Test Automation

The Key (or Keys) to Successful Test Automation

There is now statistical evidence for the fact that more number of software development teams are deploying software faster, as of 2018. The increasing pace of deployment owes a lot to technological advancements and best practices, which sped up everything from design to quality assurance and testing. Bugs are found and fixed faster now, and the feedback loop shortened. When it comes to testing, the prime factor that contributed to such growth in testing speed and efficiency is test automation.

Many major forecasts indicate that the test automation market will be soaring high in the coming years, hitting close to US $110 billion by 2025.

It’s not that automation simply makes testing hassle-free. It demands a lot of investment and great care in its implementation. This is why many organizations are reluctant to automate their software testing processes. Many others simply can’t ensure ROI if they go ahead with test automation initiatives.

The success of test automation depends on how the organization implements it, and a few other factors. However, test automation initiatives that become successful do have a few things in common. They could very well be the key to ensuring that test automation is implemented the right way for desired results.

Here are a few such factors that influence the success of test automation.
 

Make sure testing is aligned with business goals

 
Typically, the business goals of the software would be defined before the development itself begins. Once the functional and non-functional requirements of the software are addressed and discussed with the development team, a testing should be developed which aligns with the software’s business goals. Testers should come with a design that ensures thorough and detailed test coverage of the codes that implement the requirements of the product under development.
 

‘What to test’ is as important as ‘how to test’

 
Test automation is likely to fail if the organization simply focuses on achieving 100% automation. The success of automation also depends on where it’s applied. Testers should identify the right candidates for automation first. The common way to start is to identify repetitive tests in the cycle and validate the functionalities across the development environment.
 

Utilize QA assets wisely

 
Important QA assets include test cases, test data, the infrastructure etc. in addition to the testers themselves, the automation engineers, and even the product owners. When organizations decide to implement test automation, they tend to get a wrong idea that manual testers will no longer be relevant in such environments. Test automation doesn’t solve everything and cannot automate every tests there is.

Automated scripts have limitations when it comes to understanding issues and patterns at a contextual level. It can hasten certain testing processes but not all. Certain tests can only be done by humans. The point is that organizations shouldn’t simply consider a QA asset irrelevant just because they are confident that their automated testing strategy would succeed. Each asset can come of use depending on the context. The key to successful test automation is to pay attention to and utilize each of these assets wisely.
 

Integration with development

 
Test automation is meant to primarily hasten development and deployment, increase code coverage, and keep timeline overruns under control. But testing, be it automated or not, cannot achieve this in a conventional waterfall model. Testing delivers the best results when it is at the core of project development. This ensures that the final product meets the expectations and is delivered on time.
 

Conclusion

 
As more and more software development companies make the shift to a DevOps and Agile culture, it’s important to think ahead, devise, and implement an efficient test automation strategy before the development begins. Ultimately it’s up to the testing team to coordinate and support the implementation of automation without compromising the testing code’s integrity and quality which can adversely affect the outcome of the automation initiative.

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Written by Kiran
Kiran, our Senior Test Engineer, is adept in QA and experienced in ensuring that tested applications deliver what they are supposed to deliver to end-users. His passion for testing is why he constantly tries to pick up new techniques and know-hows of testing new technologies. He is also keen on interacting with the developers from the development phase itself.