Growth in automation is without doubt presenting opportunities to save time and money. The efficiency it brings when carrying out repetitive and predictable tasks is enabling businesses to adapt and keep up with the ever increasing demands of their customers.
However when talking about time and cost we can’t forget about quality. When automation is introduced into software testing, it must be able to enhance the quality of the testing process, not just be a silver bullet for saving time and money.
What is quality in automated testing?
Automated testing tools are not intended to replace manual testing and nor should they. They are designed to improve the testing process. To make managing and approaching complex testing projects easier and to enhance the quality of the results delivered.
If used as just a quick fix to save time, tasks may speed up but the quality of the results won’t improve. For example if a load testing tool runs a number of repetitive requests over and over to create load, and gives a set of green lights and response times, this is just taking a repetitive task and doing it quicker. You will get results but you could also get a lot of false positives.
Automated tools should support testers in the execution of testing projects, providing true insights and analytics on which decisions can be made. An automated tool focused on quality can extend a testers capability, enabling them to carry out tasks that are not manually feasible. In load and functionality testing this could be to create the vast range of real user scenarios and test them under specific load patterns with real browsers to get true insights into an applications performance.
If the purpose of testing is to find bugs, automation tools should support this and provide more than just a series of pass marks. As an enablement tool they should take away the hard work, eradicating the need for correlation by using real browsers and making it easier to update test cases to help with continuous testing. In doing this automation tools can improve the quality of application testing….as well as saving the business time and money!
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