Have you heard about the term “test automation” but don’t really know what it is? Well, you’ve come to the right page!
Get all your test automation questions answered with the ultimate guide to automation testing.
What is a Test Automation Strategy?
As the name suggests, it’s a tool that automates the manual testing process.
In a nutshell, automation testing covers six steps:
- Preparation. You need to understand the objectives and the test data required.
- Writing. Jot down the start and end conditions for your test cases.
- Execution. Run the tests at least three times.
- Evaluation. Verify if the load test has accomplished what it needs to do.
- Communication. Let your team know about the results, whether they’re good or bad.
- Repetition/Refactoring. Refactor flaky tests to make them more reliable.
It can’t be denied that automated testing is crucial to the development process. After all, automated tools can perform continuous integration and delivery without glitches. They can do the job fast and are not prone to human error.
But it’s also important to note that these automated tests don’t necessarily replace manual testing efforts as they lack the actual ability to think.
Automated Testing vs. Manual Testing
Manual tests work well, but it’s no secret that it takes up a lot of time and resources. It lacks the right coverage, too.
Because of the nature of repetitive tasks, manual testers often get bored. Well, this boredom often leads them to skip some crucial steps inadvertently. That makes it prone to human error.
Types of Automation Testing
Apart from functional testing, your test automation investment could also check for:
- User experience
- Component or accessibility testing
- Unit or integration testing
What are the Benefits of Test Automation Tools?
An automation test suite greatly benefits software development teams. It can help you test units, components, and integrations with relative ease.
This is especially the case for legacy systems.
Some programmers, after all, are terrified of changing the code, for they may end up messing with the program.
A great thing about automated performance testing is that it keeps you on the safe side of things. Even if you alter the code, an automated test can help you detect any mistakes right before you finalize it.
Test automation also helps testers, especially those who perform regression testing or smoke testing. For one, these processes are time-consuming. They need to take an existing case procedure for app/API testing.
When you implement test automation, you can cut the time needed for checking because it can execute test scripts sans humans.
Because testers get more time on their hands, they get to focus on high-value activities that can’t be automated. One good example is exploratory testing, which helps discover loopholes other tests may not see.
Likewise, it can save testers from the headache caused by missed steps.
It helps hasten the software development lifecycle, too, given that more and more are using Agile testing and DevOps.
Just think of the money and opportunities you’ll lose with manual software testing.
Apart from saving you a great deal of time and money, a test automation tool can also help you:
- Check for newer versions
- Repeat automated scripts
- Perform accurate data population and benchmarking
- Leverage programming capabilities
Are there Drawbacks to Automation Testing?
Like any other process, there are some disadvantages to automated software testing.
To start, it requires a lot of effort. It relies on programming languages, after all.
When you develop an automated test suite, you’re basically developing one program to check another program. That’s why you should handle it with care—just like you would do with your software code.
Automated testing can get quite challenging as well. It has the same issues as any other quality software. Again, this is why it requires the same degree of TLC.
Testing automation also comes with these issues:
- A false sense of security
- The compulsion to replace human testers (as mentioned, they can’t and shouldn’t be replaced)
- An underestimation of the time needed for automation tests
- Lack of a controlled test environment and proper synchronization
- Lack of a test automation framework
- Focus on UI testing (rather than including other automating tests)
- Disregard for failed tests
- Need for creating test cases that hold no value
What Cases Should Undergo Test Automation?
While an automation suite works wonders for the software development life cycle, you shouldn’t perform automation testing on everything.
Save time and money by automating these test cases instead:
- Software that requires multiple tests/runs
- Tests that have to run against various browsers or builds
- Cases that are hard to test manually
- Steps that don’t require human supervision
- Deterministic tests
- Critical paths
- Tests that focus on the money or risk areas
- Unit tests
- Unofficial tests
- Cases for load or stress testing
True enough, automation testing can cut the time needed to test scenarios, whether you’re doing code or other actions.
More importantly, it lets you know whether you’ve messed up your code.
Since you don’t have to change the application several times, you no longer need to endure tedious and repetitive tests.