Julia Pottinger

Scenarios to include in Test Automation

October 23, 2020

Test automation is generally introduced into a project to solve issues such as repetitive manual work, working with large data sets, or getting faster feedback in a CI/CD pipeline. With this buzz around test automation, you may be considering going forth and automating “all the things.” You may have selected the testing framework and the team that would do the test automation. But have you seriously considered what you should automate or how feasible it is for you to automate everything? 

Regardless of which level of automated testing you perform, the objective should be to automate what brings the most value and impact, areas always tested for every release, and areas hard to test manually. You should also look at areas where there are huge amounts of data to be processed. All of these factors must be considered before automating. If you create automated tests blindly or on a whim, it increases the likelihood you will not get as much value from it as you should.

Here is a summary of five (5) critical areas/factors to be aware of as you consider integrating automated testing into your current workflow. Check out the full article here.

1. Automate your smoke tests

Smoke tests ensure that the most important aspects and basic components of an application are functioning correctly. They test areas that always need to work and can help you decide whether a build or application is stable enough to proceed with further testing. Automating your smoke tests can:

  1. Help to quickly detect show-stopping bugs early.
  2. Enable faster troubleshooting of new and regression bugs.
  3. Result in less manual interaction and be time-saving.

2. Frequently ran tests

Automate tests that are always run, such as regression tests or tests always found at the beginning of every workflow.

This allows you to have a set of stable tests vital to the application. This will save time since you can now focus your manual testing efforts on more edge cases.

3. Automate extensive tests

Data-driven testing is very beneficial as it allows you to only modify the data instead of the test script to get different results. It is also very reusable and efficient. You can create data-driven automated tests that can result in time being saved. For forms, automation allows you to quickly test different combinations of inputs to the form, such as whether fields are missing, incomplete, etc. Data-driven testing is very beneficial as it allows you to only modify the data instead of the test script to get different results. It is also very reusable and efficient.

4. Multiple configurations

Automated tests can be run on different environments (such as Dev, QA, Staging, Integration, or PROD) by simply changing the environment variable. Tests can also be run in parallel, which reduces the time needed for execution. You can use different CI tools such as CircleCI to specify the OS, browser, and environments on which you want the parallel tests to be run.

5. Automate performance tests

This lets you avoid launch failures, bad user experiences, and performance regressions. Performance testing checks how the system performs under load and stress and also identifies bottlenecks. It checks the speed, response time, reliability, resource usage, and scalability of a software program under their expected workload. Automation can help you easily generate thousands of users to see how the application will respond.

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This list of considerations is not exhaustive by any means but is a great starting point if you’re considering how to integrate automation into your current QA workflow. Be strategic and focused in your approach. Sit with your current QA to discuss their current practices and to identify bottlenecks in their process that could be resolved with automation.

Check out the full article here.

Written by Julia Pottinger who lives and works in Jamaica building useful things. Follow her on Twitter and check out her YouTube Channel

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