In modern software development, testers work in compressed cycles, and automate regression tests to save costs, time and effort. Insprint test automation provides an ideal development scenario, wherein, the entire process from creation to implementation and performance reporting of a software product happens in one sprint.
What is Insprint automation?
Insprint automation process is a way to ensure there are no delays with testing and development.
While many forms of automation exist for software testing, the common trend is that QA processes are deployed at the very end of the software’s development life cycle. Due to this, problems may occur that could affect an entire process, regardless if it is in the creation or execution stage.
This blog aims to show the benefits and challenges involved in insprint automation. It'll also show how to achieve automation and plan a strategy for an ideal development process.
The Benefits of Insprint Automation for Your Business
Any business would benefit from integrating insprint automation testing. Here are the most significant benefits of using it:
- Better collaboration: No team will be left behind to work on older features. Instead, the QA, development, and automation teams can work closely with each other. All teams will be on the same page.
- Saves time: Most development processes get delayed due to the time required for testing. A feature needs to be tested along with others to ensure seamless integration. This process is accelerated through automation.
- Better coverage: With the code and feature automated in unison, businesses can achieve their development goals in the first build. Ongoing adjustments will require less time since there are no repeat processes involved.
- Easy test identification: The early stages of the sprint help in identifying test scenarios, which reduces chances of errors.
Challenges of Insprint Automation
While this approach may seem like the best solution for many businesses, it does have its own challenges. Here’s what you need to expect when you implement it:
- Choice of tools and framework can be limited: Only a few tools work with insprint automation processes. Ideally, it should be able to create tests without accessing the UI, thereby saving time. The framework involved with insprint must be able to support all tests performed on the platform. It must also be flexible enough to adjust to quick changes in business demands.
- Short sprints can lead to a time crunch for implementing automation: The limited time associated with sprints can often limit the scope of automation. If a QA team has to complete developing a software and make it ready for review within two weeks, the process may not work. With more time being allocated for automation, the more accurate the results will be.
- There might be a shortage of technical expertise: Not everyone has the knowledge to apply automation. It requires a deep understanding of technical interdependencies between different teams. There must be trained professionals who can work closely with each team and provide solutions as they arise. In short, there must be insprint automation specialists to run the process smoothly.
5 Ways to Achieve Test Automation
To have smooth automation processes, you have to fulfill certain conditions. Even advanced AI needs protocols that are easy to understand for it to function well. Here are the five ways you can achieve it.
Developers must regularly check the code within a sprint
Like any system, constant checking and maintenance are necessary. You don’t want to go through an entire sprint only to discover that an error happened during the automation process. Not only will this cause delays, but you might also lose important data. As soon as the code is ready enough to work with, engineers should begin testing and improving on it.
Automation engineers should be included in the development scrum team
Oftentimes, many businesses separate their automation engineers to work separately on a regression suite backlog. They’re an integral part of the process and can help ensure that automation performs as expected. Having them in the same team as the developers would help reduce churn and allow them to influence the implementation of insprint automation.
Automation engineers must be well trained for the job
It’s important to have automation engineers who understand the entire process. They must be knowledgeable about code and testing. Without extensive skills, they won’t contribute much, even in collaborative scenarios. They must be able to fulfill multiple functions as a part of their job.
Test cases must be descriptive and easy to understand
Long workflows with multiple components can lead to confusion in the automation process. It will be hard for engineers to create a working system if they have to consider multiple things at once. Instead, have the testers create simple but detailed cases. That way, you can let the engineers focus on creating the best automation process.
Choosing the correct automation tool and framework can help facilitate in-sprint automation
Rapid digital transformation has forced enterprises to embrace better automation approaches like artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning which have helped them to become more predictive and provide the desired customer experience.
While conventional automation technology requires testers to invest considerable amounts of time in scripting test scenarios, autonomous testing allows testers to train tools and contribute more to QA management. By choosing the right automation tools, testers can spend more time exploring non-functional requirements, like security and performance.
Use TDD and BDD to Enable In-sprint Automation
TDD and BDD are forms of automation approach in Agile or DevOps practices respectively to ensure quality.
TDD or Test-Driven Development, as the name implies, focuses on testing first. Developers use written tests before working on the code. The idea behind this is that the tests will help define the code within. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is a practice preferred by many developers. It saves time, increases coverage, and improves quality.
The second is Behavior Driven Development. The approach is the same as TDD, where developers write tests first. However, the focus is on business value. This helps developers to stay aligned with the business strategists.
Both these work well in enabling insprint automation. Businesses can use either TDD or BDD to ensure a faster process.
How To Plan an Effective Insprint Test Automation Strategy
The best way to create an automation strategy is to consider Mike Cohen’s automation pyramid. In the pyramid, Unit tests are at the bottom, followed by API tests. The UI tests sit at the top. The bulk of tests will occur at the bottom and will then lessen as they scale up. However, as you scale up the pyramid, you focus more on maintenance, creation costs, and execution time.
By focusing on unit tests first, businesses plan for better coverage of their automation processes.
Automating Unit Tests
Unit tests are written using the same programming language as the application, and form the base of a good test automation strategy. These tests can be written pretty quickly, and can generate quick feedback on code quality. Unit tests constitute the majority of automated tests.
The problem with skipping unit tests is that you won’t figure out the functionality issues until the app is complete. By then, it’s already too late. You’ll have to start over and spend more resources.
Automating API Tests
API testing is a better priority compared to UI testing. It allows you to confirm the core logic of the program. You can also automate within the same sprint. That way, you are testing the application even if the UI is incomplete. If you prioritize the UI first, fixing errors will become more tedious.
Automating UI Tests
The UI is the highest part of the pyramid, and the most difficult to automate. It will usually take several sprints to complete the UI’s design and develop it. This is the reason why testers should prioritize the other aspects first, so that they have a stable foundation to work on. From there, they can begin slowly working on UI automation. The engineer will be able to focus on the UI without worrying about the other aspects.
Insprint automation is challenging. However, if you can achieve it, it will make a world of difference to your development process. It’s not impossible but will require some investment before you can fully get it up and running.
This is where QASource comes in. We deliver high-quality QA outsourcing services to all our clients. Our team consists of the top technical talent with years of experience on the job. We work closely with our clients to provide customized solutions, time-bound delivery, and an extensive range of quality assurance services — all at affordable costs.
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