There are many misconceptions associated with test automation, as with many other highly focused IT disciplines. To avoid ineffective use of automation, you should work around its disadvantages and maximize the benefits. In common automated testing nowadays is rather popular.
Test Automation Benefits:
- Repeatability. All written tests will always be performed in the same way, that is, the “human factor” is excluded. The tester will not miss the test by negligence and will not confuse anything in the results.
- Fast execution. The automated script does not need to consult instructions and documentation, this greatly saves execution time.
- Less support costs. When automated scripts are already written, they usually take less time to maintain and analyze the results than doing the same amount of manual testing.
- Reports. Automatically sent and saved reports of test results.
- Non-intrusive execution. While the tests are running, the tester might be doing other useful things, or the tests might be running outside of business hours (this method is preferable as the load on LANs is reduced at night).
Disadvantages of test automation (there are a lot of them too):
- Support costs. Despite the fact that in the case of automated tests they are less than the costs of manually testing the same functionality – they are still there. The more often the application changes, the higher they are.
- High development costs. The development of automated tests is a complex process, as in fact an application is being developed that is testing another application. Complex automated tests also have frameworks, utilities, libraries, and more. Naturally, all this needs to be tested and debugged, and this takes time.
- The cost of an automation tool. If licensed software is used, its cost can be quite high. Freely redistributable tools tend to be more modest in functionality and less user-friendly.
- Skipping minor errors. The automatic script can skip minor errors that it is not programmed to check. These can be inaccuracies in the positioning of windows, errors in labels that are not checked, errors in controls and forms that are not interacted with during script execution.
In order to make a decision on the advisability of automating the application, you need to answer the question “Do the benefits outweigh in our case?”. At least for some functionality of our application. If you cannot find such parts, or the shortcomings in your case are unacceptable, you should refrain from automation.
Today, manual testing is no longer enough to ensure the quality of complex software products like IoT (Internet of Things) systems and big data solutions. Less time is spent on testing as companies accelerate development in an effort to adapt to the needs of a rapidly changing market. Test automation allows you to speed up QA processes. And at the same time better check the quality of complex, multicomponent software. For example, in the World Quality Report, most of the companies surveyed noted that automation helps to provide more complete test coverage. As well as identify more defects.
In many projects, automation already prevails over manual testing, for example, if a DevOps approach is used. And vacancies for testers increasingly include at least minimal automation skills with Fireart company.
Studying automated testing will not only allow you to qualify for more complex projects. But also increase your income. According to dev.by for April 2019, automated testers earn on average twice as much as manual testers. This difference is explained by the fact that automation requires technical training. Learning programming languages and frameworks for testing.
Why automated testing is so in demand
Do not think of automation as a complete alternative to manual testing or some special kind of QA. Automation skills combined with experience in traditional testing will make the work of a tester more efficient and less routine.
It takes longer to prepare for automation than for manual testing. You need to choose which test scripts are best to automate and write scripts for them. But if the project is large, then all the costs are paid off. The benefits of automated testing become even more apparent when developing complex solutions and the need for frequent releases.
Accelerating software development
Accelerating development by reducing the testing phase can always result in missed defects. Automation in this case allows you to reduce testing time without reducing test coverage. For example, autotests can be run at night, and at the beginning of the working day, the tester will already receive the results.
Popularity of DevOps
The concept of DevOps is popular in both grocery and service companies. As it helps to release releases more often, up to several times a day. The essence of DevOps is tight integration of all stages of development, including testing and further operation. At this rate, testing should be done almost concurrently with development. With manual testing, this synchronicity cannot be achieved, so with DevOps most of the tests are automated. By the way, many automated testing frameworks (Selenium, TestComplete) support integration with DevOps tools (like Jenkins).
Complication of software – relevance of big data, IoT
Today, software development is dominated by a microservice architecture that allows different functions to be developed independently of each other. When an application has hundreds of microservices, it becomes problematic to manually check all software modules. So automation is required.
Big data solutions
When functional testing applications that collect and process large datasets, you need to check both the quality of the data itself. And also the process of its processing. In both cases, automated testing will be required. Since manual verification of large amounts of data is almost impossible. When testing ETL processes (collecting, transforming and loading information into data warehouses), the QuerySurge and Informatica Data Validation tools can be used. They help to check if the data is corrupted during loading into the database or other transformations.
IoT technologies are used today in various fields, from medicine to industry. IoT is a whole system of interconnected components, so each of them and their interaction must be tested. A comprehensive check of an IoT system will require automation to, for example, test the fault tolerance and performance of embedded software. It’s related to the devices, equipped with sensors.