In a previous post, we wrote about the need for test automation, its pro’s and con’s when compared to manual testing. After providing this analysis, we felt it would be helpful to give a little more context. Here we discuss a few strategic tips for creating successful automated tests. The idea of automated testing is very simple – let the computer do the annoying, time consuming and mundane testing tasks while you focus on truly unique and interesting challenges without worrying about the thousands of test cases that require a mouse-click or a keyboard input. Its good for the programmer because it saves time and rids them of the mundane work that requires inhuman levels of patience, and its good for the project because the margin of error is greatly reduced. The real question revolves around how you approach automated testing. Many testing projects stall because developers cannot decide whether they should opt for automated testing and if they choose this route they become inundated with additional questions around where should they apply it and how. Here’s a few tips that will help you out in that difficult initial decision-making stage.
Tips for Successful Testing Automation
Automation is not Always Advantageous
Welcome to the other side of the myth. While many testers are scared that automated testing might take away their jobs, a few rely on it completely. Both practices are wrong. Like most things in life, automation works best when applied in moderation. Deciding how much of your project must be automated is the first step to a successful testing process. A few cases when automation testing might be a bad idea:
- When there is a chance of the automated tool quickly becoming obsolete because of drastic changes in the application
- When the test cases are manageable through manual testing.
The decision to go for automation is more strategic than technical. The expected ROI, time frame and costs involved in either cases must be thoroughly consulted.
Choosing the Right Tools
There are many test automation tools available on the market, a number of them open source: Selenium, QTP by HP, SilkTest by Borland, Calabash, Ranorex are some of the better known and trusted names. Some tools are designed to work with specific browsers and test conditions, while others are built to suit a more general environment. Many open source tools have easily available patches that make them suitable for a wide number of test cases. Be careful while choosing the right tools for the job, depending upon the scope, necessity and requirements.
Building a Stable Testing Code
Do not make the mistake of being lax while designing your testing code. This is a pitfall that many testers find themselves a victim of. Don’t be lazy about this; it affects the complete testing process. Look at the code development like any other software development life cycle. A thorough, quality design for your testing code will make your testing process a success, and can also become a viable asset for the future. Your decision to automate is going to save you a lot of time and resources. Try to employ some of them into building a good testing code.
Cross Team Code Development and Usage
You can make your testing code more robust and versatile by sharing it. Let different development teams come up with automated testing codes for different scenarios and create a code bank for your testing projects. The developers’ dream is creating a program that does their job. Unfortunately, that’s currently impossible, but we can at least create an army of programs that do all our mundane tasks for us and leave us with ample time to focus on bigger problems. The best part about this practice is that after some time passes, you’ll only have to regularly man and upgrade your testing codes and not have to start from scratch with every new project, saving more time and money. Get in touch with OptimusQA if you want to know more about the automated testing process. Automated testing ends up making life easier for you, the developer, the tester and your customer. But to avail this opportunity, you must carefully understand the process. Our professionals are always happy to help you solve your testing needs.