July 5, 2016
Feedback is important in software development cycle, which is technically termed as software testing. Since the adoption of continuous integration and agile processes, it has become critical to ensure faster feedback to match the speed of continuous delivery. Well, here faster feedback is implied by test automation which allows you to identify regression bugs during code commit and fix problems as soon as they appear. With faster feedback through automated testing, you can produce reusable test and run them timely and again to save on costs and avoid repeated manual work.
According to the survey ‘State of Testing Report – 2016’ conducted by the QA Intelligence in association with PractiTest and Tea Time with Testers, 86% of the respondents (1000 participants of software testing industry from 60 countries) agreed on using automation in their testing projects.
Apparently, the power of automation testing lies in the fact that it frees up resources and runs tests on autopilot allowing teams to focus on important tasks. However, many enterprises and QA managers like you do not adopt test automation, either assuming it to be complicated or being ignorant about practical implications and applications of test automation.
To help you understand the real essence and implication of automation, here’s a list of 6 areas where it can be applied for maximizing effectiveness of testing.
1. Regression Testing
As an application evolves in its lifecycle, you don’t want to simply pass the test cases, but maintain the old test cases and ensure that the existing features are working as expected along with new features. Thus, during every new feature addition, you need to test the previous functionality repeatedly. In this area, regression automation testing helps execute repeated test cases without manual intervention, saving thousands of dollars, time and efforts.
2. Continuous Integration
In a continuous integration cycle, an application undergoes minor changes and released to production on a daily or weekly basis. Of course, the code commits bring in chances of errors which is why testing becomes an important part of the process before released to the production phase. Automating this area can help you test the application as and when the code gets updated automatically, leaving no chance to slip on to the verification of new codes. Test automation in the continuous integration cycle also ensures optimum coverage while eliminating the chances of human errors.
3. Functional & GUI Testing
Functional and GUI testing are the most common part of software testing. However, with a series of integrations, technologies, browsers and platforms being updated every now and then, it becomes obvious to test the application against each of them to ensure the functional and UI aspects are not affected. Functional and UI Test automation here can help perform the desired iteration and test the application across a number of devices, resolutions, platforms, and technologies which otherwise is difficult in manual testing.
4. Load Testing
Applications such as online reservation sites or e-commerce sites during peak hours and holiday season require load and stress testing. Automation here plays an important role by allowing you to automatically schedule the tests during peak hours or days of the week and generate accurate results of the performance of these applications against load which otherwise is difficult to identify via manual testing.
5. Unit Testing
In unit testing, independent and small units of an application such as procedures, modules, data and source codes are tested individually. Unit testing thus involves rigorous efforts and an eye for detail to ensure that the other elements do not affect the functioning of other units or the program as a whole. Test automation here help can scrutinize the application for individual elements and its working with other component or piece of code. Thus, your team can continue to code with confidence which opens more chances of improvements in the application and test automation ROI.
6. Data-driven & Keyword-driven Testing
It is tedious to test form-based applications which work by using some sort of data and numbers. Especially, when the size of data is in hundreds or thousands, it becomes even more difficult to input data in each field and test manually. Automation of data-driven and keyword-driven testing can relieve you from the cumbersome and time-consuming process while it also guarantees more accuracy and speed in the results of the applications under test.
While the above 6 are considered good candidates for automation to ensure effective testing, the list doesn’t end here and is not exclusive. Automation can also be applied to automated testing solutions for database testing as well as can be used for big data testing and cross-browser testing depending on the project complexity, resource availability, and budget.
Just keep in mind the business value and ROI that automation can yield based on the criticality of the application. This way you can build a matrix and determine the effectiveness of automation for any kind of testing.
Wish to share any other area where automation can pay off well and ensure maximum effectiveness to your testing project? Feel free to post them in the comments section below.
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