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Automation

Automation Best Practices

With automation, it becomes easier to handle comprehensive testing and leave QA on manual tests that are a must to do. Regression testing is a good example of automation testing since it covers all the functionality. Automating the regression tests provides extended coverage and results improving the product quality and ROI.

However, it’s not always a good idea to automate all the tests, so let’s go through some best practices for automation:

  1. What to Automate?

    This is the first thing to tackle before going forward, even before asking what to automate; we need to check if we are ready to automate. If a product is continuously in development, it is not a good idea to automate such a product. Except for the cases where a product has a good amount of stable functionality which is not affected by things still in development.
    So, the best approach for automation is :

    • To pick the stable and frequently used functionality.
    • To pick the tests which need a vast amount of data sets.
    • To pick the tests that extend on multiple builds, OS, and browsers.
  2. Ownership of the tests

    It is always recommended to assign multiple QA engineers to one project for better quality, ownership, and collaboration of ideas. It helps with writing better test cases, coverages, and low chances of failed test suites. To integrate automation into testing infrastructure, the entire team needs to be on board.

  3. Remove Uncertainty

    Sometimes, poor planning and designing can lead to inconsistency and constant increasing time to analyze and fix errors. So along with better planning and designing, good implementation and execution are equally important. It is recommended to constantly update the test cases within the automation test suite.

  4. Picking the automation tool

    While picking the automation tool to go with, we need to keep a few things in mind:

    • Software Nature: If an application is designed to run on mobile devices or the web, we may/ may not be able to use the same tool.
    • Team experience: Sometimes not all the QA members are familiar with coding languages so we have the choices to go with codeless automation tools.
    • Budget: Depending on the budget, a team can buy a license for a tool or can go with an open source tool if the budget is really low.
  5. Record for better debugging

    Having logs for all actions taken is necessary for debugging, we can manually put logs, and screenshot actions so that we can get a detailed report after a test is run, or we can go with some tool that has integrated reporting functionalities.

  6. Use Data-Driven Tests

    Writing the test scripts only handles static scenarios and can not cover all the possible data combinations, having data-driven tests not only helps with dynamic scenarios but also helps generate a vast amount of data in an empty environment.

  7. Implementing Cross Browser/ OS support

    Since all the users won’t be using the same machine, OS, and browsers, automation needs to be performed on different browsers and OS, so the tests should contain all the necessary elements to make it cross-browser.

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