Imagine this scenario: Your team has poured their heart and soul into creating a remarkable software product. Hours of coding, testing, and fine-tuning have finally led to its successful launch in the market. You take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief, basking in the satisfaction of a job well done.
But just as you begin to relax, reality sets in - it's time to release the next update or feature. Cue the frustration, the long hours, and the repetitive testing process all over again. Software testing, though vital, can be an arduous task, especially for large enterprises with complex software architectures.
As a seasoned software testing company, we know this struggle all too well. In the early days, we encountered the same sleepless nights and endless cycles of manual testing.
But every problem has a solution, and in our case, that solution was automated testing.
Thanks to that, we achieved remarkable results. For one of our clients, we reduced the overall manual testing time by a staggering 80% with each release. This unprecedented efficiency allowed our team to focus on delivering exceptional software quality.
In this blog, we will delve into the benefits of automation testing and also when it is not suitable to use it.
What is Automation Testing?
Automation testing is a powerful technique used in the world of software development to make sure that the software works perfectly and smoothly. Imagine having a group of special computer programs that can test other computer programs – just like little testers!
These testing programs, also known as "test scripts," are designed to mimic the actions of a human user. They can click buttons, fill in forms, enter data, and do all sorts of things that real users would do. The difference is that these test scripts can do it all much faster and more accurately than a human ever could.
The main goal of automation software testing is to find any mistakes or "bugs" in the software. If any bugs are discovered, developers can quickly fix them to ensure that the software is running smoothly and without any hiccups.
Automation testing is like having a team of reliable helpers who work tirelessly to ensure that the software is in tip-top shape. By automating the testing process, software development teams can save time, reduce human errors, and deliver high-quality products to their users.
What are the Benefits of Automation Testing?
Faster Test Execution
Automation testing is like having a super-speedy testing assistant! It performs test cases at lightning speed, allowing you to cover a vast number of scenarios in a much shorter time compared to manual testing.
Automation testing is estimated to be five times faster than manual testing. Faster test execution directly translates to quicker feedback loops. As you expedite the testing process, you can catch bugs earlier, leading to quicker bug fixes and streamlined development cycles.
There are different ways for you to do that.
- Accelerating test execution necessitates the strategic selection of automation tools and frameworks, with a focus on speed, wherein smart test automation frameworks play a pivotal role.
- Write concise and efficient test scripts that are designed to run swiftly.
- Parallel execution, where multiple tests run simultaneously, is another strategy to boost speed.
This is one of the major advantages of automation testing that is prompting organizations to invest more in this.
Improved Test Coverage
With automation software testing, you get the ultimate testing multitasker! A plethora of devices, platforms, and browsers will access your software. Ensuring consistent performance across this diverse spectrum is challenging but essential.
Improved test coverage guarantees that your application is thoroughly scrutinized in a multitude of scenarios, significantly reducing the chances of unforeseen issues cropping up in real-world usage.
Therefore, achieving improved test coverage must involve creating a comprehensive suite of test cases. They should encompass various combinations of operating systems, devices, and browsers. Leveraging automation frameworks that support parallel testing will allow you to execute multiple tests simultaneously across different environments.
That will ensure your application is robust and resilient across different environments. The comprehensive test coverage increases the chances of identifying potential defects, enhancing your software's reliability and user satisfaction.
Consistency and Repeatability
In software testing, trust is of paramount importance. Consistency and repeatability provide that trust. When your tests yield consistent results across multiple runs, you eliminate the doubts that may arise due to human error. This level of assurance is especially crucial in critical systems, where accuracy can be a matter of security or compliance.
To harness the power of consistency and repeatability, you can formulate detailed and reusable test scripts. Automation tools follow these scripts meticulously, ensuring that the same set of actions is executed with the same precision every time. Additionally, you can incorporate version control for your test scripts to track any modifications and maintain their reliability.
Cost efficiency is a cornerstone of business success. By adopting automation testing, you're not just cutting costs; you're making a strategic investment. In fact, 24% of companies reported an ROI increase within the first six months of adopting automation testing.
The ability to achieve more with fewer resources directly contributes to improved profitability and long-term sustainability.
However, reaping the full rewards of cost-efficiency through automation testing requires meticulously planning your testing strategies.
- Identify areas that demand repeated testing and design comprehensive test scripts to automate these scenarios.
- Consider implementing Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines to seamlessly integrate automated testing into your development cycle.
This brings us to our next point!
Automation testing effortlessly integrates with Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) pipelines, ensuring that every code change is thoroughly validated before deployment.
It propels your team towards quicker development cycles and prompt bug fixes, leading to shorter time-to-market and heightened user satisfaction.
A well-structured CI/CD pipeline can do wonders for reaping the benefits of automation testing and continuous integration
You can automate your tests at various stages of the pipeline, from unit tests to integration and acceptance tests. This proactive approach ensures that potential defects are caught early, reducing the likelihood of code bottlenecks downstream.
Early Detection of Bugs
In software development, the later a bug is discovered, the more costly and disruptive it becomes to fix. Early detection of bugs transforms the development process by saving time, and resources, and maintaining a positive user experience.
It's the difference between a minor tweak and a full-blown crisis, making it an indispensable asset for any development team.
By nipping bugs in the bud, automation testing paves the way for smoother development cycles and higher software resilience.
To harness the benefit of early bug detection, integrate automation testing into your development process right from the start. You can begin by crafting comprehensive test scripts that target critical functionalities and edge cases.
Then run these automated tests as soon as new code is introduced to the system. By doing so, you're creating a safety net that intercepts bugs at their inception.
With regression testing, automated test scripts stand guard over your existing functionalities whenever new features or updates are introduced. These scripts ensure that the alterations don’t cause any unintended consequences to your software's performance.
