Your project development will be launched any day, and you can’t stand to get a ready product, but the dev team insists on software testing that slows down the starting? What to choose manual or automated testing? Is it enough to choose only one type of testing? Why is testing needed if I’ve hired a highly qualified team for my project?
Before answer all these questions, let’s deal with a definition of automated testing, its types, etc.
What is Automated Testing?
Software testing is intended to test and compare the actual result with the expected one. This can be done by writing test scripts or using an automation testing tool. Test automation is usually used to automate repeated tasks and other testing tasks, which are difficult to make manually.
Test automation is a separately used software to control the execution of tests and the comparison of actual outcomes with predicted outcomes. It can automate some repetitive tasks in a formalized testing process already in place, or perform additional testing that would be difficult to do manually. Test automation is critical for continuous delivery and continuous testing.
Types of Automation Tests
Types of automation tests define what kind of test can be automated. There are different types of automation tests:
1) UNIT TESTING is a part of software testing where individual components (units) of software are tested. The aim is to check that each unit of the software works as designed. A unit is the smallest testable part of any software. It usually has one or a few inputs and often a single output. This type is performed during the development stage.
2) SMOKE TESTING is alternatively known as “Build Verification Testing. ” This test is applied to verify if the code is written under the expectation of results or no. In smoke testing, once the test is done, its outcome will show whether the future test should be done again or no. Problems during testing can be identified at an early stage.
3) FUNCTIONAL TESTING is a type of software testing that verifies the software system against the functional specifications. The purpose of functional tests is to check each function of the software application by providing appropriate input, verifying the output against the functional requirements.
4) INTEGRATION TESTING implies that the individual components are integrated and tested at once, where we can check if the select units are compatible and connected.
5) REGRESSION TESTING is used when there was any update in code; we need to ensure that it won’t affect already written codes. The usage of regression testing updates the code based on the requirement, detects the error, and fixes it.
Who Should Be Involved With Test Automation?
Developers with strong technical expertise became part of a testing process, and thus, they often work alongside testers to create test automation frameworks. In assessing a testing solution, it’s crucial to have a tool that fits the needs of all team members who will be involved in the testing process. These include:
- Manual testers: Record and replay are crucial for manual testers. Being able to use the same recorded script with a variety of input data can come in handy while identifying and fixing problems across multiple environments.
- Automation engineers: For automation engineers, reliable support for scripting languages, integrations with Continuous Integration systems, and the ability to scale tests quickly could be significant.
- Developers: Implement testing into the development process requires the ability to conduct tests within IDEs such as Eclipse and Visual Studio.
When Automation is required?
Automation is not here to replace manual testers. Nor it can. It is here to take the repeated work away from manual testers so that they can focus on finding new testing scenarios and bugs. Automate a few tests that are valuable and time savers or difficult to do for manual testers. Below you will find a non-exhaustive list of such cases:
- when a new build is deployed;
- when a dependency might cause a potential regression in the current/new version of the application;
- when regression testing is required to give a sign-off to promote the application in a production environment;
- when a developer or manual requires you to run the automated regression suite;
- when the application needs to be roll-backed in the previous version and make sure current features still work as expected;
- testing the app on different browsers and different operating systems in parallel;
- and much more…
At the end of the development of each cycle, the testing of the added functionality will be done. Furthermore, testing of the old functionality will be done to ensure that it is not broken. This is the major part that has the scope for Automation.
Consider the following situations before starting Automation.
- The product may be in its primitive stages; when the product does not even have a UI, at these stages, the dev team should have a clear idea of what to automate. The next points should be considered:
- Tests should not be outdated.
- As the product evolves, it should be easy to select the scripts and add them to it.
- Not to step aside and ensure that the scripts are easy to debug.
- Do not attempt UI automation at the initial stages as UI can be frequently changed, which will lead to scripts failing. Choose API level/Non UI level automation until the product stabilizes. API automation is easy to fix and debug.
Automation is an integral part of a testing cycle, and it is very important to decide what we want to achieve with Automation before we decide to automate.
The benefits that Automation seems to provide are very attractive, but at the same time, a non-perfectly organized automation suite can spoil the entire game. Testers may end up debugging and fixing the scripts most of the time. As a result, the testing time will be lost.
Benefits of Automation Testing
- Automated testing saves time by eliminating the need to write extensive test scripts.
- The automation tools can also be reused in case the test scripts were written using automation usage.
- It can be used simultaneously with manual testing to double-check your test results.
- Bugs can be detected during the development phase, which leads to shorter product development lifecycles.
- The tests can be run 24/7 without the need for manual input. Such an approach ensures the quality of checks.
- You can execute your test scripts on the entire network or multiple devices simultaneously.
- The generated reports give the software tester the details such as scripts executed, scheduled, bugs found and fixed, etc.
- Automated testing also includes testing of web applications on all the browsers.
- The most significant benefit is the reduced need for software testers, which directly translates into cost savings for you.
- Automated testing is perfect for user environment simulation because GUI testing is very time consuming and consists of repetitive actions for the software tester. Using automation tools, the tester can run the script and make the test fast and accurate.
Most companies have already realized the benefits of automated testing. They are implementing it in their software product development cycle if you want to make sure that your software product has a bug-free release and delivers a great UX to your customers.
Widespread Misunderstandings About Automated Testing
As you get an introduction to test Automation, how it works, and who should be involved, let’s overview common misunderstandings about test automation:
- You will have more free time with Automation.
More free time is both true and false. In manual testing, most of the time is devoted to exploratory and functional testing where you would manually search for errors. Once that process is complete, the manual tester must repeatedly go through the same steps over again.
The time is cut significantly with automated testing. The work of automated testers is to make needed adjustments instead of coding the tests and making improvements to these tests immediately. Once the test is finished, automated testing enables the recycled usage of tests so that they do not have to go through this whole process again. A manual tester can use the time spent on the primitive tasks for focusing on more significant, more important issues involving the software you’re developing.
- The Price of Automated Testing is Too High
At first, the investment in automated testing might seem costly. From our experience, we can say that, after a while, automated testing pays off.
As it was mentioned before, automated testing provides you time to focus on broader issues such as customer needs, functionality, and improvements. Also, Automation reduces the cost and need for multiple code reviews, so the investment returns. Moreover, every time you modify the source code, the software tests can be repeated. Manually reusing of these tests is costly and time-consuming, but automated tests can be run over and over again without any additional cost.
- Manual Testing is Less Well Than Automated Testing
There is no “better” or “worse” type of testing; they are used in different cases. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Manual testing is performed by a human sitting in front of a computer, carefully going through application via SQL and log analysis, trying various usage and input combinations, comparing the results to the expected behavior, and recording the results. Automated testing is often used after the initial software has been developed. Lengthy tests that are often avoided during manual testing can be neglected.
In the end, both manual and automated testing have their specific usage, notably in developing large and complex software we can’t rely just on the manual approach.
Often testers face with project deadlines and requirements to automate all the cases to improve testing estimates. Let’s summarize some “wrong” facts about Automation that you might hear. They are:
- It is possible to automate every test case.
- Automating tests will reduce testing time enormously.
- No bugs are introduced if automation scripts are running smoothly.
It should be clear that automation can reduce testing time only for certain types of tests. Automating all the tests without any plan or sequence will lead to massive scripts, which are heavy maintenance, often fail, and need a lot of manual intervention. Also, in constantly evolving products, automation scripts may go outdated and need some constant reviews. Grouping and automating the right cases will save a lot of time and give all the benefits of Automation.
We recommend you an article How to launch a project using cloud-based technologies and GitLab that may be useful for you.