The evolution of software development methodologies that demand a continuous and streamlined workflow has encouraged teams worldwide to automate as much as possible.
More integrated with the SDLC's development and deployment phases, faster testing cycles are essential for teams and organizations looking to combat the competition and get to market quicker.
More than half of all tests are still carried out manually today, which means automating is the first step for many teams and businesses. However, transitioning from manual to automation software testing can be pretty challenging.
It takes more than just using an automation tool or hiring an automation engineer to transition to automated software testing without disrupting ongoing development.
Frameworks must be created, test cases must be written differently, buy-ins must be confirmed across the board (from practitioners to managers), and employees must be trained for the process to be effective. Doing that without sacrificing the quality of the software under development seems like an impossible task, but it can be accomplished.
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What Is Manual Testing?
Manual software testing is a type of testing performed without using an automation testing tool for analyzing and validating software and detecting flaws during the development process. Instead, a software tester conducts these tests manually, examining all the software's key features and specifications.
The software tester creates test cases for many modules, runs them, and produces test results without automation software. The results of the tests are then submitted to the manager.
Manual software testing is a traditional method for all types of testing that aids in detecting software flaws or problems. An experienced tester typically carries out this software testing technique. However, it is time- and resource-expensive.
Manual processes can be tedious and monotonous for a tester because no one wants to fill out the same forms repeatedly. As a result, testers have a difficult time participating in this process, increasing the risk of errors.
What is Automation Testing?
An Automation Software Tester creates test scripts (writes codes) to automate the testing process in Automated Software Tests. To make these test scripts and validate software, the Software Tester employs a variety of tools.
This type of testing typically consists of pre-scripted tests that are run automatically to compare the actual performance of the software to the expected performance.
This type of software testing allows for the execution of repetitive and regression tests without the intervention of a manual QA tester. However, some manual effort is required to develop the initial testing scripts for these tests.
Automated testing instruments run tests that perform predefined actions repeatedly. If the program's objectives and results are in sync, your project is functioning correctly and is undoubtedly bug-free. Nonetheless, if the two cannot agree, a flaw must be addressed.
A software testing specialist would need to examine the code, make changes, and run tests until the actual outputs matched.
There are multiple pros and cons of manual and automated testing that decide when to use which type of software testing.
Nonetheless, in today's fast-paced technological world, it has become necessary to automate the majority of the development process to ensure the quality and functionality of your software even when it is being released to production multiple times every day.
But before beginning to understand how to shift from manual to automated software testing, let’s first take a peek into the challenges one might face when making the transition happen.
The Barriers To Automation
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In recent years, automated software testing has been widely accepted as a means to address critical manual testing issues and a path to more flexible development cycles, but getting there isn't as simple as flipping a switch. Those looking to transition away from manual testing will face a few obstacles:
Manual tests are not performed with repetition in mind. In addition, as test suites expand, regression software testing becomes more critical, and more tests must be repeated to ensure the product's continued functionality.
In addition, as teams grow, they will be required to do so more quickly, and tests will have been developed to support this.
Complexity And Resource-Consuming:
A learning curve is inherent in any new process. For companies just getting started with automation, this may imply that current testers require training or you must hire QA developer with unique skill sets. Both require time and money.
Automation of the Entire Process:
One familiar mistake teams make when transitioning to automation is focusing solely on tests. Other tasks that must be automated include reporting, cleaning test data, and setting up and tearing down environments.
If not automated, they will be a roadblock to the new software testing process, and the entire development would be useless.
Not every person agrees that automated software testing benefits outweigh the costs and time required to transition. Therefore, it is critical to get everyone on the same page, from management to practitioners.
This can include demonstrating the organization's short and long-term return on investment (ROI) to upper management. For implementation, the software testing planning phase must begin sooner. Finally, everyone must be persuaded and onboarded with the new processes.
Choosing the Right Tool:
Finally, the toolset teams select should address many of the previously mentioned roadblocks, from enabling regression testing to providing the suitable environments the team requires for full coverage.
Today's automation tools should be simple and provide a plethora of methods for testers to create scripts and automate other tasks. This has the potential to reduce the learning curve for many teams.
Transitioning From Manual To Automation Software Testing
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Manual software testing will never completely disappear, but it becomes increasingly important to streamline testing cycles as teams grow and accelerate their testing processes. As a result, automation has become synonymous with efficiency in today's world.
Automated software testing is the first step toward more flexible development methods and shorter development cycles. It can also mean better quality for customers and happier businesses at the end of the day.
With the multitude of technological devices available, it's becoming increasingly important for teams to complete more testing in lesser time.
A QA Engineer will have more time to focus on serious issues and put their creative thinking to work on strategy and planning by automating critical components of software testing phases, from the tests to reporting.
It might be daunting to get there, but it is possible with the right resources.
5 Steps To Switch The Software Testing Process
Strategize Your Automation
Many teams struggle because they don't have a goal-oriented strategy for test automation. It helps keep the entire team on the same page. It informs and communicates pre-determined goals and plans, allowing everyone to learn what they are doing right or wrong and adjust their actions accordingly.
Teams that lack a clear vision strategy are more likely to stray, choose inappropriate solutions, and fail to use automation software testing in a way that adds value to the business.
Even if you are not close to your goal, knowing where you are in the process of achieving it is a crucial step toward getting there. So here are some questions you should be asking yourself as you prepare for automated software testing:
- Do I have any scripts with me?
