Special Report: State of Testing 2013

PractiTest, in collaboration with Tea-time with Testers, published their First Annual STATE OF TESTING Report for 2013 (yep, it’s a first, but they did promise to publish another one next year).

Over 600 testers from around the world were surveyed, giving an interesting insight into the world of QA & Testing.  Some of the results are very interesting, from our POV, especially those having to do with automation of tests, agile adoption rates and percentages of unit testing and code coverage.

Here are some of the report’s key findings:

  • Strong agile adoption across the board, with 78% of respondents saying they practice agile or agile-related methodologies. 65% still practice waterfall methods or an agile-waterfall hybrid (more than one answer per participant -> total is more than 100%). 


  • Unit Testing: albeit 81% of respondents reporting organizational automation – only 43% practice Continuous Integration and only 49% practice unit testing. Here’s a quote form the report: 

“… It stands to reason that if an organization understands that automation is valuable, then it also understands that Unit Testing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to automate. And yet while 77% of the companies that automate do functional test automation and only 49% of them unit test…” –State of Testing 2013 Report, pg. 5

  • Coverage: close to 79% have less than 50% tests automated and 35% of the respondents have automated less than 10% of their functional testing coverage. Report editors suggest that it might be impractical to automate high percentages of the code – but we’re not so sure about that. While we have our reservations about coverage metrics (watch our webinar Exposing the Lies Behind Code Coverage” to learn more)coverage is still a relevant indicator for the team’s disposition towards quality. Even if the effort needed to get from 80% code coverage to more than 90% is considerable, it is clear  from the report that the numbers are not even close. It is possible to get even 50% coverage – a considerable coverage – with proper tools and practices, with great productivity and quality boosts. Do people give up too easily? Or maybe they don’t see the process of covering the code with unit tests feasible or valuable enough. 


If you’re looking to achieve better code quality and avoid introducing regression bugs with every new change, start unit testing today and encourage your colleagues to do the same (so they don’t introduce bugs into your clean and tested code!).

You can read the full State of Testing 2013 Report here.

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