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New technology introduces software testing challenges

What are the most important technologies for the software quality world? Software QA expert Gerie Owen discusses three vital technologies.

Some of the newest and most important technologies in the software quality world are the ones that create the most numerous and complex testing challenges. The top three are big data, cloud computing and mobile devices. These technologies require the same types of testing that applications need, and they require testers to go above and beyond in scope, depth and approach.

Testing big data and data warehouse systems is particularly challenging for software testers because it requires a whole new set of skills. The heart of data warehouse testing is the extract, transform and load process. The volume of data is huge, and it comes from many sources. On top of all of this, testers are challenged to work without a user interface.

Testing applications that will be virtualized -- whether within the organization or with a cloud provider -- challenges software testers to test not only the functionality, usability and integration points, but also to place special emphasis on non-functional testing. Availability, security and performance take on even greater meaning when testing virtual applications. In addition, testers must test the infrastructure of the cloud, including capacity, storage, routers, switches, Voice over Internet Protocol and APIs.

Mobile devices and the Internet of Things is probably the most important and disruptive new sector in technology. Testers deal with testing not only applications, but devices themselves. In addition to functional and non-functional testing, you must test across platforms, browsers, network connections and in various geographical locations. Usability is more important in this realm than ever before, as you must consider how the user actually interacts with the device.

These important technologies have a profound effect on the software quality world. Testing these technologies requires new skills and a whole new mindset. In order to succeed, testers must embrace the challenges presented by important technologies with creative new approaches.

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