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Quality assurance testing is an inevitable part of any digital product be it a website or an application. It’s not a secret that with the development of a product, it constantly gets enhanced with new features, components, and integrations. Consequently, there become a lot more things to test, thus the load on your QA department significantly increases.

Here come the first thoughts about automation, and you are on the right way.

automated testing analytics

illustration by Zeljka Zivkovic

The main aim of testing automation is to minimize routine tasks for a QA engineer. It becomes possible through replacing the repetitive actions with the scripts that are going through the common scenarios to assess the application performance.

The combination of skillful QA automation engineers and a tool that helps automate web testing is the first step towards automating your processes that brings numerous benefits when it comes both to the quality of the product you are releasing and to the business overall.

Automation benefits

Better accuracy. With automation, your test results will be more precise and prone to missed bugs and errors. Unlike a human, the script cannot be bored with repetitive tasks and distract from the testing process. Thus, regardless of the number of checks, the results will be as effective as during the first test. It comes in handy when you need to do some monotonous work like validating some long contact forms or perform a cross-browser test.

Saving time. To perform manual testing, a QA engineer needs to manually go through the scenarios, and if it needs to be done regularly, the same amount of time will be dedicated to the same test. If the automation is in place, the tests will run much faster than with human interaction.

Optimizing the QA resources. If the routine tasks are automated, your QA team can be more efficient when it comes to other testing tasks like maintaining the script up to date or performing manual tasks for the processes that cannot be automated ( e.g. exploratory testing, or UX).

How to start?

  • Assess the current testing process. It helps to see where you are now, what are the current issues with testing, and to go through the common user flows ( e.g. how users interact with your website before making a purchase) to use them later for automation.
  • Find a specialist to help with the automation process. It’s great if there are people working on the project who know how to deal with automation, but if not, it’s better to hire one.
  • Define the goal. Make sure you set realistic plans for the automation, as it’s not possible to do everything at once. During the first iteration, you may outline several test cases that require automation, and based on the results set further expectations.
  • Allocate the budget. Decide how much investments can be poured in the automation process including the human resources, tools ( if you use paid software)
  • Set the time estimations. QA automation is a never ending process, as some tests require refactoring and maintenance will be required all the time, but usually, the first results are visible in several months. Be ready to dedicate at least 1 full-time specialist to work on that project, and take into account the automation scope when planning other projects.

Automation is not a process that can be quickly implemented especially if there was no automation on the project before. During the first stages, sometimes the manual work can be done much faster, but don’t let these temporary inconveniences derail your automation dream.

In the long-term perspective, automating the QA testing process, optimizes the whole development cycle, as bugs are easy to find and fix before they reach your customers, and shift your focus to other product building activities like marketing research, user experience flow improvements, and developing new functionalities.

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