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Best of TechBeacon 2020: App dev and testing

Jaikumar Vijayan Freelance writer

Application development and testing practices are in a state of flux, as a growing number of organizations embrace agile, DevOps, and other modern methodologies.

TechBeacon's top app dev and testing stories for 2020 cover some of the most prevalent trends in the space. These 12 stories offer experts' guidance about some of the best automation and testing tools currently available, best practices to adopt, and what development teams can learn from companies that are killing it with agile.


11 top open-source API testing tools: What your team needs to know

APIs have become the basis of modern application development, especially for organizations making the shift away from older, monolithic applications to microservices architectures. For such entities, API security has become a key consideration, says Joe Colantonio, founder of TestGuild. In this report, Colantonio describes why organizations need to pay attention to API security and lists 11 of the top open-source tools for testing application programming interfaces.

Web performance testing: 18 free open-source tools to consider

Bad things can happen when organizations fail to conduct—or improperly conduct—performance tests on critical web applications. Stock-trading firm Robinhood learned that lesson the hard way when the company's app crashed under heavy load during one of the stock market's most significant swings. Joe Colantonio, founder of TestGuild, provides an overview of key performance metrics for web applications and explains the importance of web performance testing. He lists 18 open-source tools that organizations can use in place of—or to complement—commercial testing tools.

AI in testing: 13 essential resources for QA pros

AI promises to change software-testing processes drastically in the future. But the industry is not quite there yet, says Paul Merrill, CEO and test automation consultant at software delivery consultancy Beaufort Fairmont. In this report, he explains why AI can still assist in testing efforts so long as the right tools are chosen. Merrill provides a quick overview of AI and its role in testing and lists 13 resources that he says every QA pro needs to share with the decision makers in their organizations.


10 portfolio projects for aspiring automation engineers

Lack of demonstrable experience can be a big problem for people trying to get into the test automation field. Many hone their skills through self-study and practice but then have a hard time demonstrating their newly acquired skills to employers. Angie Jones, senior developer advocate at testing-tool provider Applitools, explains why automation engineers should consider creating portfolios to highlight their skills just as developers do. In this report she lists 10 projects that will make an automation engineer's portfolio stand out among the competition.

Test automation and QA career guide: Top roles and skills

Maturing DevOps practices are driving enormous change in the test automation and quality assurance (QA) field. QA engineers need to remain on top of these changes to stay on a solid career track, says freelance writer Ericka Chickowski. She spoke with hiring managers, recruiters, and practitioners in QA and test automation to compile this list of the three hottest skills and five most essential roles in the field.

Automation test automation tools: Top trends and challenges for 2020

As with most things IT-related, the market for test automation tools has kept evolving and changing steadily over the years. A growing number of tools have begun incorporating AI and robotic process automation capabilities. The market has begun showing signs of fragmentation and big platform vendors are expanding their footprint in the space. Freelance writer Linda Rosencrance sums up the state of the test automation tool market and lists the top trends to watch out for in the space.


Confused about SAFe epics? Follow this real-world example

Epics—or containers for significant services, systems, or products—can be confusing for organizations moving to a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and the SAFe Portfolio Kanban. In this comprehensive report, Anthony Crain, delivery manager for agile transformation at agile-services provider Cprime, uses a real-world example to explain SAFe epics in a way that brings greater clarity to the topic.

8 ways to know when you've done agile well

Numerous measures are available to help agile teams know if they are succeeding or not. Ironically, the most important among them are the ones that most teams don't hear about much because they are indicators of success more than they are direct metrics. Bob Galen, agile practitioner, coach, trainer, and author at his consultancy in Cary, North Carolina, lists eight of the top measures that IT leaders should use to tell if their agile transformation efforts are really working or not.

10 companies killing it at scaling agile

The rigid structure within development organizations can often be at odds with agile and its requirements for experimentation, flexibility, and the ability to pivot quickly as things change. Scaling agile to meet the requirements of large organizations can be even trickier and challenging. However, this doesn't mean companies aren't succeeding at it. Freelance writer Christopher Null identifies 10 organizations that are setting an example for others through their work with agile.


The 5 best web application frameworks: How to choose

Matthew David, digital leader at Accenture, takes the guesswork out of selecting web application frameworks in this handy list of the top five. David, whose previous experience includes a stint as global leader at the Kimberly-Clark Mobile Center of Excellence, explains what exactly organizations should be looking for when evaluating a web application framework. David's compilation of the five frameworks listed in this report is based on his own experience, and he lists the pros and the cons of each of them.

Better behavior-driven development: 4 rules for writing good Gherkin

Behavior-driven development (BDD) practices can help create better software because they emphasize the use of plain-language examples to specify a product's behaviors. Few languages exemplify the BDD movement better than Gherkin, says Andy Knight, lead software engineer in test at commercial-banking software provider PrecisionLender. He's also the designer of multiple robust test automation systems for operating systems, services, APIs, and web apps. Here he explains why Gherkin is trickier to handle than most might initially assume and walks readers through four rules for writing good Gherkin.

Why enterprises are adapting their COBOL apps vs. ditching them

Enterprise use of COBOL apps received some scrutiny this year after some US states that are using the venerable programming language ran into problems distributing unemployment checks in the middle of the global pandemic. But as freelance writer Johanna Ambrosio discovered in reporting this story, many organizations using COBOL apps have no plans to ditch them any time soon. Here she explains why enterprises are adapting COBOL apps to meet modern business requirements instead of replacing them altogether.

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