What is automation testing?

What is automation testing?

February 6, 2024

What is automation testing?

The process of automating test execution in software development and quality assurance procedures through the use of software tools and scripts is known as test automation. It entails writing test cases or scripts that can be executed automatically instead of needing human labor. The objective of test automation is to enhance testing efficacy and efficiency by decreasing human errors, optimizing test duration, and enhancing test coverage.

Even while manual testing is possible for many types of testing, including regression testing, executing most testing automatically has frequently more advantages. Flexibility is provided by automation testing because:

  • Tests can be conducted at any moment, 
  • It moves more quickly.
  • It is economical.
  • allows quality engineers to manage more tests than they could with manual testing.

Making the switch to becoming an automation engineer becomes a realistic goal for many QA professionals. Tests “should” be automated, according to engineers in particular, even though the business reality is far messier.

What advantages may automated testing offer?

Automation testing still has speed as its key benefit, but it also has other benefits that improve the productivity of the software development process.

Some of the main advantages of automated testing are listed below:

1. Labor hours saved and test return instantaneous

Over time, automation testing proves to be more economical than the popular perception. Regression testing is a difficult task for manual testing, and as software develops, human testers are under more and more strain. Automation testing is initially labor-intensive but gains efficiency over time by decreasing errors and speeding up test completion, which ultimately lowers costs and improves software quality.

2. Quick feedback loop 

Automated testing using frameworks like Cypress and Selenium speeds up the execution of test cases, which is particularly useful for repetitive tests like regression and integration testing. Tests that run more quickly yield faster results, allowing teams to get feedback more frequently—a critical component of problem-solving and feature enhancement. 

This emphasizes iterative procedures in each sprint, which is in line with Agile life cycles. Agile teams want quick, thorough, and error-free feedback; test automation provides accurate and quick testing, which is difficult to achieve with human testing.

3. Optimal distribution of resources

Automation takes care of boring, repetitive testing, freeing up Quality Assurance (QA) staff members’ time for tasks requiring judgment and thought. This comprises:

  • creating fresh test scenarios
  • Specifying metrics for advanced testing
  • examining the results of automated tests, or 
  • carrying out exploratory, ad hoc, and usability tests that are not automatable.

Less tedious work increases tester involvement, which boosts team morale and produces better work. Pair testing can be used in conjunction with automation to help quality assurance personnel find and fix obvious issues in code before it is deployed.

4. Enhanced accuracy

Because they are human, manual testers can make mistakes, while automated testing reliably runs scripts correctly and logs comprehensive data. Higher precision is guaranteed by automation, which does away with human error brought on by weariness, carelessness, or other variables.

More thorough heuristics and reports can be obtained by automation testing than by a human filling out a form. A human will explain their experience with your app, which is more subjective and less thorough but still very important, particularly for faults that a machine is unable to detect. This is a separate form of data.

5. Early bug detection

Before submitting code, developers can use automation to perform unit tests. These can be followed by other automated tests (such as regression and integration). When faults are found early in the creation process, they can be fixed quickly and with little damage. This is consistent with the shift-left testing approach, which aims to find and fix errors early in the development process, enhancing software quality and cutting down on the amount of time needed to tackle issues later on in the process.

What are the downsides of automation testing?

1. High initial setup cost

Investing in testing tools, infrastructure, and team training is necessary for the implementation of automated testing. Smaller projects with tighter budgets may find it less feasible to pursue this option because of the substantial initial setup costs.

2. Inability to replace human intuition

While Selenium automation testing excels at carrying out prewritten test scripts, it is not able to replace human creativity and intuition. In order to find small flaws in certain complex circumstances, human testers may need to use their knowledge in exploratory testing.

3. Maintenance overhead

For automated test scripts to stay current and functional, they might need regular updating due to application updates and modifications. Inaccurate test results and inefficiencies may occur from not updating these scripts.

4. Limited testing for User Experience

Functional testing is the main focus of Automation testing with selenium, and it might not be as useful for assessing an application’s user experience. Automation cannot duplicate the insightful usability feedback that human testers offer.

How do you decide which test to automate?

Prioritizing test automation according to their level of desirability is crucial because you might not be able to automate every test you’d like to.

Prioritizing can be done using any of the following schemas:

  • The most prevalent types of test cases you use are regression tests.
  • Test situations that need a lot of time or repetition
  • Tests where human mistakes could cause them to fail
  • tedious and repetitive tests
  • extensive testing using a variety of data sets
  • Tests that are not able to be completed by hand
  • High-risk exams (those that call for a thorough response that could be relevant in court)

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