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6 questions to answer before automating your testing

Check out the blog post to clear the fog around test automation.
18 September 2018
QA consulting
Test automation
The article by a1qa
a1qa

A lot has been said about the benefits of test automation. It allows to deliver high-quality software solutions faster at a lower cost. Automation of the testing process assumes that tests will be performed continuously and with a lower probability of errors as the human job will be done automatically.

However, it is worth remembering that the introduction of automation is a serious step that requires significant financial and time investments. Before you start looking for a team of professional test automation engineers, you need to define its requirements, set goals, calculate profitability, clarify the automation expectations of all team members.

If you are thinking about automating the testing processes in your company, but hesitate what to begin with, we suggest that you answer six questions below. It is possible that in the process of finding answers you will decide on whether automation is appropriate in your particular project.

1. Is your software product stable?

Before you start developing an automation solution, make sure that your product is stable and ready for intensive testing.

As a rule, the introduction of automation in the early stages of developing a software solution causes great difficulties. Scripts that are suitable for testing of one version of the product may not be suitable for testing the next one.

Accordingly, and the cost of testing will grow. Therefore, the set of automated tests should cover the stable functionality of the product.

2. Will the project require regular launch of the same tests?

For maximum effect, automated tests should cover the most frequent scenarios of the product use. What’s the point in automating the test that will be launched only once? This scenario can be tested by a manual engineer.

Automation, in its turn, should release the time it takes to run tests regularly, for example, regression ones. Regression is one of the most resource-consuming tasks for testers, and it is where most of defects are hidden: a new feature was developed, an old one was broken. The automation of labor-intensive regression testing is one of the most popular solutions on projects to develop and assure the quality of software today.

3. How many times will the script be launched?

To make the invested money pay off faster, it is important to calculate in advance how many times the developed scripts will be launched. Typically, the return on investment for automation is better if the scripts for one build run at least 15 times.

4. Do you have a team of test automation pros?

The framework for automated testing can be purchased or a customized turnkey solution can be developed. Both options are not low-priced. And you need to trust automation only a professional team.

Otherwise, having spent a lot of money, you risk not to feel the solution advantages. If you do not have test automation pros in house, take care of finding a team that can take into account all the needs of your project, develop a convenient solution that your specialists can later use on their own.

5. Are you planning to replace manual testing by automated 100%?

If this is so, then quit this idea right now. 100% of testing automation cannot be achieved. Yes, some kinds of tests can be automated completely, for example, load testing and regression testing. But without the participation of experts in manual testing, you still won’t do. Otherwise, who will analyze the tests results, register defects and prepare quality reports? All these tasks are performed manually.

To achieve better results, it is more effective to use the combination of automation – covering common repetitive actions – and manual testing for complex cases. However, do not forget about the rules of interaction. Manual testers and automation engineers should clearly distinguish between their responsibilities.

6. Why did you set your mind on automation?

Sometimes this simple question turns out to be the most important. Have you thought about automation because the headings to automate were jumping at you every time you went googling? Or maybe you want to stay in trend? If these are the only reasons, then once again read about the automation objectives and possible challenges.

If you are driven by the desire to receive information about your software product faster or to optimize the cost of testing, then you are on the right track, and automation can help you.

You can also contact the specialists of the a1qa Test Automation Center of Excellence. They will evaluate your project, help you make the decision on automation, and also develop a solution that will meet all the requirements of your business.

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