A 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 change throughout 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, the complexity of the 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 a lot of regression cases. For better accuracy and speed, test automation is crucial to achieving test coverage and speed for large projects. A combination of manual testing and 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 feedback faster and reduce the risk of breaking things as they progress from one build to the next. Not only can the defects be found faster, but the cost of fixing them can be reduced, as well.
However, before opting to automate tests, companies must factor in the need and measurable benefits of test automation. Factors including productivity, test coverage, and accuracy must be considered. A good and 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 and unchanging can be automated. Automation involves considerable investment in time and 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 and time. The automation framework for regression tests should include the option to add and update test cases.
3. When You Need Faster Results
Automation allows companies to execute repetitive and difficult tests faster. Product managers can get quick feedback and 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 a Huge Volume of Data
Data-driven tests that involve validation with a huge volume of data and inputs are more likely to get errors when done manually. Setting up test data again and again is a major pain point. Further, as and 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 and 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 are the huge investment required for testing an app in real world conditions and 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 to 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 a crowdsourced 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, and Capabilities) model will enable you to identify critical workflows that need to be automated. With a strategic approach, using a combination of an in-house QA team and a crowd platform, companies can thus gain maximum automation coverage and align their testing efforts to match the speed of their development plans.