In his article about the aims of the automated testing, Tomek talked about the pros of automating test cases and showed why it’s worth to use it. But have you ever considered what does automated testing mean for you and your project? Why choose automated testing and what are the real benefits of it?
Automated testing means using an automation tool to control the execution of tests. But which test cases should be automated? First of all, you need to automate the important business test cases, the ones executed repeatedly, test cases that are difﬁcult to perform manually, and those that are time-consuming.
- Regression testing
What is the regression testing? It's a type of software testing that veriﬁes whether the previously developed and tested software still performs the same way after undergoing some changes. A common issue encountered during software development is the fact that tested functionality suddenly stopped working in the production environment. So, what's the solution to this problem? Automated testing - it's fast, precise, and answers what went wrong. The real value of automated testing lies not in the testing something for the first time but in a cheap and time-saving regression testing.
Imagine how cool it would be if automated testing could give you a Holy Grail of web development - the happiness of customers? But let's think about it - when are they happy? Well, when everything is going properly and they know what’s happening in the project. Thanks to BDD methodology used with automated testing you can create a system’s specification with examples and scenarios that help defining requirements for the project and are understood by developers, testers, managers, and customers.
Return On Investment
As we know, manual testing can take a lot of time and resources. The coverage of sensitive test cases with automated tests undoubtedly ends up with a return on investment. Such tests are not only used many times in the project, but their elements can also be used in other projects, about what I'll talk further in my article. Of course, return on investment does not come up immediately since it requires long-term planning, but keep in mind that automated testing in big projects is crucial.
Manual tests obviously differ from each other, but your scripts don't. With that in mind, you don’t have to write new scripts all the time. To test login page in two projects, you can use the same login script - you'll only need to make some small changes.
You can, for example, modularize test automation code that checks login and logs out the whole process. Thanks to that it can be separated and used again when needed.
Running tests 24/7
Manual tests have their limitations - they can be performed only eight hours a day, five days a week, which results in only forty hours per week dedicated to this important task. After eight hours of work people go home, so the tests are put on hold.
Automated testing, however, has the advantage of running at any time of day or night. With them, you can have the test report when you come back to the office in the morning.
Challenging the QA team
Manual tests not only can take a lot of time but are also be rather tedious and monotonous, which can influence their quality. In such situation, they can be covered with automated tests so that testers will focus on more complex cases instead. Besides, while working on creating automated tests, they will learn good software development practices.
Early bug detection
The rule is that the sooner you find a bug, the cheaper, faster, and easier it will be to fix it. That's theory, but in real life it happens that even the best manual tests overlook errors that will come up in the production. Automated testing improves the confidence that critical errors have been resolved early in the project and will not reach the next stage of the project.
Let's imagine this situation: a new tester joins the project that people are working on for more than a year. He or she must know all the requirements of the project and quickly implement them. Automated testing, when in line with the BDD methodology, makes it much easier. New additions to the team will know which test cases are already covered by tests, while the scenarios are going to serve as technical documentation that is readable for everyone.
Increasing the test coverage
The goal of introducing automatic testing as an addition to manual testing is to maximise test coverage. This, however, will not happen without the contribution of testers, both manual and automatic. Keep in mind that there's no way to avoid a human error, so it's rather hard to have two identical manual tests when people are working on the same thing for the fifth or seventh time. Frequent repetitions of the same test scenarios are not only laborious but also take a long time. Additionally, tests can be performed in a variety of environments, operating systems, and web browsers. Automated testing, on the other hand, can last a few seconds and will cover the couple hours of manual testers' work. Not to forget that the automated test itself is always the same and works in the same way.
Improving the accuracy
Automated testing combined with manual testing undoubtedly ensure the accuracy of tests conducted on the project. Possible bugs are eliminated early in the project, thanks to what QA team don't need to focus on the same paths all the time, but can work on even more accurate testing of new functionalities.
If you really care about the quality of your project, then automated testing is definitely worth taking into consideration. It can both find the problems humans can’t and easily detect the differences in behavior between for instance platforms, operating systems, and browsers. It can help you check if multiple operations in your app do everything up to your specifications. I could keep going If you want, but let me just say one thing -don’t hesitate; automation testing is definitely worth trying out!