Just as money makes the world go round, automation makes the testing world go round.
Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimal human assistance.
Automated testing is a scripted testing process that classifies application or software meets specifications or requirements.
Organizations are working day in day out to engage this into the release process. But the question that makes it difficult is Automation Testing being followed in a proper manner? or an even bigger question should be, is there a proper way to do Automation Testing? Most of the time the answer would be, it depends. There are so many factors playing a role in testing applications.
Most of the time the answer would be, it depends. There are so many factors playing a role in testing applications.
We have to create a proper plan or strategy before following test automation. Testers follow different models, pyramids and Quadrants for references in the approach of there test automation.
In my Automation Testing knowledge/experience, I want to shed some light on some valuable factors that need to be considered while creating a strategy for Test Automation. Few of them are discussed below.
Barrier # 1 – Time and Cost
There are a few things that need to be in place beforehand for a project. Time and cost are one of them, playing a vital role in any project as clients are in a hurry. To fully automate any project, it takes a sufficient amount of time in such a way that you first need to select the language, framework, tools, etc and then go for its implementation.
There are usually a few things that are not highlighted before the implementation of test automation, like the structure of the test automation project. Keeping in mind the concepts of OOP or follow any framework might help you overcome this barrier.
How to Minimize Time?
There is a way through which you can minimize your time for test automation by prioritizing the test cases according to the business need. You can first write test scripts for a feature that play the most vital role in an application while covering the remaining through manual testing and time to time implement the remaining test cases into your test scripts. There can be much better ideas to overcome this but I am sharing the experience that is the approaches which have always worked well for me.
Its always better to keep all points in mind and prepare your estimates accordingly. To put this topic in a nutshell Test automation in a project will always take too much time for implementation but on the other hand, it will save your time in future. Therefore, experts say it is a long one-time effort that will benefit you in future until project persist. This is a hard fact that implementing test automation is time and cost effective idea.
Barrier # 2 – Where and What to Automate?
Here, the context of ‘Where’ to automate is not regarding the environment under which test is performed but rather it refers to the layer of the application to automate. So here you may be thinking of automation of UI, API, Front or Back-end, or possibly even database. As you see automation require a thinking a lot before implementing. Therefore, testers’ discussions and team meetings play a vital role in the evaluation of ‘Where’ to focus your automation efforts.
Furthermore, ‘What’ to automate does not mean that the complete application can be automated. Tests that take too long to run, slow down the feedback that developers get when they commit their code ultimately slowing down the entire development process. And tests that are flaky or take too much time to fix result in a distrust of the tests, which means that they won’t be run at all or that their results will be ignored.
Barrier # 3 – Appraise and Determine Effective Tools
Nowadays, we have many tools available for testing but choosing among them is a difficult task. Teams face a lack of expertise to use different tools because their requirements are not fulfilled by a single tool. Therefore it is proven to be a challenging task to find a tool that solves the real need of the team conducting the testing cycle.
Evaluation of tools seems difficult for various reasons:
- Lack of knowledge about current tools that may fulfill our needs.
- Unavailability of resources that provide training on tools.
- Team budget may exceed due to tool cost.
- Full test coverage may not be achieved on a singular preferred tool.
Remember that a good analysis is required in terms of people that already have expertise in those tools. Imagine we have a set of resources working with the best testing tools or methodologies, all will prove to be fail in the end if those tools do not match our business and technical expectations.
In the end, if the tool that you select is found to be out of your budget then you need to figure out its benefit vs cost. You will be able to find the damage done by the previous bug in the form of cost and time that you have wasted, which could have been saved if you had any tools.
Barrier # 4 Test Script Maintainability – Entertain Client request
Once we spent a sufficient amount of time to create a test script and its execution, we get some feedback from the client that we need to incorporate on a release. We first need to identify the scripts that need to be updated when incorporating the change in an application. After that, we have to update our test scripts accordingly. In a nutshell, we always need to maintain our test scripts whenever a change request has been incorporated.
Barrier # 5 – Scripting Professional
Today, companies have a sufficient amount of QA Teams working in different projects but they lack coding skills to write test automation scripts. Although, they have sound knowledge behind what the summary of test scripts. Nowadays, there are great and smart test automation frameworks available that companies want their testers to implement on different projects using different scripting languages but due to lack of skills in coding, they often fail to deliver.
Let’s take an example of Selenium, that supports many types of scripting languages such as Python, Java, and C#. Going deep inside any language, you will find more frameworks that can be used for testing but they also require expertise, like TestNG for Java and pytest for Python. People having great expertise in these opens up a world of possibility. Thus, advanced programming skills are in high demand.
There is a possibility for testers to overcome with this issue by picking up a broadly applicable language like java and learn its fundamental and advanced topics, including hands-on how to write/command test scripts and code reuse, which cross multiple scripting languages. I would recommend that there must be at least one tester in the QA team that has expertise in test automation because he/she can help other team members as well. Those testers that have knowledge of coding exposure will better able to discuss/communicate with the development team. With the addition, they can also be able to go deep into the issue to find the root cause of the bug.
Life without obstacles is no fun. We face and overcome different obstacles in our lives on a daily basis. We always try to solve them or try our best to minimize their impact on us. Similarly, barriers faced while implementing Test Automation need to be handled smartly. We need to solve them or try our best to minimize the negative impact.
Test Automation, despite the added difficulty, will ultimately add value to your QA cycles and help your project in the future. So, I will always recommend and motivate colleagues to implement Automation.