In order to gain effective results, test automation within a continuous testing strategy must be developed with the potential to enhance test capabilities. Testers must make sure that the automation system is well-developed and it must contain different strategies, including choosing the test cases for automation, building an automation framework that promotes seamless test management, and constructing sequential programs of automated tests. But preparing and implementing a test automation technique for continuous testing can become quite challenging, yet some most prominent examples such as the test automation pyramid of test optimization can assist.
Let’s discuss how the test pyramid can facilitate the development of an efficient test automation system for continuous testing.
The test pyramid is a “shift left” method whereas the automatic test cases are focused on the unit as well as API layers, component, and integration layers. It also has more periodic automated test cases employed to test the graphical interface layer. Therefore, adopting such a testing practice has multiple benefits. Developers are capable of identifying issues earlier in the process and hence it is less expensive to mend them. As automation for unit and integration testing is faster and more effortless to design and support; the expense of automation is significantly decreased. Nevertheless, the return on investment is enhanced by lowering costs while increasing velocity and quality.
When we consider test optimization, we often focus on choosing test cases for automation, but it is essential to start at a more elevated level; which is to optimize the test scope.
To optimize test scope:
- Comprehend the complete integrations related to critical user workflows including the technologies utilized in those applications (web apps, mobile, message/API-layer, etc).
- Enforce service virtualization for integrations and features that are not available to execute end-to-end tests continuously.
- Implement the most practical data conceivable for each test, and incorporate artificial data generation where required.
- Implement exploratory testing to analyze the user experience and different errors that are not easily identified by automated tests.
Once you have a better understanding of the test scope, optimizing the test cases is the further step in the strategy. It comprises interpreting test cases not only for their grade and class of element but also utilizing the following criteria:
Since test automation focuses on decreasing human intervention, the test case should be as simple as possible, such that the automated bots can easily identify it. Because, if the test process is complicated then it will require more validation to test each code and this will result in more human intervention and time consumption. Even though testers can use service virtualization to fill in missing components so that the automated test scripts can easily identify the test process, it is still highly recommended that the test should be performed as independently as possible.
The next most fundamental process in continuous testing is to build test suites. Test suites can be used for various test cases including regression testing or even specific product or application feature testing that needs to be optimized. Therefore in continuous testing, the test developers must ensure that the test suites are created to provide the maximum amount of coverage with a lesser number of test cases, so as to increase both quality and velocity.
Here are a few guidelines that every tester must consider when optimizing test suites:
- Incorporate test cases that verify specific high-risk areas of code.
- Incorporate test cases that verify customer-centric features.
- Incorporate test cases that verify critical business workflows
- Make use of Functional Automation tools that create multi-purpose scripts
- Always opt for a Cross-Platform Testing strategy because it is imperative that the scripts must run on Desktop, Web, Mobile & Server
- Always opt for a Cross-Browser Testing strategy because the scripts should be able to run on different browsers including Chrome, Edge, Safari and any others required.
A most essential part of building an effective test automation strategy for continuous testing is precisely evaluating its effectiveness. For this, to efficiently build the test cases, the test developers should implement proper defect removal and defect leakage identification features which can significantly enhance the efficiency. Also, these features must be capable of not only identifying the number of defects in a code but also should be capable of identifying the severity of particular errors. This can help the test automation services in categorizing the defects based on priority because high severity defects can be considered as important and lower defects can be considered as lesser importance.
Ricky Philip is an industry expert and a professional writer working at ThinkPalm Technologies. He works with a focus on understanding the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, SDN/NFV, cloud analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) services. He is also a contributor to several prominent online publishing platforms such as DZone, HubSpot and Hackernoon.