The Quality Control (QC) team ensures that the software or application is flawless before each release. Automating a part of the software testing process can help reduce repetitive tasks, ensure accurate results and free up testers for exploratory testing.

Repeated tests can be automated and can be executed as and when needed, i.e., tests can be reused.

Tests can be executed at any time – round the clock testing is possible. We can initiate execution at night and when we come back in the morning, the results are ready.

Carrying out performance tests like stress, volume, load test manually is tedious. Finding the breaking point of the system is too difficult to do manually but with automated tests, we can simulate test environments where we can perform the desired tests.

The tests can be distributed across many computers or servers and can be executed simultaneously form anywhere, which reduces the overall execution time. With the use of appropriate tools and proper test scripts, results can be generated by the end of execution, automatically, without manual intervention.

Any project requires regression testing. It is either performed after regular intervals or after change requests in the functionality. Executing the same set of test cases repeatedly is less interesting and takes time. However, with an automated regression test suite, we can execute the same set of test cases with every build, with reduced manual effort.

When it comes to performance, testing a software with concurrent users, say 50 users, if done manually, requires 50 individuals accessing the application. However, with automation tools, we can simulate 50 users and can execute concurrency in one shot.

Factors to consider

There are also some important aspects of automation that one has to keep in mind, before making a decision. A few are described below:

Initial investment with respect to money and time is significant – it takes time to build to test scripts but it is definitely worth the effort and assures ROI.

With Agile, when requirements keep changing, scripts need to be updated every time. So, it is better to automate any functionality once it is stable.

QC resources must be able to analyze and debug the automation code in case of any issues while executing the scripts. This means that a QC resource must know the coding language that is being used.

In the absence of proper reporting mechanism, test automation may not be as useful as it is designed to be, as it will take time to analyze automation results and compare them with the expected results.

Once the resources are familiar with the tool, they tend to automate all the functional flows in the application, which does not make sense. Testing is exploratory and one can never achieve 100% automation. As the saying goes, “It’s Automation, Not Automagic!”

Maintaining the test bed – test suite and test data – is really important. Technology may get upgraded, functionality undergoes changes – we should, therefore, keep updating our test bed with all these changes.

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