Automatic for the people. JetBrains’ survey shows that the number of organizations where more than half of QA professionals do only manual testing is just 27%.

Organizations are becoming better educated on the importance of testing, especially automated testing, based on this year’s survey by JetBrains on the State of Developer Ecosystem.

So, it’s probably no surprise to learn that the number of organizations where more than half of QA professionals do only manual testing is just 27%. This means that, if you are a test engineer, you’ll likely want coding skills in your toolbox, especially since the majority of organizations (73% of respondents) staff 1-3 QA per 10 developers.

Even at a 3-10 ratio, leveraging code and automation to multiply tests coverage is becoming essential. So if you’re pondering which languages to learn or brush up on, consider that of the coding languages most used by the survey respondents who identified as testers, JavaScript/TypeScript was the leader, with 37% of testers. Rounding out the top three were Python and Java, sitting at 34% and 32%, respectively.

Automation focuses on APIs and UI

Of course, tests are not normally written from scratch — QA professionals rely on testing tools and frameworks. In the 2022 JetBrains survey, the most popular testing tool for professionals was Postman, followed by the frameworks JUnit and Jest. This year, JUnit has surpassed Postman in popularity, now being used by 33% of respondents, as opposed to just 31% in 2022. Postman is generally associated with the testing of APIs, while JUnit is a framework for unit testing, usually the business layer. The logical conclusion would be that automation focus has shifted away from the API and user interface, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In fact, survey participants reported automation was still heavily focused on these two areas specifically. At the top of the list were APIs, targeted for automation by 84% of respondents. The next best candidate for automation was the UI, which was automated by 52% of respondents. Desktop automation rounded out the top three most popular automation targets with 16%. This seems to indicate that testing overall is up, both automated tests and unit tests.

The frameworks and tools used to create tests often imply a specific type of application or stack. While Postman and JUnit work with a variety of applications, Jest is pretty focused on web apps, and that jives with the survey results. In 2023, web applications make up the bulk of testing targets (68%).

Testers turned off by mobile

There was a large gap between folks working on web apps and those working on desktop applications, which was the runner-up at just 14%. Interestingly, mobile accounted for just 10%. While it’s not entirely clear why mobile ranks so low with testers, since mobile browsing accounts for more than half of web traffic, it is conceivable that the 68% of web applications being tested support and/or include mobile web, leaving the 10% to be inclusive of native mobile apps and games.

Unit tests still make up the biggest piece of the testing puzzle, reportedly present in 63% of the software projects survey respondents work with. 83% of the respondents are writing unit tests themselves, and 80% of respondents reported that testing is an integrated part of their overall software development process. Integration, end-to-end and performance tests are all on the rise. Also, despite increased awareness and legislation around accessibility, only 14% of respondents are doing accessibility testing as part of their current process.

TestRail top of test management tools

One interesting gap uncovered by the survey was in test case management tools. Almost half of respondents (46%) reported test case design being a part of their QA process. The most popular design technique was based on use cases (51%), followed by user stories (39%). That said, 41% of respondents are using Office documents to store test cases vs. a specialized test case tool, and 34% admitted to using no specific tools. Of those who are using test management tools, TestRail was first (21%), followed by Azure (17%) and then Xray for Jira (14%).

Lastly, if you’re wondering how much testing organizations are outsourcing, the participants in this survey reported 96% of testing is being done in-house. Not a bad metric to take into account if you’re considering getting into software testing.


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