In an increasingly agile world, test automation aids in improving feature velocity and reducing the duration of release cycles.
Test automation is a technique to automate predefined repetitive testing tasks, using various test automation tools and testing scripts.
Test automation is the key to continuous testing and has marked benefits in terms of accuracy, scalability, dependability, enhanced test coverage, time and efforts saving.
Pros and cons of test automation
Besides, the well-known benefits attached with test automation, let us list down what extra it has to offer to the teams and the customers, without losing the focus on what can be done to improve the automation process.
In order to reap maximum benefits from test automation, we need to address the issues that have been setting roadblocks in achieving success.
Initial setup issues – time consuming and expensive
Automation testing is not some magic. It involves careful analysis, design and development of a framework, keeping in mind licensing, development and operational costs. It is no mean feat getting all the stakeholders on the same page, to see the long term benefits of test automation vis-à-vis the initial setup cost.
Talent acquisition – finding the right talent
QA team should be well equipped with the necessary technical skills to design and maintain the test framework. It is a time consuming exercise to acquire the right skill set or train the existing team. But once done, it adds significant value in terms of designing and test execution.
Keeping the tests up to date – outdated data scripts
Keeping the test case repository up to date is a herculean task, especially for large scale projects. For every change in functionality, the related test cases need to be updated. Any change in the test environment or third party tools leads to modification of test cases, to reflect any environmental or configuration impact. Identifying the affected test cases, modifying and verifying them again is a complex and error prone process.
Time intensive exercise – Automating correctly
Identifying, automating and then executing the right test cases for a test cycle is an important step of test planning. However, it is often overlooked and as a result testing turns into a time intensive process. and it then takes hours to execute the whole test suite.
Also, the regression cycles have to be effective and optimized, especially when there are changes in test cases.
Triaging through false positives
False positives are one of the major challenges in automation testing, especially with higher release frequencies with agile and CI/CD. It undermines the value of automation and introduces a tremendous amount of effort to triage the failures. The effort and time lost in segregating the false positives from real results is taxing on the whole process. For more details, read our article “The bane of automation – false failures”.
Finding the right automation tools
Identifying the right tool for automation is a challenging task. It has to be a customizable multifaceted tool which covers all possible aspects of testing, and of course, is pocket friendly. There are many commercially available tools in the market. But which one ticks all the boxes? Read for more : Test automation
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