4 Reasons Businesses Should Invest In People And Training For Automated Testing

By Sanjay Zalavadia, VP, Client Services, Zephyr

Testing has always been an essential part of application projects, but under agile, it's become even more present throughout the process. Traditionally, quality assurance teams would be forced to look at a monolithic build without having the necessary time to evaluate it thoroughly. However, automation integration has entered the picture as the answer for testing needs across the board. While many are jumping on the bandwagon, others are still unsure why it's beneficial. Let's take a look at the top four reasons why businesses should invest in people and training for automated testing:

Cost reduction

Development teams should know by now that making an application is expensive. You have to pay for the members on the team, resources that they work with and unplanned interruptions or defects. ThoughtWorks contributor Elena Yatzeck noted that the prices of regression testing, unexpected downtime, development, loss of speed and total replacement add up over time. However, using automation in a few of these areas can help lower the overall costs. For example, Yatzeck stated that moving to automated regression tests could pay for itself within a year. Automation can also help reduce downtime, lowering the consequential expenses associated with these types of situations.

Businesses are always looking for the next big thing that will boost their bottom line. Since manual methods tend to rack up time and resources, teams should look to automate as many of their tests as possible to save money and produce more deployment-to-market opportunities.

Volume and repeatability

Agile software development has become an answer to the fast pace of device evolution as well as the advancing user needs. End users will no longer tolerate a released piece of software that comes with defects and lack of functionality. In the past, we would have to wait for the developer to create an entirely new version, which may have improved on some items but was often rife with its own issues as well. Industry expert Rex Black noted that teams must be able to fire inputs at a system in a search for errors in addition to evaluating how the program would respond to a large number of simultaneous users.

Obviously, this task would be a major undertaking when done manually, even if the team was made up of the top testing professionals. Instead, automation is perfect for handling these loads. Automated tests can also be paired with quality testing tools to assign them appropriately to each project and schedule when they should be run. The repeatability factor ensures that scripts can be reused without having to be completely rewritten during every execution. These capabilities will take a major weight off of teams and allow them to easily scale their testing efforts alongside project requirements.

Time saved

Under waterfall testing strategies, QA teams would often have to completely rewrite scripts from scratch on a regular basis. Every‚Äč time code is modified, it must be tested to ensure that it doesn't have any defects and that it hasn't broken anything when it integrates with other features. To make matters worse, in a world where mobile devices have become the device of choice, testers must also test variants of each operating system and hardware configuration. This would take up a significant amount of time, and just isn't feasible as teams aim for weekly or daily sprints rather than monthly cycles.

Automation integrationgives this time back to testers by enabling them to write a script once and then simply maintain it over the project's lifecycle. This may include making small adjustments, but will not require the test to be rewritten every day. Teams can use this saved time to focus on other necessary tasks and actively monitor the progress of their objectives.

Coverage from all ends

Automation is a major change for many teams, but it's important to note that not everything can – or should – be automated. As we've already noted, repeatable, reusable test cases are perfect for the automated environment. However, exploratory testing and user interface testing will be better served with manual testing techniques, TechTarget contributor David W. Johnson stated. High-yield automation activities include regression and smoke testing as well as test data creation. By combining automation and manual testing, teams can achieve coverage from all ends and work toward consistently improving quality.

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