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What is Automation Testing?
Automation testing is a contemporary software testing approach that involves the use of specialized tools or platforms to carry out test cases and track test execution automatically.
In this kind of testing method, most activities are automated, and automation testers will need to write scripts beforehand. Well-written automated test cases can accelerate the project, minimize errors, and help to save time and effort.
Benefits of Automation Testing
- Increased test coverage: Automated testing allows testers to execute a greater number of test cases. More tests guarantee that each test cycle exhaustively covers all requirements and features. In addition, greater test coverage increases the likelihood of finding defects and eliminates preventable difficulties that might result in a poor user experience.
- Time-saving for testers: Since mundane and repetitive tasks are handled automatically, QA experts can now devote their time to project tasks that require judgment and intellectual involvement. It also helps decrease time spent on regression tests, allowing continuous testing while other features are released.
- Higher accurate test cases: It's obvious that not every manual tests are correct 100%. Automation testing, on the other hand, executes a script flawlessly and records results precisely as instructed.
Challenges Faced in Automation Testing
Besides the advantages, automation testing may create challenges for the testing team as they are required to be proficient in the given automation tools and have the requisite expertise to guarantee the projected objectives are reached.
Communication and Collaboration
When creating a testing plan, all team members should be on the same page to ensure the automation testing work. To execute automation testing properly, you need to evaluate the types of automated tests and testing stages, plans, scopes, tasks, and wireframes.
Test Automation Skills
Determinants for flawless automation testings are appropriate tools and proficient skills. There is still a widespread assumption that manual testers are sufficient enough for automated testing since the majority of the latest automation tools offer test script recording and playback. If testers cannot use the automation tools to their full potential, any automation testing attempts may fall short.
Test Cases Classification and Management
It's crucial to keep in mind that not every test case can be run automatically. So, to decide which test cases are to be automated, you need to develop a list of criteria that those test cases must meet.
After categorizing the test cases, the QA leader has to assign tasks for different team members to match their particular skillset. Moreover, prioritizing essential test cases, reviewing test cases defined for requirements, and tracking testing performance are also challenges. To reduce the stress of managing the testing process, using an all-in-one collection of Test Plan Templates is worth considering.
Types of Automation Testing
When it comes to types of automation testing, there are three things to consider:
1. The types of testing (functional and non-functional testing)
2. The types of test (API tests or Regression tests); or
3. The phase of testing (Unit Testing or UI Testing).
Generally, there are two main types of software testing: Functional Testing, which concentrates on the software system's compliance with functional requirements, and Non-functional Testing, which examines the non-functional elements such as data storage and security
How to Start Automation Testing from Scratch?
In automation testing, it’s essential to know which step should be executed first and why. The following process will help you implement automation testing method smoothly and avoid common pitfalls which lead to undesired failures.
1. Defining the Automation Scope
Initially, you will need to determine which test cases will be executed automatically and which will continue to be tested manually. This will aid the QA/QC team in decreasing testing time and effort spent on redundant processes.
The most common use of automation is performing repetitive testing. This section comprises most of the tests for core product features that must be examined whenever a new build is released. Since the manual execution of these tests is time-consuming, doing automation testing is worth considering.
In addition, Data processing and validation, Impractical manual tests, and Cross platforms tests also should be automated.
2. Choosing Testing Tools
There are more and more test automation tools available in the market, making it even more difficult to identify the appropriate one for your team and project. This step may take time and effort at first, but it will benefit your team's testing performance in the long run. Here are some recommended practices to assist you in choosing the right tools for your project's requirements:
- The best tool might not work best for you.
- List down key considerations when choosing automation tools, such as team budget, testers' skills, and experience, ability to meet testing requirements, etc.
- Consider Selenium for web testing and Kobiton for mobile applications for organizations with considerable test automation specialists.
- In case there’s a shortage of automation capability, choosing tools that come up with free trials and experts is worth considering.
Besides, you can also check out our hand-picked list of the top automation testing tools for reference!
3. Planning, Designing, and Developing
After determining your goal and the sorts of tests to automate, determining which actions your automated tests should conduct next is needed.
