The State of Testing Survey 2016 results (and some observations)

Earlier this year I shared ‘The State of Testing Survey’ link through my site and the results of the survey are now out. You can download the survey results using the following link:

Download the survey results here

One aspect of the survey results which I particularly like is the inclusion of comments and quotes from respondents. Many testers feel a sense of frustration at the over-reliance on metrics in testing. This ‘metrics culture’ is apparent in some other surveys where the results are provided solely as percentages, with little else to inform us (other than a marketing spin from the survey sponsors or organisers). Not so with ‘The State of Testing Survey’! There are some revealing quotes which provide genuine insight into the way people’s working lives have changed and the kind of changes they would like to see in the future. There is also independent analysis of the results with no agenda or sales pitch in sight.

Some of the findings which I found most interesting relate to people’s careers in testing and the way they see their future. It was pleasing to note that 67% of respondents see themselves in testing roles in five years time, and that (despite the perception in some quarters that testing is not valued, or even required) over half of respondents feel secure in their jobs. I was surprised that 31% of respondents have over ten years experience in testing (maybe we will see a category for >15 or >20 years experience next time).

I hope you take some time to download and read the survey results, even if you didn’t participate in the survey. It is great to get a sense of how the testing community view our work, the way we carry it out and our place in the world. Congratulations to the survey organisers!

[EDIT – an esteemed member of the testing community kindly pointed out to me that I bemoan a ‘metrics culture’, then go on to include a bunch of metrics in the next paragraph.

“We have too many metrics! And now, some metrics.” 

A silly mistake, but I’ve decided to leave the original text here. It’s a good opportunity to point out the problems which numbers can present. As with many other percentages and metrics, it is of course important to keep in mind that there are limits to their usefulness. In this case, the percentages only reflect the survey’s respondents and it can not be assumed that this sample accurately reflects the wider testing community.]

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