Emerging Tech Development & Consulting: Artificial Intelligence. Advanced Analytics. Machine Learning. Big Data. Cloud
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”— Aristotle
Automation is not the next big thing. It’s the future that is now.
It is easy to understand why. Technology does the job quicker and often better while freeing us for more creative tasks.
When it comes to software testing that helps us get rid of nasty bugs and make users happy, the benefits of automation testing are pretty much the same. A higher speed, reduced costs, and fewer errors.
However, many are slow to adopt. According to a recent survey, 25% of testers from across industries are just starting on their test automation journey or have no automation whatsoever.
Common automation testing challenges range from a lack of skilled resources or knowledge to identify the right methods and tools to changing software requirements.
Meanwhile, testing remains the number one reason for delays in software delivery cycles.
The question is: Whether the laggards are just late adopters? It is possible as polls suggest that more than 40% of leading digital enterprises are looking to invest in QA automation solutions in the short term.
If you are thinking about test automation as well but don’t know how to get started, stay tuned. Tips and practical examples are below.
Benefits of automation testing, first things first
So, exactly what are the benefits of automation testing?
Above all, they are about higher test coverage and way faster release cycles for your product. It is because automated tests can be run 24/7. They can be run in hundreds in a matter of seconds. They can be run continuously and in parallel, something which is impossible to imagine with manual testing.
With no human intervention, automated checks return more accurate results.
And they can be reused, saving you money.
What project can benefit from test automation? Any. But especially complex projects that require checking the same areas over and over again.
If you are still not convinced, dig into more details.
1. You go to market faster
With QA automation, you test new software features continuously - and deliver continuously as well.
In fact, automated checks enable you to be truly agile, powering your CI/CD pipeline. Once you add automated tests to the process, tests are run the moment new code is complete, and your developers no longer have to spend days on trying to remember and fix code written many weeks ago. Teams detect errors and bottlenecks early, putting high-quality software on a faster track to market. Only good code passes the pipeline.
But you want to make sure that your tests are working and you have the skill sets to prepare and prioritize new test cases for code updates.
2. You test more, quicker, and cheaper
The more tests you perform, the fewer bugs escape to annoy your users. However, with manual testing, you may need either extra hands and extra time to repeat the same tests over and over again.
Through the implementation of automated tests, it’s easier to run thousands of test cases all at the same time. Unattended. Overnight.
Oh, another point worth mentioning. Once developed, the same test suite can be used repeatedly, either at subsequent release stages or on a totally new project, delivering significant cost savings.
What’s not to like about that?
How it works in practice: automation testing examples
Many of our clients across industries have benefited from automation testing introduction. Below are just a few real-world examples from our portfolio:
Leading global retailer
A robust automation testing framework built by our QA team from scratch for a leading global retailer has accelerated the delivery of their complex big data platform. Their team can now run 200 automated UI regression tests in just seven minutes, with the previous 2 or 3 days of manual testing replaced with 30 minutes’ testing.
Developer of a popular mobile dating app
Our solution has automated more than a dozen tests for the registration/authentication flows and live-streaming functionality of a dating mobile app with millions of users. Test execution time reduced from one hour to 10 minutes as a result, freeing resources for more business-oriented tasks.
The development of an automation testing framework for a leading eLearning company has helped automate over 300 tests for their cloud data analytics platform. Manual testing time reduced by more than 25 hours in each release cycle.
Like other senior-level IT executives from around the world, our clients also enjoy both reduced test cycle time and reduced test costs from best automation testing practices.
Automation makes lofty promises and truly delivers on them. On top of that, it can be set up quickly, with immediate benefits.
Expert advice on how to implement automation testing fast
Is QA automation hard? Slava Markovski, QA Automation Team Lead at ITRex with 15+ years of experience in a global tech giant, agrees that test automation can indeed be challenging. Advanced skills are required, from test case design to knowledge of smart automation tools and automated test environments in agile. But once implemented, dependency on such skills reduces, while automation testing can be implemented really, really quickly.
Here are his 5 great tips on how to do automation testing easily from scratch:
- Start with creating small test cases instead of spending a huge amount of time designing your intricate QA automation framework up front
- Smoke tests are an imperative
- Use remote machines to run tests from the very beginning
- Make sure you’ve got a well-thought-out plan for running tests in parallel and as part of your CI/CD pipeline
- Set up capabilities to analyze test results on a daily basis
"Our automation testing strategy helps teams realize the first benefits from test automation in a matter of weeks," Slava says, and explains how:
Keep it simple
Some QA engineers start working on a new automation project with designing bulky scenarios. A costly mistake!
Requirements evolve, along with business needs, and at the end of the day, your top-notch framework can be simply good for nothing.
It’s essential to get complete product knowledge first and determine what you want to cover with automated checks.
So, we start small. We develop small test cases that are easy to debug and reuse, while working on a dynamic framework that will keep up with app changes.
Smoke testing is a software testing process that determines whether the deployed software build is stable or not.
This basic health check run on each build is intended to confirm that we can proceed with more rigorous tests without wasting time and resources from flawed artifacts.
In any good CI/CD pipeline, smoke tests should be automated due to their repetitive nature.
While working on smoke test cases, our team also gets a chance to understand the app’s architecture and business logic better, which is important for building a robust QA automation framework.
Remote test execution
Remote test execution means deploying remote machines to perform tests across multiple systems, browsers, and system configurations.
A key advantage is the ability to simultaneously execute hundreds of automated tests in different test environments. This approach helps us not only save time but increase coverage as well, and prevent our local systems from collapsing under the load.
Parallel testing also reduces test execution time dramatically. To test your app against a dozen devices, you need to write only ONE script and “push the button,” as soon as developers submit new code.
Parallel testing boosts your ROI, as it brings increased test coverage to the table.
We create test cases with parallelization in mind, trying to avoid test dependencies and hard-coding.
Automation testing enables continuous testing, which in its turn enables CI/CD in an agile or DevOps environment. In fact, you cannot achieve efficient CI/CD without a QA automation strategy.
We make sure that we take full advantage of CI/CD practices to increase quality while allowing developers to deliver software faster.
This means that testing occurs earlier and more frequently before release, with everyone in the team instantly notified if something goes wrong within the app.
Tests are started by the timer. Reporting is automated. Remote and parallel test execution are in place, too.
Daily Tests Analysis
Regression tests, performed to ensure that a change in the code has not negatively affected the previously working code, are normally run on a nightly basis, with test results available in the morning.
We start our working day with a thorough analysis of failed tests. So, failures are fixed early without delaying delivery.
That said, efficient automation implementation is actually not that hard if you follow these simple rules, Slava adds.
The benefits of automation testing are obvious, but for many companies, test automation is still not at the level it should be.
However, with users’ zero tolerance to bugs and increasing pressure on teams to speed up release cycles for fixes and updates, automation testing can be the only way out of this challenge.
Technologies unlock hidden value and make you fly.
All you need is the right strategy and the right skills to set up test automation best practices. Machines will do the rest.
If you require advice on your automation journey, please do not hesitate to contact our Test Automation Team Lead Slava Markovski for more information.
Also published on: https://itrexgroup.com/blog/automation-testing-benefits-best-practices/
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