Software testing has evolved and performed a more critical role in the software development lifecycle. As you can see from the picture, software testing has grown increasingly more important since 1990. When I started testing in the late 1990’s testing groups were established and black box testing was the standard. Typically testing was done around the large projects and done within a waterfall model. Automation and performance testing tools were created and regression suites were automated to speed up the testing timelines. Metrics evolved during that timeline as well to give the managers the ability to make decision based upon information.
The industry then moved to centralize testing teams and create consistent standards across multiple projects. Through software testing evolution, teams became experts in multiple applications in order to gain additional efficiency through a single organization. With business and development teams embracing Agile, testing organizations had to evolve as well. Testing organizations moved from a centralized team to distributed teams in order to operate more efficiently. It will take several years for companies to gain efficiency and determine what additional skills and tools will be needed. Testing teams will need to move more towards the left in order to find defects faster and gain domain business knowledge with the applications that are being tested.
The future in software testing evolution will require testers to evolve into QA Engineers. This will require more advanced skills around automation and development programming. It will be really interesting to see what the future holds.