10 Best Practices and Strategies for Test Automation
As software projects become more complex with teams working in different places across the globe on the same project, test methods are changing rapidly to support this way of work.
In order to build a solid software test strategy its required to create an effective automated, manual and exploratory tests to efficiently mitigate risk and reduce release cycles.
The actual test process comes in several forms:
- Functional tests to verify the stages and scenarios that your users will engage in.
- Unit tests to make sure that the smallest component in the system functions properly.
- Integration tests to make sure that all the system components play well together.
With all the available methods and forms we have created 10 best practices for test automation that should cover most projects.
1.Devoted team for the task – The worst mistake you can do is to ask your manual testers to start working in test automation. These two fields don’t play well together as they can make things too complex to grasp for most engineers. Test automation is a full time task which requires resources which were adapted specifically for this task.
2. Tools are important but they cannot cover everything – Selecting the right tool is a good start and some managers believe that by finding the right tool they can provide full automated testing process. The reality is that automation tools do not cover every scenario, although making the process easier, but skilled resources are required to properly complete the task.
3. Automation tool selection – The automation tool should cover your application development process and have as much similarity to the testing its required for. Language learning takes time and its best to buy a tool which requires the most minimal learning curve for the team.
4. Combining the efforts, automation and manual testing – A good manual test case will save us from automating those test cases as it will be easy to automate but the value of that automation will be in question. Start your automation process by creating the test cases in manual form. Its best to first gather all the system requirements and your testing data and create the steps in a test-result form. Always make sure that the objectives are clear.
5. Understand your application – Always get yourself familiar with the technologies being used and who they will be presented to. Don’t forget to cover third party integrations and controls to make sure that future automation will be clearer.
6. Hidden possibilities with automation – Its advisable to always have your mind open when working in automation and to look for opportunities that will cover load testing, performance, memory leaks, scaling etc…
7. Understanding the limits – Automated testing cannot, at this stage, replace manual testing processes. Its there to make the repeated work easier for manual testers so they can have full focus in finding new test cases and bugs.
8. Use additional uses for automation – for example by creating a master data and helping the manual testers setup the configuration easily and begin testing without wasting valuable time.
9. GUI automation can be tricky – If you want to test the application install and the objective is to check if the application was installed successfully. One of the approaches is to “next, next finish” the installation but that would not be as efficient as creating a batch file and providing it with silent arguments, thus bypassing the GUI and reducing testing times.
10. Automation is critical for a quality software development process – by creating an automation framework you ensure your company is creating a quality product and an internal process needs to be created to make sure that everything ticks into place.
The flexibility in the testing process enables the engineers to focus on the task and provide the development team with the critical feedback they are looking for. Test engineers are a valuable asset to the project as they present visibility to quality issues to the development team across the entire product line.