A beginner's guide to test automation and its benefits
May 16, 2023 | Read time: 8 min
Test Automation implies specialized tools to automatically execute test cases, delivering faster and more accurate results than manual testing. It saves time by quickly executing test suites, reducing human intervention, and improving testing’s return on investment (ROI).
Automation testing allows you to easily input test data, compare expected outcomes with the actual results, and generate detailed test reports. Despite requiring a certain level of investment, automation testing streamlines the software testing process for your organization.
Let’s discover the main differences in the following chart:
Although automation testing has clear advantages, it is important to note that manual testing can provide benefits that automated tools cannot match. Manual testing benefits from human expertise and knowledge.
Therefore, the ideal approach is to have a combination of both manual and automation activities in your testing cycle. This way, you can leverage the strengths of each approach and ensure comprehensive testing.
Automation testing enhances effectiveness, expands test coverage, and increases execution speed in software testing.
The key benefits include:
Investing in automation testing brings significant benefits to software businesses and individuals working in the digital industry.
Prior to automating any situation, it's important to balance the advantages and disadvantages.
The following test cases are good candidates for test automation:
Remember that not all test cases are appropriate for automation. Due to their unpredictable nature, test cases whose requirements change frequently, and test cases run on an as-needed basis shouldn't be automated.
1. Various industries: IT, Tech, Gaming, Banking, eCommerce, Finance, Insurance, Telecommunications, and Education, among many other industries.
2. Wide range of applications: Quality aspects of websites, mobile applications, desktop applications, and APIs.
3. Different testing types: A wide variety of testing types, including regression testing, acceptance testing, unit testing, and integration testing.
4. Multiple testing environments: Various operating systems, browsers, and devices.
Fully understanding the application's functionality, behavior, and expected outcomes is crucial. This knowledge facilitates the identification of suitable test cases for automation, particularly critical, time-consuming, and repetitive ones. To achieve this:
Automation testing necessitates close collaboration between development and testing teams. Both teams should work together to integrate the testing process into the development process and address issues promptly. Best practices include:
A well-defined test plan and strategy are essential for an organized testing process. Otherwise, identifying and resolving software defects may become delayed, causing further issues. To improve the automation testing process, follow these steps:
Determine the scope of automation: Identify suitable tests for automation and prioritize areas of the software that need more focus. Define your automation testing objectives and ensure they align with overall software development goals.
Cloud testing environments enable QA teams to execute automated tests across various browsers and devices without investing in physical machines. This approach provides agility, flexibility, and cost savings. Cloud testing environments can accurately simulate real-world conditions without the expense of hardware-software configurations. Additionally, testers can schedule tests to run automatically at predetermined times, ideal for regression testing.
The chosen tool should support the application being tested and the testing requirements. An unsuitable tool may result in test automation failure and inefficient budget usage. Consider the following criteria:
Automation testing is a process that usually involves 5 steps, explained below:
1. Test Tool Selection
The first step in automation testing is to decide which type of tests you want to automate. Once you have defined your test requirements, you need to select the appropriate set of tools to perform these tests. There are several testing tools available in the market. The industry-standard tools for automated testing are based on code and code-based test scripts.
2. Define the Scope of Automation
Once you have selected the best-suited test tool, you should define the scope of your test automation. You should consider defining the scope of automation by:
3. Planning, Design & Development
The Planning, Design & Development phase includes the following points:
4. Test Execution
You can use either the test management tool, which will employ the test automation tool, or the automation testing tool at this phase. It is advisable to begin running the test scripts as soon as possible.
The Shift Left Testing method also suggests this. The Shift Left Testing approach recommends pushing the testing activities "Left" or "earlier" in the development cycle as opposed to traditional models like the Waterfall Model, where testing intervenes at the conclusion of the cycle. Involving testers sooner in the software development life cycle results in better results.
The last phase of automation testing is maintenance. In this phase, testing is performed to determine whether the newly added functionalities are working correctly or not. Maintenance improves the effectiveness of automation scripts with each successive release cycle.
Many organizations use this phase for Shift-Right Testing. “Shift-Right Testing”, or rather “Testing In Production”, happens after the software is deployed in production environments. It is mainly done to ensure the correct performance, stability, and usability of the application in the production environment.
As software projects become more complex, and project development cycles accelerate, traditional manual quality assurance (QA) testing may not be fast or complete enough to meet testing objectives within acceptable timeframes.
Test Automation decreases the time and effort needed for manual testing while ensuring the quality and dependability of applications.
You can increase the speed and quality of your testing, find bugs earlier in the development cycle, and ultimately provide better products to your customers with the correct tools and strategy.
Qualysoft offers a wide range of result-oriented and cost / time-effective testing services to ensure software availability, smooth, and uninterrupted functioning, cybersecurity, scalability, and stability.