Test Automation is not Magical!
Thorough testing is crucial to the success of a software product. If your software doesn’t function properly, it is likely that customers either won’t buy or use it. And at the same time testing to find defects or bugs is time-consuming, expensive, often repetitive and subject to human error.
Automated Testing is an important testing activity during the software development life cycle because it can provide quick feedback to the team when a new feature has been developed. Here, Quality Assurance teams use software tools to run detailed, repetitive, and data-intensive tests automatically, helps teams improve software quality and make the most of their always-limited testing resources. It also removes the burden from QA to repeatedly run regression tests which saves time for QA to focus on other testing activities.
Automated testing will shorten your development cycles, avoid cumbersome repetitive tasks and help improve software quality but how do you get started? This blog will take you through valuable tips to get the maximum value from your automated testing process.
Do not compare – Manual & Automated Testing
Both manual and automated testing is required and they have their own set of purpose. Avoid comparison!
Automated tests are a set of instructions to do a specific task. Every time an automated test is run, it will follow the exact instructions and only check for things that have asked without any modification.
Manual testing, works as per the tester. His brain is engaged and can spot other failures in the system. It is not necessary that the testing steps remain same every time, if the tester wills, he can alter the flows during the testing.
Regression Tests – ideal for test automation
The motive to automate a test is to execute the test repeatedly on every new release. Regression tests are required to be executed repeatedly as the software under test evolves. This can be very time consuming and a tedious task for QA to have to run regression tests every day. Regression tests are good candidates for test automation.
Design Tests before Automating
It’s always good to create the test cases and test scenarios before starting to automate the tests, you get a rough idea. Not to forget, it is the good test design than can help in identifying defects; automated tests only execute the test design. The risk in starting automation right away is that you’re only interested in making the script to work.
Validity is Essential
Testers should make sure the tests are up to date. Automated tests can get outdated where they don’t check for anything or miss out on the most important verifications. This could be a symptom of jumping straight to automation without spending enough time before hand planning on what needs to be done. Seek help from a peer to review the automated tests for validity and sanity.
Be hungry for Quick Feedback
Since automation testing provides quick feedback, developers are too keen to know if what they have developed works and hasn’t broken current functionality. In order to get this quick feedback loop, the tests need to be automated at component or API layer without relying on the UI. Tests run on UI are much slower and prone to error due to GUI changes. In simple terms, the functionality still works as expected but the tests fail due to changes in the UI resulting the tests to become unreliable.
Ensure Passing Tests not just Automation
Automated regression tests can give a sense of confidence because regression tests should still pass as new functionality is delivered. The team starts relying on the tests and having a good set of regression tests can act as a safety mesh. However, note that not all tests are automated or can be automated, therefore always accompany automated tests with exploratory testing. Sometimes a change in the software should fail a test; however, if all tests are passing that means the defect is missed and because there was no call to action, the defect went unnoticed. Beware!
Test Automation is not magical
The key reason for test automation is to free up QA time for interesting exploratory testing and to give confidence to the team that the application is still in good shape as new changes are delivered. But make sure that you don’t expect automation to find innumerable bugs. Keep in mind that quantity of bugs found by automation is always lesser than manual and exploratory testing.
Select the Right Automation Testing Tool
Will Automated Testing Tools Make Testing Easier? Selecting an automated testing tool is very essential for test automation. The best way to get used to a tool is exploring its features one by one. Consider these key points when selecting an automated testing tool:
- Support for your platforms and technology. What applications are you testing and on what operating systems?
- Flexibility for testers of all skill levels. Can your QA department write automated test scripts or is there a need for keyword testing?
- Feature-rich but also easy to create automated tests. Does the automated testing tool support record-and-playback test creation as well as manual creation of automated tests?
- Does it include features for implementing checkpoints to verify values, databases, or key functionality of your application?
- Create automated tests that are reusable, maintainable and resistant to changes in the applications UI. Will your automated tests break if your UI changes?
Use these best practices/tips to ensure that your testing is successful and you get the maximum return on investment (ROI).