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Best of TechBeacon 2016: Performance revs up

Jaikumar Vijayan Freelance writer
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Trends like exploding mobile app use and test automation tools are transforming the role of performance testers and QA staff everywhere. The field continues to offer plenty of opportunities for career growth—for those who know how to adapt and respond to the changes that are happening around the discipline.

TechBeacon’s top 10 performance stories of 2016 cover the biggest trends in this space.

Web performance testing: Top 12 free and open source tools to consider 

There’s little use having a really good web application if it doesn’t perform as it should in the real world. Metrics such as fast load times, browser- and client-side performance, and server-side request handling are all vital to ensuring good web application performance. AppDynamics' developer evangelist Dustin Whittle provides a handy list of open source tools you can use to test web performance.

6 common test automation mistakes and how to avoid them

It's not terribly difficult to automate a test process for your software. The problem is, applications have a way of changing from under you. The code you ship today will look quite different from what you ship in six months or a year from now. If you don’t evolve your testing tools to keep up with the morphing nature of application environment, you will run into problems. Matthew Heusser, managing consultant at Excelon Development, lists the most common mistakes organizations make when automating their testing processes.

Mobile app testing: When to use real devices versus emulators 

Testing professionals face tradeoffs when using both emulators and real devices for mobile app testing purposes. Real devices, for instance, are needed for testing app performance, while emulators are good for initial quality assurance purposes.  There are other benefits and disadvantages to both methods. Do you know what they are? Will Kelly reports.

Selenium 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 roadmap finally unveiled 

Selenium 3.0, the newest version of the open source web browser automation tool, will ship year end. Forget the fact that it’s been three years since the people in charge of Selenium announced the version: There’s still plenty of excitement in the developer and automation tester communities for it. TechBeacon’s Mitch Pronschinske speaks with a testing engineer at Finnish development firm BITFACTOR Oy about the significance of Selenium 3.0 and future versions.

6 top open-source testing automation frameworks: How to choose 

Why build when you can use open source instead? Developers and software engineers have a vast array of open source tools from which to choose—some good others less so—for almost every conceivable need. And so it is with test automation frameworks. Multiple test automation tools are available in the open source community to help make your code reusable, maintainable and stable. TestTalks' Joe Colantonio lists six of the best.

The future of software testing: How to adapt and remain relevant  

A recent IEEE article raised questions about the continued need for human testers in the software development process. The author argues that human testers are not only unhelpful, but detrimental to software development. The reality, writes Matthew Heusser, is that if you know how to adapt and understand why and how the changes are happening, you’ll be able to thrive in the emerging new world.

The 7 soft skills every QA tester needs  

Guess what? It turns out that all of those so-called "soft-skills" that you tend to list at the bottom of your resume—things like your communication abilities and knowing how to play well with others—are very important these days.  Often it's the skills that hiring managers tend to underrate and overlook that matter the most. Michael Cooper, chief quality officer of healthcare IT Leaders and Run Consultants, offers up the most important soft-skills he looks for when hiring QA staff.

What makes a good QA tester? 4 KPIs essential to software testing 

So you think you know your job as a software tester. And you believe you have the technical chops, the communication skills, and the attention to detail necessary to ensure that your organization’s software products meet whatever quality standard they might be required to achieve. But do you know the metrics and the KPIs that matter to your organization when evaluating the effectiveness and quality of testers? HPE's Ori Bendet has the lowdown on the metrics that matter—and those that don’t.

Switching careers in QA: From manual testing to automation development 

Some people believe that manual test engineers are an endangered species. If you are a manual tester, and you're looking to break into the testing automation space to stay relevant, here are a few things you need to keep in mind, starting with the fact you’ll be doing a lot of actual coding. T.J. Maher, an automation developer with Adventures in Automation, outlines from first-hand experience just what you can expect when making the switch.

9 metrics that can make a difference to today’s software development teams

Metrics matter in software development, but only if you tie them to specific business goals. Otherwise, all you're doing is measuring things just for measurement’s sake. Steven Lowe, principal consultant developer at ThoughtWorks, highlights nine metrics that, when measured accurately, will help you make incremental improvements to your production environment.

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