- How frequently do I test?
- How often do I make a release?
- How long does a complete test take?
- How many bugs do I find on a regular basis?
You can start planning your automated QA strategy as you respond to these questions. Test automation is similar to developing and maintaining your software for testing other applications. Therefore, it should be managed the same way as software development: with a clear vision and plan.
Build A Strong Foundation
It is essential to understand test automation fundamentals from Agile and DevOps methodologies to framework building, automation pyramid, architecture, automation methods, reporting, and metrics. Teams will find it challenging to carry out their strategies without a solid foundation.
Furthermore, you should examine specific automation solutions and testing tools, as well as the skills required, the problems they solve, and how they do so in practice. Ultimately, maintain a continuous learning process.
After a while, many teams simply cease to update their knowledge base. But unfortunately, stopping the learning and training process can only mean falling behind your competitors as the industry evolves quickly with new technologies, trends, and solutions.
Software Testing courses are an excellent investment among the many online resources available. They demonstrate how automation solutions work in the real world under the supervision of experienced professionals.
Also, you can hire QA team that is already specialized in the matter. Furthermore, software testing outsourcing is another way to get specialized personnel.
It's just as important to have a robust test-case foundation as it is to have a strong skill foundation.
So take out the time to write out your test scenarios, even if you are still working toward automated software testing. At the very least, this information will come in handy if you need to provide information for compliance regulations or if you have an employee turnover.
Determine which tests are the most important using your test scenarios.
Also, identify which tests are less necessary or optional as you work your way through the list. Any potential transition will be made much easier with the documentation of your test cases.
Choose The Right Automation Framework
An automation framework is a set of tools and processes that work together to support automated testing of any application. It is not a single tool or method. Instead, it combines several functions, including libraries, test data, and reusable modules.
For efficient software testing, choosing the aptest framework is essential. Test frameworks require setup time. Furthermore, the team must be well-versed in the tool to deliver accurate results.
Nature of Software: Recognize your target audience and, eventually, the primary runtime system for your software. If the project is desktop-based, a tool such as Selenium is preferable. And Appium, for example, can be used if the project is mobile-first.
Automation Cost: Automation can be costly at times. Depending on your process requirements, you can use a licensed framework such as QTP or an open-source framework like Selenium Webdriver.
If you're not sure which frameworks are available, ask your colleagues in Development, QA experts in professional organizations, QA/Tech mailing lists, Forums, Slack groups, and Twitter experts. Then, create a matrix that compares each option after narrowing your list down to about three.
If you're using Selenium, you have a lot of options, including Java, Robot, Python, Ruby, and Cucumber (among others). This can be hosted or self-managed. In addition, many Selenium hosting providers offer "wizards" to assist you in setting up the framework environments required to run the solution.
Get Clear On What To Automate
Your team must decide which tests to automate first. Just because you have learned how to automate software testing does not mean you should use it for everything. In fact, it is impossible to automate all tests, and many tasks are better left to the human touch.
Automating complex and infrequently used tests is a recipe for disaster and is not worth your team's time. For instance, when a new feature is released, you should use your manual and exploratory testing skills.
First, conduct a risk analysis to determine which parts of your app should be automated. In addition, if your application is web-based, you will need to make a list of the browsers and devices that are going to be necessary for your test suite.
Selecting which test suites to automate is the most critical decision in any test automation strategy. Mentioned below are a few examples of tests that are best suited for automation:
- Data-Driven Test: Many functional tests are data-driven and must be tested with various data sets to test various positive and negative scenarios.
- Performance Testing: To save time, tests to monitor system performance under various conditions can be automated.
- Regression Test: These tests are typically extensive, require the same set of variables as input, and are run several times throughout the development process.
Start With The Simplest Test Case
It is finally the moment when you run your first automated test case now that your framework is in place. Begin with the easy path, your default scenario for achieving the desired result.
Testing edgy cases is not a priority right now. What matters more is that expected outcomes should be used to ensure that your program and test setup are working correctly.
A successful start is half the battle won. Starting with simple and small test cases is critical when your team is new to automated testing.
Select test cases that you manually test on a regular basis and that are more accessible to test. In addition, test cases that are simple and small are easier to automate, debug, maintain, and reuse.
Don't go overboard with automation and begin with the most time-consuming or complex tasks first. This way, you will make things more difficult in the beginning and reduce your chances of success. Instead, begin with a primary login test case, such as creating a user.
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The transition from manual to automated software testing is not as seamless and requires proper strategizing and hands-on training. Some of the most common reasons for team failure include a lack of careful planning, missing necessary skill sets, and unsuitable solutions.
The process of transitioning can be extremely extensive. For the same purpose, we have provided you with this step-by-step guide and a foundation for avoiding common pitfalls and ensuring a smoother transition for your team.
As part of Industry 4.0, the world is becoming more automated, and it is high time for all to work together to make it more efficient. And hence, it would be best to start automating your software testing process. As a result, you will be able to see new and exciting developments in the software development field.
Now, you can begin preparing your strategy and make a swift and hassle-less transition. Involve all team members in the test automation learning process, perform proof of concept on your tools, start with small projects, evaluate the results, and adjust your strategy.
Creating quality products would be more accessible if you had a dedicated team of software testers. But unfortunately, hiring one can be a daunting task. So to make the process even less of a hassle, you can email us at [email protected] and book a free consultation.