A fast ‘time to market’ combined with the expected quality and flexibility, are crucial for an organizations operating in the field of software development. Slow delivery can make that your competitors stay one step ahead of you. Test automation can help you with this, so you don't fall behind on your competitors.
Poor software quality can cause loss of sales and/or image damage. Undoing this will probably mean frustration, extra effort and extra budget for your organization. So, you want to avoid this at all costs. An important question then is how to speed up the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) without sacrificing quality. A possible solution for this is test automation. But only if applied correctly. It is often a smart investment in efficient software testing.
Manual testing vs. test automation
If you are building a website or platform that is not subject to change, innovation or extensions, then automation offers no added value. For a website that is built only once, manual testing of functionalities is usually sufficient. Other aspects such as performance testing, load testing, stress testing and security testing belong to this strategy. For a qualitative delivery of the final product, it is important to pay attention to these as well.
When it comes to applications and platforms that are subject to change, innovation and extensions, automated testing does add value in most cases. Performing functional tests can be done a lot faster this way. With test automation, you can choose when and how often to run the tests. This allows your team to focus on analysing the results.
For existing applications where a large amount of time is spent on manual testing, it is not a bad idea to conduct an analysis around test automation. It may be useful to calculate the Return Of Investment for automation and if favourable, create a Proof Of Concept. Automation can greatly reduce test execution time.
Always with the right strategy
Test automation should be done in a thoughtful way. You must have the right strategy, considering parameters such as technology, scope, budget, extensibility, maintainability, user technicality, architecture, ... If not, budgets are used unnecessary and the goal is missed. All of this results in frustrations. Mainly at the service layer (API), there is usually a high ROI.
We have noticed that test automation is being used more often in recent years. In addition, it has already proven its worth on several occasions. Organizations that use test automation in the right way can no longer go without it.
A practical example
For example, a project where manual testing was done every two weeks. This for checking articles (products/services) and their associated status. Preparing the test data is not yet counted here. After the automation, execution time was reduced to two hours and more checks were done. Besides huge time savings, there were numerous other benefits:
- More flexibility in planning, team, ...
- Increase in test coverage
- Reusability for different purposes (environments, code, ...)
- Independent from, for example, disease team members
- Integration (CI/CD)
- Errors are found faster in the process
- Teamwork of testers and developers. They are more on the same wavelength
|Time||Budget (10 runs)||Checks (1 run)|
|150 K||5000 checks|
Test automation hand-in-hand with shift-left
The trend towards test automation has increased tremendously in recent years. Furthermore, the shift-left story is also gaining popularity. This approach involves starting testing as early as possible in the Software Development Lifecycle. In other words: test early and often. This is where test automation can play an important role. We applied this several times, and successfully, by our customers.