Daily actions and procedures that can be automated should be outlined in great detail in the plan of action. As a starting point, select the automated test cases you have defined in the previous section. Then, you should create comprehensive testing scripts to ensure that test cases are resilient to changes in the automated system. Finally, performing test cases with the pipeline orchestrator.
Once the strategic plan is completed, you can base on it to choose whether to create test cases or test suites.
4. Executing Test cases
In this stage, the concentration is on conducting automation testing scripts, such as those that use provided test data. In order to ensure that subsequent tests go smoothly and without incident, a comprehensive test report is generated after each test completion to indicate any potential defects or failures.
How to Implement Automation Testing for your Agile Team?
In contrast to traditional testing, which is time-consuming and reliant on a large amount of paperwork, Agile testing welcomes the accelerated testing process that ensures both the software's release velocity and product quality. To improve testing quality without sacrificing agility, here are a few approaches:
Prioritize your Testing
In traditional software development methodologies, such as Waterfall, the assignment of testers is often made on a project-by-project basis. However, with the advent of Agile and Scrum, it is now common practice for the same QA experts to work on different projects. The testing team will need to prioritize their tasks to ensure all aspects of testing are covered.
Include Test Automation in the QA Team's Skillset
Testing in non-Agile projects consists of three stages: test analysis, test design, and test execution. These steps must be completed in a certain sequence and require thorough documentation. However, Agile's rapid iterations and feedback loops make it more suitable for the Agile development process than manual testing.
Automated tests can simplify the testing of new and minor improvements since the testing code may run in the background while developers and testers concentrate on other chores. As mentioned above, to take the most advantage of automation testing, testers will need to have programming languages and technical skills.
Automation leads to far more Agile testing, regardless of whatever approach the team selects.
Create a Formal Release Test Cycle Process
With the traditional testing method, after each sprint, digital teams just complete a single build, which is not optimal for Agile projects. It's best practice to build software and testing on a daily basis, with developers.
An effective method for teams to do this is via a CI/CD pipeline. Early detection of considerable bugs is achievable when automation testing and CI/CD are integrated, allowing developers to repair critical flaws ahead of the scheduled client release.
Track Testing Process and Defects Frequently to Help You Find Inefficiencies
When there is a lack of transparency in the agile development process, such as not knowing how much time different workers spend on a given task, what are their responsibilities, etc., the testing performance can be reduced. The QA team leader will need to concentrate on mapping tasks for each individual, tracking their performance based on the set sprint.
Moreover, recording, analyzing, and tracking the associated defects per each test case can help you find inefficiencies instantly. Understanding project requirements for each test case can help you identify the key point to test and save time spent on unnecessary tasks; hence, improving the product's time-to-market.
Top tools for Automation Testing
Automation testing is important for teams to design testing tasks and automate the execution of those tests. With this hand-picked list of test automation tools, you can have various choices based on your budget as well as your team's resources and expertise.
Selenium is one of the most widely used automation testing tools and is designed only for web applications. As a free and open-source framework, Selenium offers a great start for testers that are exploring the benefits of Automation Testing in Continuous Testing. It provides bug reproduction and regression testing automation suites, as well as the ability to test across several browsers.
The tool supports a variety of programming languages, including Python, Java, and C#.
Katalon Studio provides test reports and outcomes that are simple to understand and control. It's an excellent choice if you need a comprehensive testing solution for desktop, web, and mobile apps. Using open-source frameworks that eliminate part of the complexity, Katalon facilitates the production, execution, and management of reports by the testing team.
This test automation tool helps you run test cases on most devices and browsers and is compatible with numerous operating systems, including Windows, iOS, and Linux.
Kobiton is an end-to-end testing platform that accelerates the delivery and testing of mobile apps. Tests may be run manually or automatically on actual devices in the cloud or on your own servers.
This tool provides developers with access to real iOS and Android devices, permitting them to run automated or manual scripts, and identify issues in real-time.Kobiton gives developers command over every aspect of the mobile user interface (multi-touch, GPS, camera, etc.), keeps full records of user behavior, and makes those records and reports available to the whole team in real time.
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