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When and How to Invest in Software Testing Automation

January 25, 2021

When starting a new software development project, companies strive to invest as reasonably as possible. One of the questions they raise is related to software testing automation and its efficiency

How can companies benefit from test automation? Should they always automate tests? When is it worth investing in it? Let’s dive deep into the topiс and make sense of it all.

Business benefits of test automation

Though test automation needs considerable investments at early lifecycle stages, its ROI will increase significantly as the software project grows. As long ago, as over ten years, Paul Grossman analyzed typical business and IT imperatives and automation benefits in his whitepaper ‘’Automated testing ROI: fact or fiction?’’. Fewer defects in production, earlier detection of defects, and reduced development time were mentioned among the essential automation benefits – all these perks are still up-to-date when it comes to modern times.

Faster time to market

Today’s businesses need to ensure that they are equipped with quality software because of the growing competition in the digital world. Customers want to get a quality app with an excellent user experience, and at the same time, they need it to be delivered to the market faster. Continuous product improvement is common for Agile software development, so automated testing serves as an accelerator to test quicker and achieve faster time to market.

In comparison to manual testing, which implies repetitive execution of test cases by people, automated tests are continuously performed by tools and scripts that ensure desired quality standards. QA Automation results in less time required to complete tests done in parallel with the development process. In the fast run, automated tests reduce the delivery time and provide more business opportunities and increased ROI.

Today the ‘’time to market’’ aspect is getting more crucial for many companies. Any software must be tested before release. Even a few days matter when it comes to features expected to increase a company’s revenue or market competition. It’s vital to make the delivery faster by test automation as it allows us to speed up the testing process. 

Eliminating human error

Automating some tests makes the process less time-consuming and more effective at identifying and preventing issues as they ensure almost 100% accuracy, avoiding human mistakes. 

Yet, it doesn’t mean that manual testing shouldn’t be applied at all. Saving time and ensuring increased efficiency, automated testing allows project teams to find resources for creative manual testing to detect more potential issues and bugs before release, in so doing, enhancing the product’s quality.

Earlier defects detection 

Applying automated testing ensures better detection of bugs and issues. According to 2019’s World Quality Report, 56% of respondents noted better detection of defects as one of the benefits realized through test automation. If implemented as early in the lifecycle as possible, QA automation helps developers eliminate code issues, improve functionality during the build stage, deliver a product with no bugs, and increase the team’s efficiency.

Source: https://www.microfocus.com/media/report/world-quality-report-2019-20-eleventh-edition.pdf

When it’s worth investing in test automation

Before investing in software test automation, it’s reasonable to do research and analysis to plan test automation expenses. For this reason, we’ve prepared a short checklist of success factors to consider when starting a new software development project. 

Does the system’s architecture allow test automation?

There’s a clear shift in organizations realizing that the amount of effort and even the possibility to automate tests are related to architecture, and the tendency explains the use of model-based testing in many projects. Thus, it’s essential to analyze the product’s architecture to understand if it makes it convenient enough to design a model-based tool for continuous product testing.

Is it a long-term project? 

As mentioned above, automation is more advantageous for more stable projects. Indeed, the latest World Quality Report found out that 65% of the respondents have difficulties in automating because their applications change too much with every release. Thus, it’s vital to analyze your project perspectives before deciding on investing in test automation.

Source: https://www.microfocus.com/media/report/world-quality-report-2019-20-eleventh-edition.pdf

What lifecycle phase is it worth to implement test automation?

Earlier test automation used to be applied for lifecycle closing phases when the main functionality is built, and the MVP is ready for beta-testing to get feedback if it’s worth developing. This option seems to be reasonable and has its benefits, but it has its disadvantages, too. If you’ve decided to add some functionality to the MVP, you will have to delay its release because it needs testing. Thus, it’s more reasonable to launch test automation from the early stages. 

What can be automated?

When deciding if automation testing is efficient for the project, it’s necessary to understand what tests can be automated. Fortunately, most tests can be automated, but it depends on a particular type, whether it’s easy or hard enough to perform.

TypeCan it be automated?
Functional testingCan be automated
Security testingSome tests can be automated
Performance testingCan be automated
Usability testingCan’t be automated
Accessibility testingCan be automated
Exploratory testingCan’t be automated
Smoke testingCan be automated
Regression testingCan be automated

How to invest in software testing automation?

To implement efficient test automation in software development projects, companies need to invest in staffing project teams with highly professional specialists to establish automation processes.

QA automation engineers

According to the World Quality Report 46% of respondents lack skilled and experienced test automation resources. Indeed, it’s crucial to find QA specialists with expertise in test automation to ensure high-quality tests.

Source: https://www.microfocus.com/media/report/world-quality-report-2019-20-eleventh-edition.pdf

One of the main challenging test automation tasks is creating scripts that will work for testing software. It requires more technical knowledge, that’s why it’s essential to hire experts in the field. Test automation engineers are also expected to work out an automation strategy for the software lifecycle. 

Software architects

It’s vital to design an architecture of future automated tests, which saves time spent on any modifications required because of changes in the software structure, etc. The architecture also saves time on writing tests because the approach to testing is straightforward. For this reason, experienced software architects play a crucial part in the test automation process.

DevOps engineers

Due to the increasing adoption of DevOps, test automation is being addressed as a full lifecycle requirement, not just a functional one but as end-to-end automation and continuous integration – from build to deployment. Thus, when following Agile and DevOps, testing is not only performed for each iteration to ensure that the product is being delivered without bugs and technical issues, but it’s also automated to ensure a smooth development process and faster release to the market. Therefore, DevOps engineers help the project team configure all the necessary test automation procedures.  

At ISsoft, we staff our project development teams with skilled QA automation engineers who collaborate efficiently with developers to deliver high-quality products with excellent user experience. If you have a project idea or need to perform testing for your current projects, feel free to contact our company experts.

by Michael Sagalovich

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Michael is an experienced .NET Architect and QA Automation and DevOps Department Manager at ISsoft. He’s been working in IT as a Developer, Architect, and Technology Manager for 14+ years.