If machines had a soul, they would be highly valued in our society for their top-quality repeatability of actions. However, we would criticise them for their lack of creativity.

The difference between Manual Testing [MT] and Automated Testing [AT] is that with the former, everything lies in the hands of an imperfect human. And our limitations with catching errors tend to arise, especially when we repeat the same activities too often. 

While with the latter, the highest quality of repeatability is guaranteed by the machines. Plus, most importantly, it isn’t deprived of creativity since the developers of such systems are “human beings” who then coordinate it. 

Quality Assurance [QA] with Automated Testing is faster and more productive. Check when and how you should implement it so that it brings the best benefits to you!

WHAT IS AUTOMATED TESTING

Automated Testing is a software method that allows you to verify and collate the actual result with the expected outcome. AT has the same place in the Software Development Life Cycle as Manual Testing.

The purpose of AT is also the same as in the case of MT - checking the correctness of the app functionality. Although this solution shifts some responsibilities from humans to software, we should remember that it’s created and managed by people.

Repeating the same activities at the highest level is the domain of machines. People, however they work on it, will always be more prone to inaccuracies. That’s why Automated Testing fits perfectly as a solution for companies seeking cost-efficient methods.

“SHOULD I IMPLEMENT AUTOMATED TESTING IN MY PROJECT”

The cost of implementing AT to the apps characterised by very low complexity could exceed the benefits. In the beginning, much time goes into configuring environments and preparing scripts. In such cases, adding AT could, therefore, prove to be unprofitable.

Nonetheless, if your application constitutes a long-term challenge with many functionalities, the implementation of AT seems to be a “must-have” for you. And the more comprehensive the software, the more beneficial will the results be for your efficiency and time-saving.

For example, if we develop an application for internal use of the company, we don’t have to handle all errors and check all use cases. We need to focus on the critical ones. However, in the case of applications for customers (e.g. online shops), our task is to handle as many incorrect actions of the app as possible. The customers can’t get discouraged by the application (thus, the company).

Michał Janiszewski, Test Automation Engineer at Sixsentix.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT AUTOMATED TESTING

The best scenario is when customers know from the very beginning that they want to add Automated Testing. In such a case, everything can be arranged accordingly from the first stage. It’s a “head start” that makes it easier for AT to function in the best possible way.

However, unfortunately, this is not always the case. Therefore, testers need to be flexible.

This is what we experience right now in the PZPN [Polish Football Association]. Automated Testing wasn’t implemented there from the beginning. Due to the extensive app complexity and the need to handle multiple user workflows, we decided to adapt Happy Path. Once we catch up on the development, we will start writing tests for current functionalities and updating other scenarios. This method allows us to learn about the entire application.

Michał Janiszewski, Test Automation Engineer at Sixsentix.

Happy Path is the simplest, positive path of a given functionality. Thanks to it, the team can get to know the current scope of the application, and join the development team with work on current features [ASAP!]

Another important factor that has an impact on the effectiveness of tests is the sprints organisation. The time left to verify functionalities should be adequate to the complexity of the app. The higher the quality here, the greater the benefits for the customer.

BENEFITS

Automation is crucial for test regression. An excellent code should be hermetic (when one thing changes, it doesn’t affect any other). However, it doesn’t always work in this way.

That’s why repetitive tests on a large scale are continually needed. Automated Testing guarantees it on the highest possible level.

Arek Adamowicz, QA Specialist at HeroDOT.

Automated Testing works like a huge production hall.

Huge production hall. Thousands of working machines. On the left, mechanism preparing caps. On the right, mechanism forming bottles. In the middle, a system creating top-quality mixtures of juices. Human activity needed only to coordinate and improve an already existing system. 

Can you imagine how pleasing it is for juice producers? You can now have the same comfortability in your IT department!

Automation has a variety of different benefits. Check how much they can help your company in terms of testing!

  • Time-saving

As we already mentioned the alternative of AT, Manual Testing, is extremely time-consuming. If you’re looking for the solution that will decrease the amount of time you need to carry out your sprints, Automated Testing is the right choice.

It can be run 24/7. It’s possible to conduct it alongside MT if needed. There are no obstacles in carrying it out on multiple devices simultaneously. Simply saying Automated Tests will save your time by working while you will be asleep have breaks. 

  • Frequent testing

Thanks to automation, tests can be run every day. By conducting them every day, developers can see all the bugs and errors shortly after they made them.

In the life of programmers, this frequency is of great importance. Fixing bugs overnight is much easier than going back to the code after a long time.

  • Project consistency

Automated Testing helps in checking the consistency of the project. It allows you to verify the similarity of phrases used in corresponding sections of the application.

Thanks to AT, we are able to assess whether specific code stages should be standardised in relation to others. The goal for the code-writers is to have "one technical structure" and the same "button nomenclature” wherever possible.

  • Better HR [Testers] Productivity

Remember that the implementation of AT is rarely associated with a reduction of HR. Still, it does translate into the amount of work that the same number of employees can do. Simply put, AT allows you to perform more tests, which increases the quality of your product.

THREATS

Too much faith in the infallibility of Automatic Tests can lead to threats. Please be aware that:

  • AT is a waste of time if improperly prepared

If AT is inadequately prepared, it can just make a deception that something is done right. Eventually, it may turn out that there are bugs and errors. Therefore, you should invest in the well-written AT, which will be easy to analyse.

  • System instability is one of the risks

When writing scripts, testers must be aware of potential system instability and delays. The effectiveness of AT depends on the care and creativity of the creators. You should allocate the responsibility of writing “AT script” to the right people.

  • Administrative functionalities might not be the best idea for AT

If you test functionalities in the administrator panel, once you fail, you cannot return previous values. It might have a detrimental impact on other tests' results. Particular attention should be paid there not to spoil the correctness of other tests.

  • “Displaying tests” might be more efficient with “human eye”

The correctness of displaying the application on screens with various sizes (horizontally and vertically) is more natural for MT. It’s easier and more effective to ask employees to conduct tests than to automate them.

CONCLUSION

Automated Testing is a solution that may bring plenty of superb benefits. As long as we remember about the need for human creativity and management, we’re close to achieving wonderful results.

High efficiency in MT can be achieved if testers check each other’s test cases. In AT, Code Review is used to check if the scripts have been properly written.

Michał Janiszewski, Test Automation Engineer at Sixsentix.

Double-check, quick check, automated check. That’s a safe and efficient future.