When you have a complex software system, testing is not easy. Inadequate testing and poor product insights can cost the business a lot. A misbehaving software can tarnish your brand’s image. It is essential for Product Owners to invest in adequate testing before pushing the system online for clients and stakeholders.
In the initial stages of product development, manual testing helps find and fix the bugs. However, as products mature and features stabilize, it is time-consuming and difficult to test old features manually. Automation testing becomes critical for regression testing to ensure that no features break from one build to the next. In order for the testing process to be as fast and effective, product managers need to intelligently plan and execute their test automation strategy.
The major bottlenecks in test automation include getting access to the right skilled testers to create and maintain the automation scripts. Additionally, setting up an automation framework involves a considerable investment in time and resources.
The following is a list of best practices in test automation that you can adopt to make your testing process more effective.
1. Understand the App and Know What to Automate
Automate features only after they have stabilized and are likely to remain unchanged. Ideally, automation scripts should be created for repetitive tests that need to be executed with each release, like regression cases. Automation can cover smoke tests and build acceptance tests that are frequently performed. These kind of tests are time-consuming and difficult to execute manually. The goal is to simplify repetitive tasks and make it easier for manual testers to focus on ways to improve product quality.
Additionally, don’t try to automate everything. A considerable investment in time and resources is involved to not only set up the framework but also to maintain it. Identify critical workflows based on the risks assessed. Automate only critical workflows that don’t involve complex checking systems or manual analysis. Good knowledge of your app will also help in finalizing the right tool for automation.
2. Choose the Right Automation Tool
The automation tool must be compatible with the technology used by your application. Know the browsers the app supports; the language it is built on & the technology it uses. Choose a tool that is most familiar for your team, which does not incur a lot of time in learning the technology. The tool should help in execution of multiple test cases without any intervention and should generate accurate logs at the end of the tests. Check if there is scope for extending the capabilities of the tool. Selection of the right tool makes the automation process easier.
3. Include Manual Testing and Test Automation in the Framework
Good test automation begins with creation of good manual test cases. Include provision for manual testing and the creation of effective test cases in the automation framework. Leverage on manual testing to create and implement effective test designs that can be automated. Each test case should be clear and less dependent on the other test cases. These test cases should be run manually to identify bugs before the creation of automation scripts and also used to finalize the workflows. Validate and remove test cases that are not compatible with the app. Listing out and testing all scenarios manually in this manner helps in identifying the actual scope of automation.
4. Create Automated Tests That Are Reusable and Maintainable
A good automation framework must support changes in the tests. While creating the framework, consider the possible future modifications that may happen in the application. Adopt a process of creating modular scripts that are less dependent on one another.
5. Create Effective Test Data
Well-structured test data makes it easier to create and execute automation scripts. It is also simpler to maintain and reuse high-quality test data. The automation framework must be data-driven and should enable input of data in various formats. This saves up time for the execution of data-driven tests. It also makes it easier to write automation scripts as the product matures.
6. Avoid GUI Automation
The UI of an application is prone to changes during different stages of development. Further, relying on UI makes automated tests slow and increases the risk of errors. To ensure that your scripts work on future versions of the applications, make your automated tests resistant to UI changes. Avoid automating the GUI.
7. Aim for Faster Results
To create and execute automation scripts faster, companies can take the support of crowd-sourced testing platforms. Crowd testing platforms enables clients to access an on-demand and skilled QA team who can help attain maximum automation coverage faster. The lesser the turn-around time for results, the more frequently and more early you can implement the testing process. Faster execution will enable developers to get quick feedback to find and fix all regression bugs.
Automation plays a crucial role in the success of a software development project. Adequate planning and investment in testing and automation tools can reduce the risk of poor app quality, reduce the time taken to release products, and improve the effectiveness of QA teams. With the right automation testing strategy in place, testers can focus on manual testing, developers can focus on innovation, and companies can confidently release high-quality software products faster.