Best of TechBeacon 2017: Quality comes first

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Jaikumar Vijayan, Freelance writer, Independent

DevOps and agile are putting pressure on QA teams to change their testing practices. Automated testing has become an increasingly important requirement, as has the need for testers to improve the overall velocity and quality of their functional testing.

TechBeacon's top 10 quality stories for 2017 highlight the ongoing changes in the QA landscape. They touch upon the importance of API testing, propose that QA engineers need to learn coding, explain the benefits of using the cloud for functional testing, and offer tips on how to identify the best tools and approaches to help you do your job better. 

World Quality Report 2018-19: The State of QA and Testing

How to perform API testing with REST Assured

Automated testing of APIs has become a critical requirement for organizations because of the increasing role that APIs play in mobile, the Internet of Things, and other emerging application environments. Many tools are available to help you write automated tests at the API level. One of the most popular, says writer and independent consultant Bas Dijkstra, is the REST Assured Java library, which offers a domain-specific library language for creating powerful tests for RESTful APIs. Here's a look at how to use it in your testing.

Functional testing in the cloud: 7 keys to better software

The cloud can help improve the quality and velocity of functional testing practices. But how do you know whether cloud-based functional testing is the right approach for you? What are the factors you need to consider when comparing cloud versus non-cloud options for your testing requirements? Micro Focus' Antoine Aymer walks you through the seven things to keep in mind when looking at cloud options for functional testing.

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The state of test automation tools: Top trends and challenges

As 2018 gets underway, expect to see some test automation tools converge, more artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities embedded in the tools you use, more innovation coming from commercial tools vendors, and a change in mindset as more organizations realize that maybe Selenium isn't the only thing you should have in your toolbox. Linda Rosencrance gives a full rundown of the state of software test automation tools.

How tech giants test software: There's no one way for QA

Organizations seeking to improve their quality and testing practices can learn from technology giants such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. The processes these companies put in place to ensure the quality of their products and services have played a big role in their success. Independent consultant Bas Dijkstra reviews the QA practices of the world's five best-known technology companies and explains why there's no one single recipe for getting it right.

World Quality Report 2017-18: The state of QA and testing

Software testing and QA practices have not kept up with the pace of change around development driven by DevOps and agile. The adoption of initiatives such as test data management and automation, in particular, continue to languish despite growing awareness of the need for these practices. Ericka Chickowski reports on the state of QA and testing practices based on the findings in Capgemini/Sogeti Group's World Quality Report 2017-18.

The No. 1 unit testing best practice: Stop doing it

Unit tests, which form the first layer of the testing pyramid, are something that all developers are trained to believe in and embrace. Unit tests may be are fast, but they're also a pain to maintain, especially when developers are encouraged to write as many as possible. HPE senior systems architect Vitaliy Pisarev explains why he gives preference to integration/systems, even though they're slower than unit tests.

Coding is key to a test automation career: Are you prepared?

QA engineers have traditionally been non-coders. But if you are a manual tester trying to figure out the ins and outs of testing automation, it helps to know how to code, says T.J. Maher, automation developer at Adventures in Automation. He explains why QA engineers who want to get into automated testing need to learn programming, and he offers five steps for gaining employment as an automation developer.

5 ways to drive your automation engineers away

Automation engineers are in high demand. The growing adoption of DevOps and agile practices has created the need for professionals with both testing and software development skills at many organizations. Companies can spend months finding a qualified automation engineer, so it is important to find ways of retaining them for as long as possible. Twitter senior software engineer Angie Jones highlights five mistakes organizations can make that will cause an automation engineer to quit.

5 top open-source API testing tools: How to choose

DevOps, continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), and agile practices have dramatically accelerated application delivery. To ensure that your applications are ready to ship in this environment, you need to make API testing a core component of your automation strategy. But choosing the right testing tools can be hard, given the wide range of choices. TestTalks founder Joe Colantonio highlights five of the best API testing tools out there, with helpful advice on choosing the one best suited to your requirements.

5 ways AI will change software testing

The 2016-17 World Quality Report predicts that AI tools could soon start helping QA teams overcome some of the growing challenges associated with software testing. As a tester, do you know how to use AI to verify and test code suites? How will testing requirements change as AI starts getting embedded in production applications? Beaufort Fairmont CEO Paul Merrill examines five ways that experts believe AI will change testing.