Automation tools have accelerated software testing processes and improved test coverage. But they also caused confusion on which tests are suitable for automation.
It’s evident that manual testing isn’t going anywhere, although automated tools are doing the majority of the processes. So, which tests can you automate?
That’s what we’ll discuss in this guide to help you implement this method into your development!
- Manual VS Automated Testing – A Short Overview
- Which Test Types are Suitable for Automation?
- How to Decide If you Should Automate a Test
Manual VS Automated Testing – A Short Overview
Before we continue, here’s a quick reminder on “what is automation testing” and how it’s different from the manual approach. The key distinction is that automated testing is performed by specialized tools and scripts.
The only human involvement is setting up the software and creating the script. With the help of automated tools for testing specialists, they shorten the testing time and reduce the IT department’s costs.
Unlike that, manual testing requires a human engineer to execute the required tasks. For decades, that was the only option software development teams had.
Thanks to automated testing, software companies can reap the following benefits:
- Improved test coverage, allowing to perform more checks during the same timeframe.
- No room for human error, providing the engineers optimized the script properly.
- Performing tests faster, considering computers can process more data per second than humans.
Which Test Types are Suitable for Automation?
You can’t automate all testing requirements during a software development project. The experts estimate that you can automate three out of four tests during all four development stages.
Here’s a quick overview of automation in each testing type:
- Unit tests. It’s the initial stage where you check small software components separately. Unit tests identify bugs early and allow rewriting the code before adding it to the master branch. Automation can help with unit testing since you’ll run most checks multiple times – at least before and after fixing the issues.
- Integration tests. Once you combine different modules, integration testing ensures they work together well. It helps to automate these tests to speed up the feedback cycle.
- System tests. You have a huge range of system tests, which serve to confirm the app works as expected. Some areas are easy to automate, such as functional, regression, and smoke testing.
- Acceptance tests. These are the trickiest to automate since the criteria are often subjective. Acceptance tests aim to determine if the software works as per user expectations. A/B testing, responsiveness, stress, and load tests are among those suitable for automation.
How to Decide If you Should Automate a Test
There’s no exact definition of when to resort to testing automation. However, you can follow specific criteria to see if the desired check meets automation requirements. Here are the questions that can help you decide if you should choose automated over manual testing!
Does the Test Have a Clear Outcome?
The essential requirement for automated tests is that there’s a clear determinant that will decide the outcome. The computer can’t guess – it executes the script and determines the result based on the adjusted parameters.
You should eliminate any guesswork to avoid false test results. It’s the best way to ensure the maximum reliability of automated tests. For example, checking if the system loads all details after logging into the site is easy to automate. But an exploratory test doesn’t have a clear determinant, so it must be manual.
Do You Plan to Run the Test Against Multiple App Builds?
You might be working on a feature and plan to test it multiple times. If the team is developing a module, the odds are testing would report bugs. Once you repair them, you need to run the test once again. You check for identical things, making these tests suitable for automation.
Engineers design the test only once but can run it unlimited times. It’s even possible to make minor adjustments, ensuring the same test can be used in multiple projects.
Will You Use the Same Workflow but Different Data?
These data-driven tests check the same things but with different datasets. You might have a multilingual website and want to check if the feature works across all languages. Perhaps you are testing whether the shopping site calculates shipping charges correctly. You’ll use various addresses and order details to check if everything works right. A computer can handle these tests much faster.
Other Tests You Can Automate
Some other factors that indicate test automation is possible include:
- You need to analyze large data volumes.
- It’s necessary to check if the feature performs well on different web browsers or operating systems.
- You need to simulate thousands of people visiting the site at the same time, which is impossible with manual tests.
- It seems like it’d take a lot of time to run the test manually.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Thanks to top-quality test automation tools, you can save time and money invested in manual testing. It’s impossible to completely replace human testers, but automation improves result reliability while increasing data coverage.
Automated tests have other benefits, but these two are enough to consider adding them to your software development process!