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How To Do Just Enough Software Test Automation

Knowing how to do just enough software test automation can make or break a software development project. Now test automation is the term given when software is used for testing instead of it being done manually by people. It basically uses tools, strategies and artifacts which reduce or remove manual intervention. Usually, these are the tasks which are repetitive, redundant or basically unskilled which can easily be automated. Numerous areas of testing can benefit from this approach such as functional testing, regression testing, performance testing, exception testing, stress testing and load testing.

If you have already been reading other content on this site you will have realized that testing is an expensive time consuming process which usually adversely impacts the project budget and timeframes. It is unfortunately a necessary evil, which at times seems endless. Hence one needs to maintain a balance between project time and cost as well project quality management.

Now usually on a project when doing manual testing you would stop whenever any one of these three (i.e. time, money and test cases) gets exhausted. However automating the software testing helps in reducing these. In the case of test automation, you may have to write a test program to detect the errors of a software. Or else, you could buy a generic testing software from a third party vendor and make the necessary changes in it’s script as per the software requirements specification.

The 4 Functions of Test Automation

These are:
  • Setting up the conditions for the test.
  • Control the execution of the tests.
  • Comparing the outcomes of the test to the predictions made.
  • Control test reporting functions
However, one thing to bear in mind when understanding how to do just enough software test automation is to discern how much of your testing can be automated and what can’t. Remember it is unlikely that all your testing can be automated unless you are operating a RAD software development environment where components and test scripts are re-used.

How To Decide When to Use Software Test Automation

A tester can automate their testing under any of the following circumstances:
  1. When a sequence of action is to be repeated several times.
  2. When the sequence of action can be automated.
  3. When automating only a portion of the test is feasible to cut down on the test execution time.
  4. When the software is not going to perform differently in automated testing than in case of manual testing
  5. When the software program does not utilize a UI (user interface).
  6. When the same test has to be done on several different hardware configurations

How To Do Just Enough Software Test Automation - Tip

Software test automation is a really handy tool for the test team to cut down on the testing time and cost required. however whilst it may be tempting to do so particularly when you are working through the tight timeframes in the software testing life cycle whilst creating a project plan it should not be taken as a complete replacement of manual testing.

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