Better development process begins with a better testing process. To advance in software development and design, enterprises need to first improve their testing capabilities. The testing needs of an app changes through out its development cycle.
Automation Testing Needs
In the initial stages of development, as more features are added, manual exploratory testing becomes crucial. As a product matures, complexity of an app increases. Relying solely on manual testing to execute repetitive testing steps is not only costly but also time consuming and ineffective. Testing with the use of tools or automation testing is the best solution when you have lot of regression cases. For better accuracy and speed, test automation is crucial to achieve test coverage & speed for large projects. A combination of manual testing & test automation can give your software product maximum test coverage. Inadequate coverage can lead to incorrect feedback and increase the risks of costly software errors.
When To Automate Testing
With automation, developers can get feedbacks faster & reduce the risk of breaking things as they progress from one build to the next. Not only can the defects be found faster, the cost of fixing them can be reduced as well.
However, before opting to automate tests, companies must factor in the need & measurable benefits of test automation. Factors including productivity, test coverage & accuracy must be considered. A good & simple rule would be to aim for automation of repetitive testing tasks that are prone to human error. Automation Testing is needed in the following cases:
1) When the app is stable
Any feature that is at least 80% stable & unchanging can be automated. Automation involves considerable investment in time & effort. A product that is not stable is likely to change functionality wise. There is no point in test automation for products that are not stable in terms of functionality.
2) When there is no manual regression testing
Regression testing involves testing of unchanged parts of an application. As these tests are repetitive in nature, they need to be automated to save cost & time. The automation frame work for regression tests should include the option to add & update test cases.
3) When you need faster results
Automation allows companies to execute repetitive & difficult tests faster. Product managers can get quick feedback & ensure that no feature is broken from one build to another.
4) When testing steps are repetitive
Any static or repetitive test that is relatively unchanged in new test cycles can be considered for automation. The time saved can be devoted by testers in conducting critical exploratory testing of the product.
5) When there is huge volume of data
Data driven tests that involve validation with huge volume of data and inputs are more likely to get errors when done manually. Setting up test data again & again is a major pain point. Further as & when new features are released, you have to set up the complex test data in various test environments. Uploading multiple variations of the same data is a time consuming and difficult process. Automation in these cases not only speeds up the process, but ensures better accuracy. A simple script will allow you to upload different variants of the same data & track the test easily.
Challenges In Test Automation
Test automation of work flows requires the help of skilled domain experts. The major roadblocks to achieving adequate automation coverage is the huge investment required for testing an app in real world conditions & the investment required for setting up a test automation framework. Further, when functions change, automation scripts need to be updated accordingly. A good rule is to not try & automate everything at once. Start with critical workflows that are crucial for your app. Individual test cases that need to be automated must be identified.
Test Automation Powered By Crowd
Automation testing powered by crowd sourced platform provides a cost-effective solution that can help combat both these challenges of attaining maximum coverage and accessing skilled QA experts. Incorporation of an ACC (Attributes, Components & Capabilities) model will enable you to identify critical workflows that needs to be automated. With a strategic approach, using a combination of In-house QA team and crowd platform, companies can thus gain maximum automation coverage & align their testing efforts to match the speed of their development plans.
What is your experience with test automation projects? Let us known in comments in below.