While the majority of enterprises are now adopting Agile and DevOps methods of software development to more quickly release high quality software, their manual testing practices are failing to keep up. Simply put, manual testing approaches are too slow, expensive, and error-prone to keep pace today’s modern enterprise due to the excessive amount of involvement needed from humans.
According to a survey by Gitlab, manual testing is the biggest bottleneck to software development. More specifically, the survey found that manual testing hinders development through clunky communication, slow test creation & execution time, and inadequate risk coverage. To combat these issues, organizations are embracing automation testing, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the technology industry.
Read More: Automation Testing vs Manual Testing
What is Automation Testing?
Automation testing, as the name implies, refers to utilizing platforms, tools, and machines to create and execute tests, rather than humans.
What are the core benefits of automation testing?
At a high level, automated software testing is faster, less expensive, and provides better risk coverage than manual testing. Let’s dive into some benefits in more detail:
- Automation testing saves time: Automated tests can be run more rapidly than manual tests because minimal human involvement is required, and tests can be run in parallel. Additionally, because humans are less involved with test creation & execution, there is less human error, meaning you need to spend less time fixing broken tests.
- Automation testing saves money: Once an automated test is created, it can be run over and over again with minimal human intervention—meaning less labor is needed. Additionally, because automated tests can be run more frequently than manual tests, bugs are found earlier in the development cycle. These early bugs are far less expensive to fix than bugs found later in the development cycle.
- Automation testing reduces risk: Because automated tests are run more rapidly, bugs and security vulnerabilities are found earlier, ensuring organizations remain compliant. Additionally, with automation testing, no tradeoff needs to be made between quality and speed: you can test all your critical business processes in a short amount of time.
Learn more: Top 10 Benefits of Automation Testing
When to use automation testing?
The following types of tests are often automated:
- Smoke Tests: Also known as Build Verification Testing (BVT), this type of testing is required in the initial stages of application testing. Whenever a new functionality is added to the existing build, smoke testing should be performed. Smoke testing acts as a checkpoint that indicates whether to move on to the next level of testing.
- Integration Tests: Integration testing is used to validate whether a proper communication is happening between different applications, modules, or technologies. As the tech stacks of organizations grow larger and larger, and become more interconnected, integration testing is vital to making sure that complex business processes–that span across multiple technologies–are working as intended.
- Regression Tests: Regression testing ensures that bug fixes, configuration changes, or application updates haven’t impacted the existing functionality of the system. With the popularity of Agile and DevOps, dev teams are rolling out new features and functionalities on a more frequent basis, meaning that regression testing, too, should be performed more frequently.
- Security Tests: To avoid bad actors gaining access to sensitive data, security testing is required. Security testing highlights shortcomings & fragilities in the system, and helps prevent threats, malware, and other risks.
- User Acceptance Tests: User Acceptance Testing is the final phase in the software development lifecycle, and UAT’s main objective is to validate that the software is working as intended, from the end user’s perspective.
Read more: Why There’s a Need for Automated Web Testing
What to consider when choosing an automation testing tool?
- No-Code platform: It’s important that the tool you choose doesn’t require coding knowledge, because non-technical users are often heavily involved in testing. Code-based tools like Selenium require months of training to use effectively, whereas intelligent No-Code platforms like Opkey can be learned in just a few hours.
- Support for multiple platforms/ browsers: Because cross-application and integration testing are vital parts of a robust testing program, you should choose an automation platform that supports multiple applications and makes it easy to create end-to-end tests. Furthermore, the platform should also support tests on multiple browsers.
- Availability of support: The tool you choose should offer exceptional customer support. Your applications depend on testing, and if your testing platform isn’t working properly, you need assurance that it’ll get fixed quickly.
- Easy test script maintenance: Choose a test automation tool with built-in AI that makes it easy to maintain test scripts.
Read more: Automation Testing Tools: Which One Is Right for You?
Automation testing is faster, cheaper, and provides more risk-reduction than manual testing. While there are a number of factors to consider when choosing an automation platform, you should strongly consider the stakeholders involved–mainly end users–and be sure the platform you choose is No-Code, and supports multiple applications and technologies.