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Automated testing does not happen automatically

December 5, 2019

What do you actually know about automated testing? Does it give you an instant test process and save you time and money? Or is the reality different?

Episode 1 of the cartoon test cees and kees.

What is automated testing?

Automated testing, we hear and read a lot about it. Upper management in particular seems to be attracted to it. Prospects and promises of cost and time savings do well in those circles. This also applies to organizations where the testing process still leaves a lot to be desired.

Often the motive of "convenience" plays an important role. Management fails to recognize that a mature testing process is a prerequisite for starting test automation. The question, of course, is whether test automation is then the promised land.....

Automated testing can certainly help. For example, in Agile/SCRUM environments where the same regression tests need to be run very frequently. There are many examples of organizations applying automated testing successfully. However, a lot of work has preceded this. The prerequisites for test automation have been completed, a test tool has been selected, purchased and implemented, and the regression test set has been automated with the tool.

However, after that it becomes quite a challenge to keep the overview, avoid proliferation and keep the automated tests working. And this is precisely where there is underestimation in many cases.

When automated testing?

Automating something quickly out of convenience does not work. This requires an understanding of the testing process but also knowledge of the possibilities of test automation. In addition, you cannot test everything automatically. The question you should ask yourself is whether you have sufficient insight into all (manual) tests that are performed within your organization.

What regression tests are being performed or should be performed? For which applications and on which platforms? Who performs the tests? How often are the same tests performed. If these questions cannot be answered clearly, automated testing is a long way off.

When cost control is the driver for automated testing, you may also be disappointed. Not only the implementation costs money. There are also costs to manage the automated testing process. After all, new systems/integrations and releases mean that new scripts have to be written.

Automated testing works on the basis of algorithms and/or scenarios devised in advance. If something changes in the software, adjustments will have to be made to the scripts. Who will perform this and how much time will it take? You don't accomplish this with a single push of a button.

Automated testing costs time and money

So, as described above, automated testing means you have to start investing time and money. Not only at the start of automated testing but also for management. If you intend to get started with test automation, a good impact analysis of the pros and cons is necessary.

Important question is whether your organization is ready. A mature testing process and testing organization is indispensable. Make a business case to determine if test automation is going to add enough. And as touched on earlier, you can't test everything automated.

A mature test process as a vestibule

Organisations that have their test process in order will have less difficulty automating recurring tests. Typical for this kind of organisations is that they have arranged the following things:

  • Testing is risk and requirement based;
  • There is a manual regression test set that is used;
  • There is central test coordination of test cycles;
  • There is a structured testing process.

In other words, there is a mature testing process.

Having the testing process in order goes hand in hand with having a good test management tool. With this, you will make the step to automated testing possible. A test management tool is important to have a grip on manual tests and automated tests. It is also a central place where the defects are managed that arise from the manual as well as the automated tests.

With a test management tool, you want to report on test progress and test coverage. In doing so, it really doesn't matter whether tests were run automatically or manually. And don't forget the importance of exploratory testing. As long as A.I. does not operate on the same level as humans, exploratory testing remains a manual activity. A good test management tool supports this as well.

Testing tools for automated testing

There are numerous testautomation tools available in the market of professional testing tools. Testersuite has already realized integration capabilities with numerous such tools. Think for example of ICTestautomation or Microficus. Our consultants will give you tailor-made advice on this. Feel free to schedule a no-obligation consultation. We are happy to help you on your way.

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