Software testing is one of the most time-consuming and challenging tasks for software developers. It’s also one of the most important, because a poorly tested product can have disastrous consequences for your business. Testing software thoroughly, precisely, and consistently is a time-consuming task that requires skills and knowledge beyond what most developers have. Testing requires patience, attention to detail, an understanding of how users will interact with your program, and an eye for catching bugs. Testing software manually takes up a lot of time as testers must keep track of all test cases, document them carefully so they can be repeated later on with the same results, and work through all logical paths in the code to check if it’s functioning correctly. This process can be quite challenging even for experienced software testers. Testing software on different operating systems, browsers, versions of OSes etc., requires not only specialised hardware but also specialised knowledge about how to set up these environments properly. These things are not part of standard developer skillsets; this is something you need dedicated people for.
What is Software Automation?
Automation is a way of executing some tasks without human interference. This can be in several ways, e.g., by using a robotic arm to lift containers from a ship and put them onto a truck, or by scheduling a computer to download data from a remote server using a scheduled task. In the context of software development, we use the same word to describe the use of software to execute a task that would otherwise be done by a human. When people use the word “automation” in the context of software development, they are usually referring to the use of software to execute tasks that would otherwise be done by a human. When you automate tasks, you are essentially creating software that performs the task for you.
Why You Should Automate Software Testing?
Automated testing saves time and effort: One of the main reasons for automating tests is to save time. Manual testing can be slow and error-prone, so if you record tests and run them as automated tests, they will execute faster and with much fewer errors.
More thorough testing: Because automated tests execute quicker, it makes sense to use them to execute test cases that are time-consuming to execute manually.
Flexibility: It is easier to change the test execution order or add new test cases if they are automated.
Standardisation: If you record tests as automated tests, you can use them as a standard method for testing each time. This standardisation makes it easier to execute the same test on different machines and with different users.
Which Types of Software Testing Should Be Automated?
Load/stress testing: Load testing is used to determine how many people can access the system before it breaks down. The more simultaneous users you have, the higher the load on the system. This type of testing is usually a good candidate for automation.
Smoke tests: Smoke tests are designed to make sure the project is “basically” working. They are usually used as an initial test on a new feature to confirm it is not broken. These are usually good candidates for automation as they test a very small part of the system.
Regression testing: Regression testing is designed to ensure that a new feature is not breaking any other parts of the system. This type of test is usually done after the new feature is completed and before it is deployed to customers.
Test automation tools and platforms
Selenium – Selenium is one of the most popular and widely used testing frameworks. It’s an open-source automation tool that includes both a programming language, called Selenium IDE, and a testing framework for creating automated tests for web applications. Selenium is used for testing web applications in virtually every browser and operating system. The Selenium code is written in a programming language called Java.
Python – The Python language and tools for software testing and continuous integration have become more popular recently. This language is particularly well-suited for beginners who want to automate their testing. While it is possible to write a basic test in Python, an experienced software tester might find it challenging to write a robust test using Python.
Ruby – The Ruby programming language also has tools that can be used to automate software testing. One of the most popular testing tools written in Ruby is RSpec.
Cucumber – Cucumber is a user-friendly testing language that is used to create automated functional tests. Cucumber allows business stakeholders to write automated acceptance criteria in a way that’s easy to understand.
Appium – Appium is another open-source testing framework that can be used for automating iOS and Android applications. It is a combination of both a test-automation framework and a test-automation tool.
Build your own automated testing tool
If you want to create your own automated testing tool, you should find the platform that works best for your team. There are many testing tools available that can help you automate your testing practices. However, if you’re looking to build your own solution, you can use several programming languages (such as Java, Ruby, Python, and PHP) to create your own automated testing tool. You can also use existing tools, such as Microsoft Excel, to create your own automated testing tool. To do this, you can use macros and VBA code to create automated testing scenarios. If you’re working with a team and all of your members have access to Microsoft Excel, this approach can be more convenient than building your own solution from scratch.
Pick the right place to start automating first.
If you want to automate a certain part of your testing process, start with the most tedious parts. Make sure you have a clear understanding of which parts are consuming the most time and effort. Remember that as you automate more and more, you’ll have less time to do other things. When you start automating, make sure you do not create more work for yourself. Automate the tasks that are most valuable, but do not over-automate. You should also make sure that your team is familiar with the testing tool before automating a large part of the testing process.
Test automation framework and tools
Having a clear structure to maintain consistency across your automation efforts can help make test automation scalable, maintainable, and robust. A framework can help you select the right combination of tools and approaches to automate testing with the right amount of effort and investment.
Behaviour-driven development – Behavior-driven development (BDD) is an approach to software testing that is used in agile software development teams. It describes how a software application should behave and interact with the users based on user stories, requirements, acceptance criteria, and examples. BDD can be used to automate unit and API tests for web applications.
Test automation pyramid – The test automation pyramid illustrates the right level of test automation based on their effort, cost, and risk. The pyramid emphasises that you should focus on manual testing before you start automating tests.
The software development industry is highly competitive and requires that companies introduce new features and improve existing offerings to meet customer expectations. To do that, software engineers need to ship new code daily to keep up with the pace of business. To maintain high quality standards, engineers need to test code thoroughly before it goes live. The best way to streamline these processes is to automate testing as much as possible. Writing code to execute tests and check for defects is time-consuming and challenging, so engineers can automate these repetitive tasks with specialised tools. Automated tests are highly consistent, reliable, and repeatable, so they can be used by developers to check their own code.