Will Robots Replace Testers?

Will tools and automation continue to support testing or will robots replace testers in the future? This talk sets the scene and perhaps a direction for the future of tools and automation in testing.
Right now, the software world is going “bot mad”. It looks like many jobs in the next ten to twenty years will be done by bots and those jobs will effectively disappear as career choices. Inevitably, there has been some talk of testers being replaced by bots and tools. The common response to date has been to say, “Impossible!” But I’m not sure such a kneejerk reaction is sensible.
Futurists might suggest the destination is intelligent robot testers. I’m not sure that is where we are heading. The next steps we take will not require sophisticated AI or Deep Learning. But the next generation of testing tools will force a change of thinking and culture. Our goals with tools will change too and we may then have a clearer view of where we are heading. Tools that use ML may then be part of the tester’s armoury.
This talk suggests how we might make sense of the tools landscape of the near future, where the pressure to modernise processes and automate is greatest, and what a new test process supported by tools might look like.

About Paul Gerrard
Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, programmer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and publisher. He has conducted consulting assignments in all aspects of software testing and quality assurance, specialising in test assurance. He has presented keynote talks and tutorials at testing conferences across Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and occasionally won awards for them.
Educated at the universities of Oxford and Imperial College London, he is a Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited, the host of the UK Test Management Forum and a business coach for Enterprising Macclesfield. He was the Programme Chair for the 2014 EuroSTAR conference in Dublin and for the 2017 ExpoQA conference in Madrid.
In 2010 he won the EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award and in 2013 he won the inaugural TESTA Lifetime Achievement Award. He won the ISTQB Testing Excellence Award in 2018.
He’s been programming since the mid-1970s and loves using the Python programming language.

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