills and experience levels to be effective. To truly improve QA automation, organizations need to fill their teams with technically skilled professionals armed with deep business knowledge.

The Impact-Practice Gap

Considering an overwhelming majority of respondents consider QA Automation to have had a positive impact in their organization, we expected to see them using automation for the majority of their software testing. Instead, 50% of surveyed professionals reported that they use less than 25% or more automation.

This gap between positive impact and actual practice becomes even more clear when we ask respondents about their two-year plans for QA Automation. At every layer, organizations want to achieve 80%+ automation in 2 years, but have only achieved ~30% automation to date. One of the largest gaps is on automating testing of the UI layer, which is surprising since this is where most companies begin their automation journey.

The goal for these companies is not only to increase automation, but to maintain consistent levels of automation across every layer, from UI and Services to API and Data Validation. However, they’re running into challenges in accomplishing their goals:

• instilling proper strategy and direction for IT teams
• communicating results to key business roles
• onboarding professionals with the right automation skills and experience
• sourcing quality resources

To overcome these challenges, companies hovering around the 25% automation mark can take a lesson from organizations that are on pace to reach 75% or more by 2021. These companies are more likely to employ QA professionals with over 20 years’ experience, to focus on efficiency and optimization, and to have a professional QA testing function, rather than internal user testing teams. In fact, 85% of respondents who value automated testing also believe a dedicated testing function is important to the success of their QA initiatives.

Dedicated QA Testing

We were surprised by the impact-practice gap, but inspired by the amount of organizations who value and understand the business impact of QA automation. The next steps for these orgs to reach their two-year goals is to bring in an experienced and dedicated QA testing function. When hiring a full QA org isn’t an option, consider reaching out to Pyramid Solutions. We often act as our clients’ full QA testing function, allowing them to focus on strategic goals while we work behind the scenes, ensuring that their software-development lifecycle is churning out the highest quality products possible.

Interested in taking the QA assessment survey yourself?

Complete our 10 minute survey today by visiting bit.ly/pyramidqa. Participants will receive study results with the ability to compare your organization with similar organizations.

By Carl Johanson November 18, 2019
Tags: Agile DevelopmentAutomationQuality Assurance