There has certainly been an impact of COVID-19 on the Software Testing Industry. There are several areas which I would like to analyze and break down into further detail. Those areas include: resource impact, testing impact, and workplace impact.
The impact of COVID-19 on the software testing industry first area of impact is on resources. This includes both employees and contractors. There have been so many industries that have been significantly impacted, that it has devastated the software testing industry. Four industries that come to mind is: manufacturing, travel/hospitality, restaurants and retail industries. These have probably been the ones that have been hammered the most. If you think about it, it makes sense that these are the hardest hit areas. These industries all require software, and that requires testers. When COVID-19 started to impact these industries, software testers were hit hard. This is especially true with contracting companies who heavily rely on these major industries in providing software testing resources. Typically, the companies will cut the software testing contractors first before software employees are impacted. There is also an additional impact in terms of travel and visa delays, since airline travel was impacted and visa restrictions hampered international travel. Software testing contracting firms rely heavily on resources across the globe and even if the resources were available and had the necessary visa paperwork in place, but if airlines weren’t operating, they wouldn’t be able to get to the customer’s location.
The impact of COVID-19 on the software testing industry second area of impact is on testing. COVID-19 has required companies to change how they support their customers. In certain industries such as insurance and banking, companies have given credits or refunds back to their customers to help them during this difficult time. This has required companies to change how those systems operate, especially to give credits or refunds for their entire customer base. In the United States, since companies are located across states, each state has different rules and governing bodies. This requires that the software testers understand the rules, and that testing has to be specific for each state. This requires time and test data that is unique to make sure that the testing is adequate. It took a while for most companies to wait and understand what the governing bodies required. The good news is that it gave companies time to figure out what changes were needed, so that bought them some additional time before those were implemented. Most companies gave two months worth of credit and reimbursements.
The impact of COVID-19 on the software testing industry third area of impact is on the workplace. The workplace was drastically impacted because of COVID-19. For most companies, software testers typically work within an office setting. With COVID-19, software testers were moved into a remote workforce. Most companies were already capable of working remotely since laptops and VPN’s were setup and operational. Typically most companies already have WebEx, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams available. The biggest challenge in some situations was the impact on the offshore testers. While some software testers already had laptops, that wasn’t the case for all contracting firms. This required a significant effort to get software testers with the laptops that were needed. In addition, there were some software testers who didn’t always have reliable internet, so that required companies to make adequate adjustments to get the software testers with what is needed. Some of the larger firms such as Infosys, have huge offices that have housing available where resources can remain on the campus.
I hope this information has been helpful. COVID-19 has certainly impacted the software testing industry, and I am hoping that it will make things better and prepared to handle current COVID-19 and other pandemics which will occur in the years to come.