I gave a keynote at EuroSTAR on the future of software testing where I began by painting a picture of the promise of software as an indispensible tool that will play a critical role in solving some of humankind’s most vexing problems. Software, I argued, provides the magic necessary to help scientists find solutions for climate change, alternative energy and global economic stability. Without software how will medical researchers find cures for complex diseases and fulfill the promise of the human genome project? I made the point that software could very well be the tool that shifts the balance of these hard problems in our favor. But what, I asked by means of a litany of software failures, will save us from software?

Somehow as I painted my predictions of a future of software testing that promises a departure from late cycle heroics and low quality apps, some people got the impression that I predicted ‘no more testers.’ How one can latch onto a 20 second sound bite while tuning out the remainder of a 45 minute keynote is beyond me. The US elections are over, taking sound bites out of context is no longer in season.

This blog is replete with my biases toward manual testing and my admiration for the manual tester. If you read it and if you managed to listen for more than a couple of minutes during my keynote you’d have to conclude that I believe that the role of the tester is going to undergo fundamental change. I believe that testers will be more like test designers and that the traditional drudgery of low level details like test case implementation, execution and validation will be a thing of the past. Testers will work at a higher level and be far more impactful on quality.

I quite imagine that the vast majority of testers who actually listened to my full message will rejoice at such a future. I invite the others to take a second read.