This is our fourth Happy New testing Year post, after this onethis one and this one. 🙂

So, a few hours before January is over, I’ll transpose here an answer to Testing.StackExchange about the last decade on testing:

Question: What are the most important software testing developments of the decade?

My Answer:
The question asks about the most important developments… Not the best or the worst, the beneficial or the harmful.
I’ll try to answer here with considerations by me and others I found on the net. Not everybody will agree that all these are good — even I don’t agree with all 🙂 — but my approach here is more of a reporter than a judge.

  1. Blogs were the most important testing development, at least for me :).
    It helps me grow my testing philosophy. It helps by being a quick and instrumental medium to quality discussions. Following the great authors as they write is a great experience (many authors started blogging only during the 2000’s, like James Bach and Michael Bolton).
    One great thing about blogs is that they allow us to understand the flow of ideas as they are being built upon — instead of simply receiving the ideas later, in book, as was the custom 10 years earlier.

Other points:

  1. The Context-Driven School gathered momentum with this name, and became well known. I couldn’t find tracks on the full history of the context-driven school, but the earliest mentions I could find to it with this name are from the very late nineties. It is clear that Cem and James were publishing context-driven papers from the early 90’s (see here), maybe before — but the first places where I found the “context-driven” name where from 1999 (at the software-testing list. This seems corroborated by C2’s page).
    • Again, I don’t mean to say that it started on this decade. I believe the work of the context-driven people was context-driven for the last 50 years :), and all had always sought excellency. It is not new from the 2000’s, but it looks like the movement got a name — and exposure as a movement — only in the last 10 years.
  2. Certifications gathered momentum too. Without entering in the good/bad discussion, it is a movement that had a lot of action in the past 10 years and affected the way we discuss software testing today. It wouldn’t be fair to count what happened in the 2k’s without mentioning them.
    • The ISTQB was founded in 2002, and is a popular certification.
    • The ISEB was doing certifications before (so this too, isn’t entirely a new thing), but all got much more impetus.
  3. Greater awareness and recognition of the benefits not only of Exploratory Testing, but of testing in general, and testing as a career too.
  4. Michael Bolton started consulting in the testing arena, but moreover started writing and publishing. His essays about testing and checking are very cool, and Jon Bach considered itone of the most (in)famous and important posts to come along in our industry in a long time“.

For the next 10 years…

  1. The weekend testing meetings in India were highly praised by James, Michael and Pradeep on twitter. Seems like they believe it will make an impact on testing in the next years.
  2. Testing.StackExchange appeared too late in 2009. But… will it appear in the 2020 list? 🙂 I hope yes.