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Thoroughly testing a software product as it evolves is as dire as it is daunting. Tech giants like Amazon Web Services, where a release takes place every 11.6 seconds, are heavily focused on deployment with testing seamlessly integrated in the delivery pipeline.
Such excellence can only be observed at the most mature technology companies though, while smaller startups struggle with testing delays to a certain extent. For many of them, introducing automation seems like the obvious answer, but there is an operational cost. Test automation is no silver bullet. Below are the three main drivers when transitioning to test automation that will help test engineers and software delivery teams.
Ramiro is an automation testing strategist and has over 20 years of experience in software development, QA and management. He has worked with small startups and large multinational enterprises. Ramiro has spent over a decade at Telerik and Progress in roles including product management, sales engineering, testing product leadership, and as recently as 2017, leading professional services for DevTools and for Sitefinity. Ramiro currently leads Progress’ automated testing solutions division.
Releases are stressful when the market demands continuous delivery of stable software. Any product flaws can ruin a team’s hard work, which is why automation should play a key role. Managers, developers and QAs get quick feedback on every code change, minimizing the risk of introducing bugs and regressions into new software releases.
For most organizations, moving fast and breaking things is not an option in the development pipeline. They have not achieved a mature software delivery process that tolerates glitches, allows for easy roll backs or enables incremental releases for a small group of users to test on production, then fix and update. By committing to test coverage from the unit tests to the APIs, UI, and even load/performance scenarios, the entire team is kept in the loop, even if there are silos.
Error-prone, repetitive and tedious manual testing tasks can be eliminated with minimal efforts thanks to automated testing. Automated test environments ensure the top quality, regardless of the number of software versions. This is why test automation is often referred to as the solution to inefficient low-quality manual testing. The way to harness its real potential is commitment.
Think Long-Term Speed
Committing to great quality software throughout development is the starting point for pivoting towards automated testing. Testers should be aware that transitioning from manual to automated will take time. There is no hack that can be done well in five or 10 days. QA takes time to build a very robust and rigid test case program.
To combat the slow start, take this advice: Start with actionable steps. A vital part of the QA engineering responsibilities is understanding the business layer and making sure that all testing efforts verify certain functionality against a set of business requirements the software product needs to fulfil from a user’s perspective.
That is also known as end-to-end testing or testing through the user’s eyes. The way this can be achieved is by applying the Act-Verify pattern, known from unit testing. Start by recording action steps. Follow these actionable steps with verification steps. This will help ensure the test is rigid and can be robust. It will also increase success with the end-product.
The long-term results of this commitment to automated testing results in getting to market faster than competitors. As long as teams are willing to make the commitment and build stable, future-proof test infrastructures, they will succeed with automated testing long term.
Don’t Procrastinate, Automate
Many organizations think automation is an easy way to enter the market. Although it’s a starting point, automated testing warrants prioritization. Automated testing doesn’t just speed up QA processes, but also speeds up internal processes.
Maintenance is also an area that benefits from automation with intelligent suggestions and searches. Ongoing feedback needs to improve user expectations. It’s a must-have for agile continuous integration and continuous delivery cycles.
Plus, adopting automated testing ensures more confidence in releases and lower risks of failures. That means less stress and happier times for developers. That is increasingly important given the current shortage of developers amid the great reshuffle. Automated testing can help fight burnout and sustain a team of developers who make beautiful and high-quality applications.
Some of the benefits of test automation include the reduction of bugs and security in final products, which increases the value of software delivered. Automated testing makes for better products in smaller batches, which is why it should be the priority throughout the continuous delivery cycle.
The Success of Test Automation Explained
There is value in automation if organizations make the commitment. For example, at Progress, users trust Telerik Test Studio for basic automation needs all the way to complex problems. We can take a simple test case and convert it to an automated test case, or a series of test cases, and turn it into a full regression suite.
With or without code, Test Studio enables automated testing for everyone. The blend of codeless and code-based automation with an intuitive UI enables testing that delivers outstanding results for QAs, developers and managers.
- EBSCO Industries increased their automated testing from 5% to 30%. Test Studio was so easy and stable to run in their existing testing environment.
- RevSpring was able to take a regression test cycle from an entire week to a single day. That’s an 80% increase in time. They were able to get 100% coverage of all payment methods their platform supports.
Organizations need to understand it requires a lot of effort to successfully implement automated testing, but it also requires the right tools and skillset. Build very stable, very robust test case programs to ensure automated testing success. With these three key factors in mind, software delivery teams can reap all the benefits of test automation.
Feature image via Pixabay.
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