These days, speed is an area where software developers cannot afford to cut corners. In addition, they cannot make potentially expensive mistakes. Software and updates must be deployed as quickly as possible and consistently to remain competitive in today's evolving market. However, manual testing alone makes it impossible.
Automation of test cycles is now necessary to keep up with the rate of software development and deployment. Even the most complex test cases can be executed quickly and accurately when testing is automated. Here we explore the benefits of test automation in agile development.
Benefits of Test Automation
Test automation involves writing test scripts that execute automated tests on software. Unlike manual testing, automated testing involves creating and supervising testing scenarios rather than performing each step manually. Instead of having someone follow very specific instructions and manually execute the entire test suite, automation testing allows the test case to be run by an automation tool.
What are the benefits of automation testing? Testing can be a slow and laborious process. Rather than completely replacing manual testing, automated testing helps minimize the number of test cases that must be run manually.
Companies are employing automated testing because of its many benefits, from increasing the area of coverage to reducing human error. According to a survey, companies that automated at least 50% of their tests saw benefits of test automation, like shorter testing cycles (88%) and better test coverage (71%), as well as the potential to identify bugs early on in the process (68%).
What is Automated GUI Testing?
The user interface is the front end of any application. It's the way most people interact with an app. If a UI is complex, unworkable, or has bugs, the program is not useful to anyone. Therefore testing an app's UI during development is important. A good UI must be easily navigable without sacrificing functionality.
In software, testing the UI or GUI is known as "Graphic User Interface Testing." This testing method involves quality assurance to ensure a program’s UI is up to par. Screens, controls, menus, buttons, icons, and so on are all tested as part of GUI testing to ensure the final product performs as expected.
Normally, these tests are carried out manually, but the rise of Agile development methodology has prompted the adoption of test cycle automation, speeding up product release. Agile software development focuses on quickly producing smaller, functional pieces of software to increase customer satisfaction. Today, automated GUI testing has become the standard in software testing globally.
What Are the Benefits of Automation Testing?
1. Reduces Business Expenses
Software tests must be executed numerous times throughout development cycles to ensure quality. Additionally, software tests must be performed every time the source code is updated, which can be time and cost intensive.
In comparison, automated testing is more efficient, faster, and less expensive over time compared to manual tests. It can improve the speed of repetitive tests, reducing the time generally spent on such tests from days to hours, ultimately saving teams and businesses time and money.
Automated testing can be used whenever and often after the scripts have been created at no added cost. Despite the significant initial investment of time and money in automated testing, the payoff is substantial and cannot be disregarded.
2. Provides Wider Coverage
Unlike manual testing, which may cap the number of tests that can be run, automated testing enables developers to test more use cases. Developers can spend more time writing new, in-depth tests and adding them to the automated test suite, contributing to higher test coverage. And since individual features can also be thoroughly tested, the overall quality of the application improves.
Extensive automated tests can also be done unsupervised, which is not always the case with manual testers. Additionally, multiple tests can be run simultaneously, benefiting teams with time constraints.
3. Improves Accuracy
The odds of human error is highly likely in manual testing despite having the most diligent testers on the project. On the other hand, the possibility of producing flawless code is higher with automated testing.
Since automated testing requires less human input, there is little scope for human errors and a higher chance of reliable results.
And since testers can be relieved from repetitive and tedious manual testing, they have more time to execute other kinds of tests such as exploratory testing that automation cannot do.
4. Does What Manual Testing Cannot
There are times when QA teams are no match for automated testing. For example, look at a controlled web application test involving thousands of users. It will take a long time and many QA team members to check how the app performs, which is impractical.
Automated testing allows businesses to simulate the required number of virtual consumers interacting with a web application. This is just one of the many benefits of test automation over manual testing.
Also, manual testing may not be enough if tests are required on multiple browsers and different versions of browsers. Automated testing makes it possible to run several tests parallelly on several browsers and operating systems on actual devices.
5. Lessens Strain on the QA team
Automated tests can be scheduled to run at the end of the day, so results are available the following morning. As such, software developers and QA engineers can spend less time on testing.
QA teams can instead focus their time on tasks other than manual testing that may be more productive or gratifying, like developing their skill sets, which is advantageous for the company too.
Automation testing allows QA engineers the chance to improve the existing suite or add new capabilities by developing new tools. They also have the chance to develop new test cases, examine automated test results more closely or do tests that automation cannot do, such as exploratory and usability tests.
6. Faster Time to Market
Since automated tests can be run repeatedly and quickly, they help save a substantial amount of time, resulting in shorter feedback and testing cycles.
Additionally, the sooner you learn about the software's status and whether it's faulty, the earlier you can patch it leading to quicker marketing time.
7. Faster Feedback
Teams are better able to spot problems and enhance functionality when they receive feedback more frequently through faster test times and quicker results, a must in Agile methodology.
Test automation meets the demand for rapid, thorough, and reliable feedback, allowing tests to be performed quickly, which is not doable with manual testing.
8. Provides More Capabilities
Automated software testing is a valuable tool that provides you with more capabilities. Because of its programmability, it can be designed to match your specific needs while staying updated with new security and testing procedures. This can help streamline your testing processes and save time.
In addition, automated test suites can simulate user scenarios, a capability that saves developers a substantial amount of time. Testing a GUI typically requires a great deal of time and is often very repetitive. Using automated testing that simulates thousands of virtual users interacting with your app instead of thousands of manual tests is more efficient for evaluating its responsiveness and behaviour.
Benefits of Test Automation Over Manual Testing
There is no doubt that automated GUI testing saves time and money compared to manual testing, but it is unlikely to ever completely replace it. There are still manual testings like exploratory testing, feature testing, customer-centric testing, or checking for bugs that need to be done manually.
Of course, finding teams ready to invest time and effort to support automated testing following the initial adoption is always a challenge. But once it's in place, it'll take far less time and effort to keep it updated or add new tests. The key advantages include shorter turnaround time, greater predictability, and fewer unanticipated issues.
Learn more about Qt’s Quality Assurance Tools for the modern, functional GUI, and start a free trial to see the tools for yourself.