6 Benefits of Agile Testing Automation
In this post, we will see 6 Benefits of Agile Testing Automation’.
First initiated in 2001 by a group of computer engineers, the term ‘agile’ means a collaborative and a rapid way of developing software. There is a stark contrast between agile methodology and traditional method of developing software, which is also known as the ‘waterfall.’ As per the ‘waterfall‘ method, any project moves in a series of sequential steps, namely requirements, design, implementation, verification, and maintenance. The fact that design and implementation precede verification and maintenance have created a distinction between developers and testers.
The agile methodology, on the other hand, brings testers and developers on the same table. The approach tries to eliminate the back and forth movement of the software between testers and developers, which saves time as well as money. Agile method basically tries to integrate these two functions together and focuses on delivering a quality code in the first attempt.
Since quality is the main emphasis of the entire process, testing becomes imperative at each step. One of the signatories of the original Agile Manifesto, Martin Fowler explains that the agile process is about iterative development, which is essentially producing working versions of final product. These versions should be “fully integrated and as carefully tested as a final delivery.”
Considering the importance of testing in the entire process, it is a given that certain tests are going to be repeated. These tests, if automated can save a lot of time and effort. Automation gives speed, reliability, and reusability to the development process. It allows the team to come up with a better product in less time.
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Here are some benefits of agile testing automation:
1. Faster execution
Automation improves the efficiency of the development. Since testing is being carried out at every step, any issues or bugs get detected and rectified early on in the process. This is often referred to as “fail fast”. The earlier a glitch is found, the easier and cost-effective it is to fix it. This saves a considerable amount of time even for systems that are complex and intricate.
Automated testing at the code unit level, for example, makes sure that the code is tested at the first stage only and no defects are passed on. Constant testing also reduces the time-to-market of a software. Instead of wasting time on testing, developers and testers can spend more time building compelling features.
The repetitive nature of the tasks and easy configuration makes lives easier for software developers. Automated test cases are easily reusable, which means they can be re-run several times in the same manner or even in different approaches. Moreover, the directory gets upgraded with every new discovery of a new issue. This reduces maintenance costs by as much as 70% in certain cases. Their reusability makes them cost effective, plus they eliminate any chances of human error since testers might skip exact steps, which consequently leads to defects and bugs.
3. Higher coverage
Automated testing increases the scope and depth of your tests. Since testers do not have to run most of the tasks manually, they can easily create a test suite for every feature of their apps such as memory contents, data tables, and internal program.
Furthermore, with automated testing, testers can run thousands of complex cases at the same time. In case tests are not automated, a full-coverage would mean a large number of testers with a limited amount of time. More tested features translate into a higher quality app or software.
4. Improved accuracy
Testing a case over and over again case can be such a monotonous task that even the best of testers are bound to make mistakes. They may end up forgetting the exact steps or even skip some of them. However, once a properly designed automation suite is executed, it ensures that all the steps are performed every time, which, in turn, improves product quality.
With automated testing, all the results are also recorded, so that the team can review them and make adjustments accordingly. Moreover, automated tests allow code factoring, which means modifying the code to enhance performance. With automation, testers can easily make changes and run tests to check impact.
5. More powerful
Automation can prove to be quite useful especially in the case of an app. With manual testing, for example, it is impossible to check if the app’s performance is at par. Automated testing, on the other hand, will take only a few seconds. Automated tests also make it possible to check the future behavior of an app. All testers need to do is change creation date in the database and check how the system will work.
6. Reduces cost
Cost is the first factor that is considered before any investment is made. Automated agile testing is often perceived as an expensive affair. However, today, the cost of adopting automation is quite low. Initially, it will cost you some bucks for the setup. You will obviously need people, training, and infrastructure.
However, once it is up and running, it is bound to have a reduced cost since it is a long-lasting product that can rerun several times without any additional costs. The number of automated tests determines the return on investment; the higher the number of automated tests, the higher the return.
Automation can be done at various stages of the development process: Unit testing is conducting a test at a code level, while system and integration test means testing features in an integrated environment as they are developed. However, developers and testers should have a clear goal in mind. The next step is to choose the right tool. Any tool should be carefully assessed in terms of costs and ability before any investment is made. Vendors often exaggerate their products, but it is the responsibility of the team to check whether or not the product is as per their expectations.
If implemented appropriately, automated testing can yield a lot of benefits. However, developers should know what tasks are worth automating. For example, tasks that are performed only once shouldn’t be automated because the effort required to automate such tasks generally doesn’t pay off.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare, technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia