Testing automation frameworks and software testing play a crucial role in upholding the quality and productivity of software testing and development. Nevertheless, the creation and upkeep of dependable and sustainable testing automation scripts and data can pose considerable challenges.
This article aims to impart valuable insights and recommendations to enhance your test automation endeavors, offering best practices and tips for optimizing your automation processes and achieving favorable results. Let’s look at some of the best ways to enhance and ensure the quality of test automation code.
Determining Which Test Cases to Automate
Automating every aspect of testing is neither practical nor efficient. Hence, it is imperative to make strategic decisions regarding which test cases warrant automation in the first place.
The effectiveness of automated testing is intrinsically tied to the frequency of test repetition. Tests that are executed only occasionally are better suited for manual testing. Ideally, automation should be prioritized for test cases that require frequent execution and involve substantial datasets to perform repetitive actions.
To maximize the advantages of automated testing, consider automating:
- Repetitive tests were conducted across multiple builds.
- Tests are prone to human error.
- Tests necessitate the utilization of various data sets.
- Frequently utilized functionalities that introduce high-risk conditions.
- Tests that are logistically impossible to carry out manually.
- Tests executed on diverse hardware or software platforms and configurations.
- Tests that entail substantial time and effort when conducted manually
When designing tests, aim for brevity and focus on singular objectives. For instance, create separate tests for read-only and read/write operations. This enables the repetitive use of individual tests without their inclusion in every automated test.
Once you have developed a suite of straightforward automated tests, consider grouping them into larger automated tests. Organize tests based on functional areas, significant/minor application divisions, common functions, or a foundational test data set. If one automated test references other tests, a test hierarchy may be necessary, allowing you to execute tests in a specified sequence.
Opt for the Appropriate Automated Testing Solution
When embarking on the quest for the right automated testing tools, consider these pivotal factors:
- Platform and Technology Compatibility: Assess whether the automated testing tool aligns with the platforms and technologies pertinent to your testing endeavors. Scrutinize if it accommodates the testing of .Net, C#, or WPF applications and ascertain its compatibility with various operating systems. Determine whether it caters to the assessment of web applications and whether it extends support to mobile application testing, including Android and iOS, or both.
- User Skill Flexibility: Gauge the tool’s adaptability to the skill levels of your QA department. Evaluate whether it allows QA professionals to craft automated test scripts or offers the convenience of keyword-based testing for those with varying levels of technical expertise.
- Comprehensive Feature Set and Ease of Test Creation: Examine whether the automated testing tool combines a rich array of features with simplicity in creating automated tests. Assess whether it supports record-and-playback test creation and manual crafting of automated tests. Investigate its provision of essential features for implementing checkpoints that facilitate verifying values, databases, and key application functionalities.
- Test Reusability, Maintainability, and UI Changes Resilience: Ascertain whether the automated tests produced by the tool are characterized by reusability, maintainability, and resilience in the face of alterations in the application’s user interface (UI). Determine whether changes to the UI will render the automated tests non-functional.
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By leveraging the features and capabilities of cloud testing like LambdaTest, you can enhance the quality and standards of your test automation code, streamline your testing processes, and deliver a more reliable and consistent user experience for your web applications.
Adhere to Coding Standards and Conventions
Another pivotal measure for ensuring the dependability and manageability of your testing automation scripts and data entails adhering to coding standards and conventions. Coding standards and conventions encompass a set of guidelines and best practices that serve as a blueprint for crafting consistent, comprehensible, and lucid code. These standards and conventions also aid in averting commonplace errors, glitches, and security vulnerabilities. A selection of the coding standards and conventions that warrant your attention includes the following:
Employ descriptive and meaningful names for variables, functions, and classes: It is imperative to choose names that concisely convey the purpose and functionality of your code components. Aptly named elements enhance code readability and comprehensibility.
Incorporate comments and documentation to elucidate code logic and intent: To elucidate the rationale behind your code and its underlying logic, it is prudent to employ comments and documentation. These annotations elucidate the code’s functionality, making it more intelligible to other team members and facilitating future code maintenance.
Implement indentation, spacing, and formatting for organized code: Employing consistent indentation, spacing, and formatting practices renders your code well-organized and comprehensible. A structured code layout fosters ease of navigation and modification.
Utilize version control and code review tools for quality enhancement: Employing version control systems and code review tools is instrumental in monitoring and enhancing code quality. These tools facilitate tracking code changes, identifying discrepancies, and fostering collaboration among team members to enhance code quality and maintainability.
Develop High-Quality Test Data
Test data assumes paramount significance in the realm of data-driven testing. Typically, the data required for automated tests, such as input for application fields, is sourced from external files. These files may draw data from databases or other sources, including text or XML files, Excel spreadsheets, and database tables.
Leveraging external data endows automated tests with reusability and simplifies maintenance. To introduce diverse testing scenarios, you can readily extend the data files with new entries, obviating the need to amend the automated test itself.
