The Pursuit of Continuous Quality with Automated Software Testing

Where and how automation best fits into software testing for faster, higher quality releases.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding where and how to automate your tests, the tool options, and advancements emerging will help your team increase your releases without sacrificing quality. 

  • To make Continuous Quality a reality, test selection needs to be data-driven and part of your automation approach.

A faster software development pipeline has been forged as a result of DevOps and the pursuit of Continuous Quality. In parallel, automated software testing improved quality assurance by speeding up the process.

As a result, development teams embrace tech stacks and processes to keep up with the endless demand for newer, better updates and releases. Alongside that, automated software testing has evolved to help speed up the most significant bottleneck in software releases.

Although it has come far, standard automated software testing has its drawbacks. Understanding where to automate your tests, the tool options, and advancements emerging will help your team increase your releases without sacrificing quality. 

Automated vs. Manual Software Testing

Automated tests use outside software programs or apps to automatically control test execution, sans human intervention. Automated testing tools also assess real outcomes vs. predicted outcomes, also without human help. 

On the other hand, manual tests test software by executing test cases without automated tools. In this kind of testing, a human tester acts as the end-user and assesses criteria like accuracy, usability, performance, stability, and experience. Manual tests are best for situations where the tester’s unique insight, skills, and knowledge are needed to make the most of the testing.

However, when comparing the two software testing methods, automated testing is almost always more efficient and more cost-effective

📈 Team Scalability🚀 Delivery Speed⏩ Streamline Structure
Allows your test team to scale how they operate. Run more tests with the same resources and standardized testing for more efficient sprints.Alleviates the pressure of releasing new features more frequently by cutting the risk of missing defects. Teams can stay competitive with faster, more frequent releases without worrying about quality.Enables you to constantly test - any new feature and each time new code is pushed you can be more efficient and shift testing left.

Rather than relying on developer labor and time, automated testing programs automatically run pre-written test cases, automating the menial workload so developers can focus on more meaningful work. Not only does that slash testing cycle times, it also saves developers the headache of manually performing every single test. It’s also important to note that automated testing often reduces errors, since human mistakes can be entirely avoided.  

How to Start Automating Your Software Tests

The quality of your automated software tests relies heavily on the effectiveness of your tests scripts. A critical component of CI/CD, automated testing helps teams scale your QA process. The procedure for test automation can be broken down into five simple steps. 

1. Select the optimal automated testing tool or framework.

Depending on the types of tests you are automating, assess tooling and frameworks for ease of use and analysis, test creation, platform or browser support, as well as features and flexibility. 

2. Determine which tests should be automated and define the test requirements.

Tests that are repeatable, determinant, repetitive, and business-critical should be assessed for automation. Avoid automating ad hoc and constantly changing tests, as well as features that are still in the works. 

3. Convert test cases into compatible tests for your framework.

Make sure your tests work as designed in every case that you need to test. This typically includes writing custom scripts.

4. Run and evaluate test results and notable data.

Run your tests and assess the outputs. Beware of flaky tests - if you find you are unable to trust your tests themselves, you need to go back and modify your test cases. 

5. Use test data to improve your STLC.

Evaluating test results can be tricky if you don’t have test health measurements in place to connect the dots between failed tests and their effect on the SDLC.

The software testing life cycle is a critical part of software development. Treat your automated tests accordingly. 

Types of Automated Software Tests

We’ve covered test types in greater detail, but to give you a quick overview here are common tests to consider automating.

Automated Software Testing Tools

Automated software testing can make your software testing life cycle more efficient, faster, and scalable. Let’s explore some of the most popular automated software testing tools you can use to speed up your software testing process. 

  1. Avo Assure is a 100% no-code and intelligent test automation solution.

  2. Jenkins, created by Launchable’s own very Kohsuke Kawaguchi, is an open source automation server that helps automate the parts of software development related to building, testing, and deploying, facilitating continuous integration and continuous delivery.

  3. Katalon generates, executes, and orchestrates web, API, mobile, and desktop applications test automation. 

  4. Kobiton automates functional, performance, visual, and compatibility tests

  5. Launchable uses Predictive Test Selection to identify the most critical tests to run. Launchable shrinks your test suite by allowing you to run only a fraction of your test suite, while still maintaining high confidence that if a failure exists, it will be found.

  6. Selenium is an open source automated testing framework that validates web applications across multiple browsers and platforms.

  7. Tenjin Online is a codeless, SaaS-based solution to test web, Android, and iOS applications.

  8. TestComplete is a functional automated testing platform that handles all test automation needs, in tons of languages.

  9. testRigor is a no-code tool that enables manual QA testers to create complex automated tests with plain English commands.

  10. Unified Functional Tester runs functional and regression test automation for software applications and environments. 

Amplify quality without sacrificing delivery with Automated Software Testing and Machine Learning

Even with standard automated software testing tools in place, test suites continue to grow and overtime become a bottleneck to CI/CD. To make Continuous Quality a reality, test selection needs to be data-driven and part of your automation approach. Accelerate your automated software testing with Predictive Test Selection. 

We use your git commit metadata to analyze your test suites through the Launchable CLI. Then, Predictive Test Selection dynamically reorders your tests and identifies the most critical tests to run. On every change, Launchable ranks tests by importance to code changes and allows you to create a unique subset (based on this ranking) in real-time. With Launchable, you can reduce your test suite, while knowing that if a failure exists, it will be found.

We made Launchable to improve developer productivity and happiness, because we’re developers too. And we know breaking up the testing bottleneck is one of the best ways to work smarter, not harder and ship up to 5x faster. 

Whether you are starting your automated software testing journey, or are a seasoned vet, incorporate Launchable into your tech stack to run fewer tests while boosting quality.

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