When it comes to testing, many people tend to assume that automation is the way to go, while manual testing is a thing of the past.
However, the reality isn’t as black and white. The truth is that both approaches to testing have their share of benefits and make sense in different scenarios.
In this guide, we’ll dive into when you should perform automation testing and which scenarios make for the best time to opt for it. However, let’s quickly describe what automation testing is and what it usually involves.
What is Automation Testing?
Test automation is the process of automating the software testing process using a test suite to report outcomes and derive results from comparing them with the expected outcomes.
This is a process that often requires large investments in money and time and may need to be executed repeatedly in certain scenarios. It comes with several advantages.
The following section explores the various scenarios in which test automation could ideally be performed.
When To Perform Test Automation
As mentioned earlier, automating the testing process can be expensive. As a result, this isn’t the ideal solution for all scenarios. The following are the various reasons why automation testing might become a necessity.
When The Outcome Justifies The Cost
The first scenario in which it might make sense to automate the testing process is when the expected outcomes justify the investment being made to perform it. Further, test automation must also make sense in the long term for it to justify the amount being invested.
Smaller projects that can still deliver quality results don’t require automated testing, and this is where manual testing makes more sense. However, test automation makes sense if you’re goal is to ensure long-term ROI and where the software requires multiple rounds of testing over an extended period.
If Test Automation Can Save A Great Deal Of Time
When the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is fast, a Quality Assurance team often needs a lot of time to test. This can go a long way in making them more productive and efficient, thus delivering quicker results.
This is where test automation makes a lot of sense, as it saves the developers and the QA team a lot of time without having to perform the same tests multiple times manually. The time saved can motivate them and eliminate the fatigue that prevents them from working on improving the features they’re intent on developing.
Last but not least, an automated test program suit can also eliminate the time spent on debugging, giving a developer more time to focus on more constructive tasks.
When The Situation Calls for Repetitive Testing
When software requires multiple rounds of testing, manual testing can often become an inefficient solution. Further, if your developers end up performing the same tests repeatedly, they’re more likely to make errors.
In this scenario, test automation can go a long way in saving your QA team’s and developer’s time while also eliminating any chances of human error.
When You’ve Assured An Improvement In Quality
As mentioned earlier, one key aspect that can contribute to the quality of a software product is the elimination of any human error whatsoever. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when one considers the various aspects that go into ensuring quality.
Test automation can go a long way when software needs to be tested multiple times to ensure there are no bottlenecks or bugs which can affect the user experience.
With the testing being automated, developers can be alerted whenever a new feature has any bugs before it even goes live, allowing them to fix it and ensuring your customers are treated with the best experience possible.
When a Single Function Needs to Be Tested with Multiple Data Sets
To ensure a seamless user experience, developers must run the same function with multiple data to eliminate the likelihood of any bugs. In such situations, automated testing can help accelerate the testing process while minimizing time and effort.
This is where automation testing proves its strengths when compared to manual testing, as running the same function using multiple data sets can often become tedious when done manually, thereby increasing the chances of errors.
When Developers Need to Run Multiple Tests at Once
Running multiple tests at once is no easy feat. It requires time and effort and can often lead to errors. No matter how large your QA team is, running a hundred tests simultaneously, for example, is time-consuming.
In such a situation, automation testing can go a long way in streamlining this process and making it a lot more efficient while ensuring that each test is carried out in the same manner with no room for human error.
This could also happen when your testing grows to a point where a machine needs to be tested multiple times, and you either don’t have enough manual testers, or you require them to use their time more efficiently.
When You Require Detailed Test Reports
Evaluating testing reports once a testing cycle is complete is crucial to understand what bugs need to be fixed.
However, this can be a challenge when running multiple tests manually.
When you automate the testing process, you benefit from the fact that most automated testing tools generate a report at the end of the cycle, making it easier for developers to identify bugs and find ways to eliminate them.
As you can see, automation testing can be an immensely helpful approach in various situations. To summarize, these include the following:
- When the outcome justifies the cost
- If test automation can save a great deal of time
- When the situation calls for repetitive testing
- When test automation is assured to improve quality
- When you need to test a function using multiple data sets
- When you need to run several tests simultaneously
- When you need detailed test reports to fix bugs and defects.
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