Software programs must undergo not one but dozens of tests before they can be released for the use of the general public. There are two different kinds of methods applied to software testing. One is manual testing while automated testing is the other.
Manual testing takes its literal meaning of requiring manual labor. It demands humans to test the software at hand. This means giving time and effort to make sure that the software is ready to use. During this process, human testers are required to log files and observations. Manual testing, although accurate, is time-consuming.
What is Automation Testing?
Automated testing is another way to test your software. This process is done with the help of an automation tool that increases testing efficiency. This way, more time-consuming tasks can be done in less time while also yielding better quality results.
Types of Automation Testing
There are different types of automated testing. Here are some of them and their purposes:
- Functional testing: This type of automated testing is centered on functionality. So, during this step, the core uses of the application or software will be tested. These functions are being evaluated for their performance.
- Compatibility testing: Compatibility testing is a non-functional test that tests a software program’s compatibility on different specific networks. It even determines compatibility with hardware and even other software systems.
- Smoke testing: This type of automated testing involves testing important features to make sure they’re ready for more in-depth testing. That is what differentiates it from the other testing types.
- Regression testing: This test is performed to see if new updates affect the program. This kind of testing requires a series of repetitions to make sure that it runs smoothly. This helps avoid future complications. Thus, automation is required for practicality.
Determine When to Automate Testing
There are advantages and disadvantages to both manual and automated testing. So, it is important to consider several factors before deciding to switch to automation.
Number of Test Cases
This refers to the number of factors that you have to test in a test suite. In most cases, it is not advisable to make automated tests if you only have ten or fewer test cases. This may be impractical as automated testing requires a significant amount of money.
Automated testing is used to reduce the workload of repetitive tasks. That is why the frequency of the testing procedures is taken into account. Automated testing can help increase the productivity of testers and developers.
Importance of the Features Being Tested
The importance of the features and the results of the tests are also factors to take into account. It is given that automated testing yields faster results. So, if the features being tested are important, it is advisable to learn automation testing and use it.
Automation Testing Challenges and Solutions
When you learn automation testing, there will be different challenges along the way. These challenges usually arise from the fact that automated testing is based on ever-changing technology. So, here are some of the common automation testing challenges and how to solve them.
#1 High Operational Costs
The costs to learn and implement automation testing are expensive. The reason is that it uses AI and other technology-based tools. These tools are the main component of automated testing suites. They make this process faster and more efficient.
The costs of procuring these tools are more expensive than manual labor. Even maintenance fees can be more expensive. This is usually one of the problems or challenges being faced by software companies.
The solution is to ensure the return of investment. One of the things that you can do to maximize this investment is to get a system that is fit for the software ecosystem. This means that the automated tool can be used in more than one part of your software.
#2 Setting Unrealistic Expectations
Automated testing is usually accompanied by unrealistic goals. Although this kind of software testing has many benefits, machines cannot do everything. It can help the team save time and get more accurate results. However, this does not mean that automation can do all necessary testing on the fly.
It is best if a team of QAs or testers can come up with a clear strategy. This includes mapping expectations and goals and setting a clear timetable. This way, all involved parties can get an overview of the testing process. This can give the relevant personnel enough time to plan and carry out the tests.
#3 Limited Testing Coverage of Tools
As mentioned in the first point, the tools used for automation testing are expensive. So, it is better if this tool can cater to all your needs for testing. But, some tools can only do specific types of tests. So, this usually becomes a problem. Testers would be forced to procure another tool to carry out testing the other aspects.
Testers and even developers should look for better solutions. They need to procure testing tools that are capable of handling as much of the software ecosystem as possible. The tools should be able to provide functionality for all stages and phases of development and testing.
#4 Hard-to-Analyze Results
The results being presented are as important as the process. Testing equipment should also be able to produce easy-to-understand results. The testing procedures would be meaningless if results cannot be analyzed and interpreted in the end.
This factor should also be one of the considerations when choosing or procuring an automation tool. These tools should be able to provide results and data that are useful to the testers and developers. This way, developers can incorporate the results and apply necessary updates to software applications.
#5 Miscommunication Between Testers and Developers
Two teams are vital to the success of incorporating test results. The first group is the testers who are tasked to carry out the automated tests. The second one is the developers who will be tasked to apply the results. That is why smooth and clear communication between these two is important.
However, there are different aspects wherein communication may fail. Sometimes, testers might not understand the goals. Other times, developers might fail to deliver or incorporate necessary changes to the system.
This can be avoided by laying out a plan. Miscommunication often happens when there are unclear plans between two parties. Lay out the goals, strategies, and other important information beforehand. This can help ensure continuity of the testing process.
#6 Automation Over Results
Although automating your testing process has many benefits, it should not be the main focus of testing. Some companies or organizations tend to automate everything even if it is not necessary just for the sake of it. In the long run, this may not be sustainable and may be more costly.
As mentioned above, these kinds of issues can be avoided by planning the whole procedure. This way, you can determine which aspects need to be automated. You can also determine which ones should be tested.
Carry Out Automated Testing
Automating your testing processes presents more benefits than disadvantages. It can speed up the testing phase for both the testers and developers. It can also yield more accurate results. This way, developers can address the current situation of the software.