Regression testing serves as a vital safety net that ensures new updates don't disrupt the harmony of your existing features. By quickly identifying regressions, you prevent minor alterations from spiraling into major issues, preserving your software's overall quality and stability.
To ensure this, you can create a suite of automated test cases that cover your software's core functionalities.
With changing user behavior and preferences, applications rarely remain static today. They grow, new features are added, and complexity increases. Scalability in automation testing can handle these changes without skipping a beat. It allows your testing efforts to match the pace of your application's growth, maintaining consistent quality.
With scalability at its core, automation seamlessly adapts to the evolving size and complexity of your software. That ensures that testing remains a smooth and efficient process, even as your application expands.
Better Test Management
Effective test management is the backbone of successful quality assurance. It's not just about running tests; it's about managing a mix of test cases, tracking progress, and extracting meaningful insights.
Automation testing tools elevate test management to a new level, making it easier for your team to handle complexities and deliver results.
To leverage better test management through automation testing tools
- Familiarize yourself with the features of your chosen tool
- Create organized folders and categories for different types of tests, assign priorities, and set up schedules for automated test runs.
- Customize your reporting formats to capture the data you need, enhancing visibility into test results.
Enhanced Test Analysis
Enhanced test analysis allows you to transform raw test results into actionable insights through data-driven decision-making. By digging deep into test execution details, uncovering patterns, and spotting outliers, you gain a clearer understanding of your application's strengths and areas for enhancement.
The detailed test logs and comprehensive reports offer a panoramic view of your software's performance, helping you delve into the finer details of each test scenario.
When You Should Go for Automation + Manual Testing
Although there are a lot of advantages of automation testing, there are some situations where manual testing service or a combination of manual and automated testing is more suitable. Let’s see what those scenarios are.
Limited Test Scenarios
If your project has a relatively small number of test scenarios or requires frequent changes to functionalities, automation testing might not provide substantial benefits. Creating and maintaining automation scripts can be time-consuming, and in some cases, manual testing might be more practical.
For instance, if you are working on a short-term project with quick releases, investing in elaborate automation setups may not be cost-effective. In such situations, manual testing can efficiently cover the scope without the need for extensive automation efforts.
Frequent UI Changes
In rapidly evolving projects where user interface (UI) changes are frequent, automation scripts can become brittle and require constant updates. Automation tools rely on stable UI elements to function correctly, and any alterations to the UI can break the existing test scripts.
In contrast, manual testing can be more adaptable to handle rapidly changing UI elements and is better suited for exploratory testing, which involves spontaneous and unscripted testing to uncover unforeseen defects.
Short Testing Cycle
For projects with tight deadlines or short testing cycles, investing time and resources in automation setup might not yield substantial returns. The effort required to create and maintain automation scripts might outweigh the benefits, especially if the testing window is relatively brief.
In such cases, manual testing can be a better option for swift and straightforward verification.
Exploratory testing involves the tester's ability to freely explore the application, leveraging their instincts and expertise to uncover potential issues. It relies heavily on human judgment and creative problem-solving, which are difficult to replicate in automated test scripts.
Additionally, Manual testing empowers testers to have the flexibility to explore and adapt their approach, making it a better fit for exploratory testing scenarios.
In situations where you need to perform immediate validation of a specific feature or perform a one-time test, manual testing can be faster and more convenient than developing an automated test script.
Ad-hoc testing often requires quick and ad-hoc decisions, and manual testing allows testers to perform on-the-spot validations without the need for automated test preparation.
For smaller projects with limited functionalities and less complexity, automation may not provide significant advantages. Manual testing can efficiently cover the scope without the need for extensive automation efforts, hence, making it a cost-effective and pragmatic approach for such projects.
In certain scenarios, tests require a high level of human judgment, subjective analysis, or unique data input that is difficult to capture in an automated script. These non-repeatable tests often involve one-time validations or special situations that are best handled by manual testing instead of automation software testing.
For instance, user experience and usability testing often rely on human judgment and observation, making manual testing more appropriate for these cases.
Early Development Stages
In the initial stages of development, when the application is still evolving rapidly, automation may not yield enough return on investment due to frequent changes.
Manual testing can be more adaptable to early project iterations and is better suited to handle rapid changes to functionalities and requirements.
If your project has budget constraints, investing in automation tools and training might not be feasible. Manual testing tools can be a cost-effective approach to validate critical functionalities, especially when automation testing requires a significant upfront investment.
In cases where your project involves niche technologies or unique frameworks, finding compatible automation tools and support may be challenging. Therefore, Manual testing can be a pragmatic option in such specialized scenarios, ensuring accurate testing without relying on automation tools that may not fully support niche technologies.
KiwiDrug - How does Narola Infotech’s automation testing improve 60% of user engagement?
Keeping in mind that automation testing is not useful in every scenario, Narola Infotech successfully performed manual testing of KiwiDrug, an international online pharmacy that offers popular drugs, medicines, and general healthcare items at unbeatable prices.
The client wanted the website to be responsive along with a functional real-time currency exchange rate feature to make it convenient for customers to shop from anywhere around the world.
Our expert team utilized various performance, API testing, and bug-reporting tools to thoroughly test the website. As a result, the website reported a 50% increase in the productivity of consumer services, a 3x increase in speed, and a 60% increase in user engagement.
Case Study: Our Software Testing Success Stories
Manual Testing or Automation Testing?
As technology continues to evolve, the benefits of automation testing will continue to evolve with it. However, it is essential to strike the right balance and know when not to use automation testing. While it can be a powerful ally, there are scenarios where manual testing or a combination of both manual and automated testing proves more effective.
If you have any confusion regarding your software testing needs, feel free to contact us. Our experts will be happy to help you!