While the creation of test data may appear tedious, it is an investment well worth making. Structuring data meticulously enhances the efficiency of automated test creation. By initiating this endeavor early in the testing process, you pave the way for seamless extensions of existing automated tests as the application evolves.
Design Resilient Automated Tests Amidst UI Changes
Automated tests, whether scripted or built using keyword tests, inherently rely on the application under the test’s user interface (UI). As software evolves, especially during its early stages, UI alterations are not uncommon. These changes have the potential to impact the test outcomes, rendering automated tests incompatible with subsequent versions of the application.
The challenge arises because automated testing tools utilize a set of properties to identify and locate objects within the application. On occasion, these tools may rely on positional coordinates to identify objects. For instance, if the control caption or position undergoes modification, the automated test may fail to locate the object during execution, resulting in a test failure. To adapt to such scenarios, you might need to undertake an extensive project-wide search-and-replace effort to update outdated control names before running the test on the new application version.
However, a proactive approach to creating automated tests can mitigate these challenges. By assigning unique names to controls, you fortify your automated tests against UI alterations. This strategy ensures that your automated tests remain functional without necessitating modifications to the test script itself. Moreover, it diminishes the automated testing tool’s reliance on positional coordinates for object identification, thereby enhancing test stability and resistance to UI changes.
Incorporate Ongoing Testing and Feedback Mechanisms
A pivotal measure to ensure the dependability and maintainability of your testing automation scripts and data is the integration of ongoing testing and feedback mechanisms. Continuous testing is a methodology that involves the constant evaluation of your software throughout its development journey, commencing in the planning phase and culminating in deployment.
This practice leverages automation tools and techniques to execute a battery of tests regularly. Concurrently, continuous feedback pertains to the process of gathering, scrutinizing, and acting upon insights and results gleaned from testing activities. This involves the utilization of metrics, reports, and dashboards to provide a comprehensive overview of the testing landscape.
The implementation of continuous testing and feedback provides several advantages, including the early identification and rectification of defects, the enhancement of software quality and performance, and the alignment of testing objectives with overarching business goals. Here are a few strategies for putting continuous testing and feedback into action:
- Utilize test automation tools or frameworks compatible with continuous integration and delivery: Opt for testing automation solutions that seamlessly integrate with continuous integration and delivery pipelines. This enables the automated execution of tests at various stages of development and delivery, facilitating early defect detection and rapid feedback.
- Employ test automation tools or frameworks capable of generating exhaustive and meaningful test reports: Select testing automation tools or frameworks that produce comprehensive and insightful test reports. These reports should offer a comprehensive overview of test results, aiding in the identification of issues and the formulation of targeted remediation strategies.
- Leverage test automation tools or frameworks that integrate with collaborative platforms and communication tools: Choose testing automation solutions that seamlessly interface with collaboration platforms and communication tools. This integration streamlines the exchange of information and feedback among team members, fostering effective collaboration and prompt issue resolution.
- Harness test automation tools or frameworks that deliver real-time feedback and alerts: Opt for testing automation tools or frameworks equipped with real-time feedback mechanisms and alerting capabilities. These features ensure that critical issues are promptly communicated to the relevant stakeholders, enabling swift corrective action.
Continuously Enhance Your Skills and Knowledge
To ensure the reliability and maintainability of your testing automation scripts and data to persistently pursue learning and refinement. The realm of testing automation is characterized by its dynamic and ever-evolving nature, necessitating an ongoing commitment to learning and advancement. To remain at the forefront of this field, you must consistently cultivate fresh insights, acquire new skills, and explore emerging tools and techniques that can augment your testing automation process and yield superior results.
Moreover, it is essential to regularly assess the outcomes and efficacy of your testing automation endeavors, pinpointing areas of proficiency and areas that warrant improvement. Subsequently, proactive measures, whether corrective or preventive, should be implemented. Here are some strategies to aid you in your pursuit of perpetual growth and improvement:
- Engage with a variety of learning resources: Delve into a diverse array of learning materials, encompassing blogs, books, articles, and newsletters that delve into testing automation subjects. These resources offer a wealth of knowledge and insights from experts in the field.
- Participate in educational events: Actively partake in webinars, workshops, courses, or conferences dedicated to testing automation. These events provide invaluable opportunities to glean firsthand knowledge, engage with industry experts, and acquire practical skills.
- Foster connections within the testing automation community: Establish connections and affiliations with online or offline communities and networks comprising testing automation professionals. These forums serve as valuable platforms for information exchange, collaboration, and mutual support.
- Seek guidance and mentorship: Endeavor to seek feedback, guidance, and mentorship from seasoned testing automation experts or peers who possess a wealth of experience. Leveraging their insights and counsel can significantly expedite your growth and development in the field.
Achieving success in test automation necessitates meticulous planning and design. Begin by formulating an automation plan to identify the initial set of tests suitable for automation and to provide guidance for future testing endeavors. Define your objectives for automated testing and delineate which categories of tests align with your goals. Various testing types, such as unit testing for scrutinizing small application components and functional or GUI testing for evaluating specific UI components, should be considered based on their relevance.