The introduction of test automation within your organization can, if done correctly, affect your testing process in a number of positive ways. In this post, we will look at the ways different stakeholders within your software development process might benefit from automated testing.
Test automation benefits the software testing team in a number of ways, of which some of the most important are:
- Automation of regression tests takes away the repetitive effort of executing the same test scripts by hand over and over again, every time new functionality is introduced. Instead of having to spend time on this often tedious activity, software testers can focus on testing the changes that are introduced in the software, while the automated test tool takes care of the regression testing.
- Not having to spend time on regression testing means that testers can perform more tests in the same amount of time.
- Testers with an interest in programming and tools have the opportunity to learn valuable new skills by diving into the world of automated testing.
The development team might also benefit from the introduction of test automation:
- As automated tests can generally be run faster and more often compared to when the same test scripts have to be executed manually, developers receive feedback on the quality of their code sooner.
- Testers involved in automated testing often work closely together with developers to set up tests and analyse test results, resulting in a bigger appreciation for what used to be ‘the other side’. Of course, this appreciation works both ways (and this point could have been under ‘Testers’ just as easily).
Automated testing has several benefits for project management too:
- With automated testing, more tests can be performed within the duration of the project. On the one hand, today’s dynamic market requires fast-paced software delivery and therefore ever shorter development cycles. On the other hand, the same dynamic market expects high quality software as for a lot of products many alternatives are available, making it easy for an unsatisfied customer to change products or services. Automated testing is the only way for an organization to deliver high quality software quickly.
- Automated testing enables tests to be executed sooner and more often, giving project managers continuous insight in the quality of the software, as well as in trends in this quality. For example, the availability of daily test results gives a project manager insight in whether the introduction of a new development method – or a new development team – has the desired effect on the quality of the product to be delivered.
Finally, the end user of the software delivered also benefits from the introduction of automated testing, albeit in a more indirect way:
- Automated testing, when implemented correctly, can greatly increase the speed with which software is delivered, meaning that the end user receives a release of the product he or she has asked for quicker than would be possible with traditional manual testing. As automated testing is able to shorten development cycles, any bugs reported or updates requested by the user can be dealt with quicker as well.
- As the test team is able to achieve higher test coverage within the given amount of time, the quality of the end product will generally also be higher as more bugs can be resolved before delivery, meaning that the user will likely be happier with this product.
How did the introduction of automated testing benefit your organization or (for the contractors) your client?