You want to maximize efficiency within your development cycle so that your team produces quality product releases. You also need to maximize efficiency in order to stay competitive within your industry and to increase ROI month after month, year upon year.
Many businesses have seen instant advantages after implementing automated testing into their development cycle. But what is automation QA testing? And what types of tests can be automated?
What Is Automated QA Testing?
Automated QA testing is a testing process involving automation tools which execute test scripts and predefined actions on a software application. A strong automation testing tool records actual outcomes and compares it with expected results in order to generate detailed test reports.
Unlike manual testing, test automation does not require human testers to manually carry out each test case. Instead, trained professionals on your team are there to guide the process by setting up the test scripts for the test automation tool to execute, to analyze the test results upon completion and to deliver the feedback so that the development team can fix any defects.
What Types of Tests Can Be Automated?
Manual testers are always essential to the QA testing process. Fortunately, there are many types of tests that can be automated so that your manual testing team can focus their efforts on test cases that require human strategy or product exploration.
Consider applying automated QA testing to test cases that are:
- Repetitive to run for multiple builds
- Tend to cause human error
- Requiring multiple data sets
- Examining frequently used functionality that could introduces high-risk conditions
- Impossible to perform manually
- Executed across several different hardware or software platforms and configurations
- Demanding in effort and time when manually tested
With this in mind, these types are tests can be automated during your testing process:
- Unit testing
- Functional testing
- Regression testing
- Black box testing
- Integration testing
- Keyword testing
- Data driven testing
- Smoke testing
Advantages of Automated QA Testing
Overall software efficiency and robust product quality may be the most immediate and noticeable advantages of automated QA testing—and fortunately, the benefits of test automation don’t end there. You can expect to see these additional improvements to your development cycles as your team adjusts to the incorporation of automation testing within your internal practices.
Reduce Business Expenses
Beyond the initial investment and setup costs, automated QA testing pays for itself in the long term. With your automation test scripts set up, it takes minimal supervision to monitor test execution and troubleshoot any script failures. You can therefore allocate your resources effectively, including finances and employees, on other business objectives. And because test automation ensures a higher quality product is released, money and resources to fix post-release glitches are reduced.
Increased Test Coverage
You can easily execute thousands of complex test cases across multiple computers simultaneously with test automation, providing coverage unmatched by manual testing. Automated QA testing makes this happen by examining an application from the inside to analyze its memory contents, file contents, data tables and internal program states so that it can verify whether or not the application performs as expected.
24/7 Testing Capabilities
Manual testers are human beings who require breaks, time outside of their 9-to-5 job and proper sleep. Automated QA testing can run tests around the clock without hindering the quantity or quality of test performance. This means that your test engineer can schedule tests at the end of a workday and arrive to work the next day with the automation testing results ready for review.
The sooner feedback can be delivered back from the QA team to the development team, the sooner code updates can be applied prior to market launch. Automated QA testing can run test cases for almost every possible scenario within the software, providing more visibility and details for the needed fix. Automation testing aids the conversation between coders, designers and product owners through reliable, specific test results.
Reduce Manual Tests
Your automated QA testing team can leverage test automation for repetitive, complex test cases. Fewer manual test cases require fewer manual testers for the project. This allows you to reassign more manual testers on different projects where exploratory testing and strategic user testing of complex software features are needed.
Human error is inevitable. Because manual testers are human, it’s impossible to avoid errors when executing test cases manually. Automated QA testing follows strict code when executing test cases, which means the same steps are performed in the same way for thousands of test cases. Automated testing also guarantees to provide a detailed record of all test results. Test automation drastically increases accuracy within repetitive test cases and for stress testing.
Automated QA testing is designed to deliver results for each test case executed. Your QA team can track every test script through visual logs, which provide details on the number of test cases executed or scheduled as well as reported defects and how fixes have been applied to these bugs. When test automation is set up efficiently, it can gather additional testing data including these performance metrics that every QA team should track.
Scaling manual testing means adding more manual testers and allocating more hours as a specific project grows. This is not the case with automated QA testing. Because test automation can handle thousands of test cases simultaneously, fewer QA testers are needed despite the growth in project demands.
Ability to Repeat Test Scripts
Writing effective test cases takes significant time and effort. Doing this every round of testing can leave your team exhausted before the real testing begins. Fortunately, your team only needs to write a solid automated test script once for it to be applied across multiple cycles of testing. Time and effort once dedicated to writing test scripts can now be allocated towards tasks and projects better suited for your QA testers.
Go to Market Faster
Because automated QA testing performs test cases simultaneously and continuously, your QA team can validate test cases faster and your development team can make updates where needed within the software. With less time needed to execute tests and more time given to fix defects, your team can reduce the time-to-market of your software application, especially when your team follows these automation testing tips for faster product releases.
How Do I Start?
Automated QA testing can only be as successful as the automation testing tools and test scripts your team puts into place before test execution. Without the proper support in place, your team cannot—and will not—receive all the potential benefits automation testing can offer. In fact, improper execution of test automation can do more harm than good for your development cycle, particularly if you don’t abide by these test automation best practices.
For guidance on setting up and executing test automation, align yourself with a reliable QA service provider like QASource. Our team of testing experts specializes in all areas of automated QA testing and can help your company integrate automation testing within your development practices so that your business can receive all the benefits test automation can offer. Get a free quote today.