Software automation testing is an emerging and important change in the dynamic field of software development with more than 30% of companies aiming to automate majority of their software testing processes

In my journey from Taipei to London, where I’m currently a programming student after graduating in Computer Science from National Taiwan University, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of automated testing in software development. This shift is doing more than just making software testing faster and more efficient; it’s also making a big splash in the tech world.

It’s a stark contrast to the manual methods I was first introduced to. Automated testing, where software tools run pre-designed tests on applications before their release, is a game-changer. It’s an emerging trend that speaks volumes about our industry’s adaptability – constantly evolving to meet the demands of a rapidly changing tech world.

Digging into Automated QA Testing and How It’s Changed Things

Automated testing is all about using software tools to run preset tests on a software application before it goes live on production. This is a big change from the old-school way of doing things, where testing was mostly done manually. Automated testing brings in a bunch of tools and tech to speed things up and make them more accurate.

Historically, manual testing dominated the software development process. However, with increasing complexity in software applications and the need for rapid deployment, the industry has witnessed a shift towards automation. This transition is driven by the need to meet the demands of a fast-paced, ever-changing tech environment where time-to-market and product quality are critical.

Why Companies Value Automated Software Testing so Much?

Automated testing is changing the game in quality assurance for software, thanks to its speed and precision.

  • Efficiency and Speed: We’re seeing test times shrink dramatically, from days to just a few hours.

As noted by a seasoned professional in the field, Haykaz from Scopic, a software development company

“In our experience, the efficiency and speed gains from automation testing have been remarkable. We’ve observed that test execution time is significantly compressed with the adoption of automation. In particular, the regression testing phase, which traditionally could take 1-2 days, has been drastically reduced to mere hours in some cases. This acceleration in the testing process is a testament to the profound impact that automation testing has on the overall software development lifecycle.”

This substantial reduction in testing time not only accelerates the development process but also allows for more agile responses to changing market demands and customer needs.

  • Consistency and Reliability: It minimizes human error, ensuring more reliable outcomes.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Initially more costly, automated testing proves its worth in the long run, a lesson I’ve learned through various project budgets.
  • Scalability: Automated QA handles more complex test cases.

Real-World Application and Strategies

In my current projects, I’ve learned that the real value of automated testing lies in its strategic application. Automation covers a wide range of testing activities including but not limited to regression testing, load testing, and functional testing.

Below are 8 tips to help you switch from manual to automated quality assurance more easily:

  1. Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Quick and continuous updates are critical to the DevOps approach. This is known as continuous integration and deployment, or CI/CD. Every time a change is made to the codebase, automated tests are triggered, guaranteeing that any integration bugs are found right away.
  2. Apply Regression Testing: When code is changed frequently, automated regression tests become essential. They make sure that any modifications don’t affect the features that are already in place.
  3. Invest in Performance Testing Tools: Automated tools can simulate thousands of virtual users interacting with a network, software, or web application to test its performance under different loads.
  4. Selecting the Right Tools: Choose based on what you’re testing, your setup, and your budget.
  5. Creating Quality Test Data: The effectiveness of automated testing depends on the test data’s quality. Ensure that test data is comprehensive and well-structured.
  6. Maintaining Test Scripts: Update the test scripts in conjunction with applications. The test scripts must be updated and maintained regularly to accommodate changes to the application.
  7. Integrating with the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC): Automated testing should be integrated seamlessly into the SDLC. Early integration saves time and resources by assisting in the early detection and resolution of problems.
  8. Balancing Manual and Automated Testing: While automation is efficient, it cannot entirely replace human insight. The most successful strategies often adopt a thoughtful approach and make use of both automated and manual testing’s advantages.

Using Manual Testing over Automated

Companies choose manual testing when dealing with complex, nuanced test cases that automated testing processes cannot successfully manage. Manual testing is especially beneficial in user experience (UX) and exploratory testing, where the tester’s perspective and interaction can yield critical insights.

It is also best for complex test scenarios that would be inefficient or impossible to automate. This approach allows for more focused attention on certain features of the software that automated testing may overlook.

The Future of Automation Testing and My Final Thoughts

The development of AI and ML will significantly impact automation testing in the future. More complex and adaptive testing techniques are being developed due to these technologies’ promises of improved maintenance capabilities, predictive analytics, and more intelligent testing methods.

It’s quickly becoming a must-have in tech, making software development faster, more reliable, and efficient. As tech keeps evolving, automated testing is going to be even more central in the industry. I see automated testing not just as a tool but as a direction of the future of tech – an area I’m passionate about and am actively contributing to through my writing and studies.

Authored by Mei Lin Huang

As a tech enthusiast and writer, I bridge tech intricacies with the developer community, sharing insights from my journey in coding and technology.