Automation testing skills define the future, says Africonology CEO


In 2016, the global test automation market was valued at around US$16 billion. And, in a study done by Zion Market Research, the company predicted that this market will reach US55 billion by 2022 with a CAGR of just over 23% from 2017.

Driven by Digital Transformation and measurable benefits to business and process, the test automation market is seeing steady growth. However, according to Mandla Mbonambi, founding CEO of Africonology, there is a critical need to invest in new skill sets to make local adoption of automated testing a more impactful reality.

“It is essential that we invest into multi-skilling on the use of automation testing tools to ignite Digital Transformation and the adoption of automated testing in South Africa,” said Mbonamdi.

“Manual testing is still a critical component of testing, it cannot be completely removed, but it cannot cater for the full project scope beyond the sanity testing stage. As DevOps continues to grow in popularity alongside Continuous Integration and Delivery, automation testing is becoming increasingly important and so are the skills that support it.”

South Africa is facing a significant skills shortage. Statistics point to a market that’s lacking in education and has limited skills development. Organisations wrestle over the small pool of talent available, while the young and the restless remain unemployed and untrained. Therefore, Mbonambi says it has never been more important for both the public and private sector to invest in skills development, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

“To build these skill sets in the African market, companies and universities can only align by collaborating with one another,” he said.

“It is time to create opportunity and expand capability through innovative projects that address existing challenges and inspire students to come up with solutions. Universities and schools must emphasise the qualities of creativity and innovation to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.

“Organisations should invest into continuous training and innovation.

“This will ensure that they stay ahead of the technology curve while endorsing a culture that embraces ongoing skills development and career growth. The result of this focus will be a marked increase in their testing capability while giving them the skills base they need to take advantage of the potential that automation testing offers.”

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