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How to Start with Test Automation Right Now?

Automation testing is indisputably a great deal of help, especially when it comes to any repetitive testing types. Reduced defect rate, improved budget savings, enhanced test coverage are just a few of the benefits to name. However, many companies still either don’t have any test automation in place or aren’t able to achieve the desired results. Luckily, building reliable functional tests is much easier now and takes considerably fewer resources than ever before. Let’s dig into details and show you how to start with test automation right now (literally!)

Why write test cases in the first place?

Before diving into automation, let us first set our views on why testing in general, and having test case coverage in particular, is essential for a successful product. Nobody likes to interact with an application that is glitchy or not accessible. To ensure that your end users have a seamless experience, having a tight testing coverage of the application becomes necessary. User journeys and scenarios need to be accounted for when testing. Thus having test cases in places helps record these journeys or scenarios.

As the quality of the application is a collaborative process, having scenarios recorded in the form of test cases will help not only the tester but also any other member of the team to review or add to the list of test cases. Getting that perspective from different teams is beneficial to ensure better testing coverage. Each time a new feature is added to an application, all of the test cases should be executed to ensure that the new code isn’t breaking any existing functionality.

Should I automate all my test cases?

Manual testing is prone to human error, can be very time-consuming, and might be wasting the precious bandwidth of experienced testers by keeping them entangled with repetitive testing.

At the same time, there are certain types of testing where automation is either not applicable or not efficient. For example, you’re more likely to manually perform exploratory testing, accessibility testing, and user experience testing – to name a few.

As general guidance, the test automation strategy starts with the most stable and repetitive test cases (smoke testing, regression testing). Knowing this, you can now outline your expectations, needs, and goals with test automation.

The below pointers are some common examples of the pain points that automation is used to solve:
  • To allow the QA team to focus on testing new features and expanding the test case coverage instead of performing repetitive tasks
  • Automating repetitive tests so that those test cases can be run as often as needed
  • Increasing the speed of test execution. For example, manually executing an entire regression test suite can take a few days, vs. test automation will deliver results in hours (and sometimes even minutes)
  • Load and performance testing of the application
  • Increasing the quality of collaboration between developers and QA. Testers can get the test results much faster with test automation; thus developers will get to fixing bugs much quicker in the sprint

But how to begin with test automation?

Now that you have identified the needs and pain points that you’re looking to address let’s move on to the steps to setting up automation testing.

Firstly, pick an automation tool suitable for your needs

You will find a plethora of tools available in the market today. Based on your needs, you can pick the one that suits your needs the best. Identify what applications as well as types of testing you would like to cover. For example, do you need functional testing for a website only? Or would you like cross-platform tests to cover native mobile apps and web? Are there any integrations that need to be supported?

It is essential to look into certain factors about these tools:
  • What platforms and types of testing are supported (web, desktop, mobile, API, visual, cross-platform, etc.)
  • How will it integrate with your existing tools
  • Who can write and maintain the test cases
  • How long will it take to get the test execution results (based on how often you would like to run your test cases. Is it on every commit? Nightly? Once every two weeks before the release? Each team has its own needs.)
  • Other specific details (ex: do you work with test data? Is the tool able to support it?)

Ideally, you should be able to utilize your in-house testers for automation testing as well since they are the ones who have the expertise to test your application. So naturally, test cases written by them will ensure better quality. Having a no-code tool that does not require explicit technical skills to write the test scripts is ideal.

One such tool available in the market is testRigor. Being AI-powered, it allows you to write test scripts in plain English language. This means that any QA person will be able to build end-to-end tests, regardless of whether they have any coding knowledge.

Secondly, set up the tool and test environment

Once you have chosen your tool for automation testing, the next step would be to set it up as per your requirements. Many tools in the market tend to require a lot of effort and guidance during this process. If the setup process is tough, it will deter quick onboarding by the teams.

With some tools or libraries, you will need to build an entire framework from scratch; with others, you will only have to configure the dependencies. Depending on the framework, this step can take from a few minutes to multiple weeks.

With testRigor, it is as easy as creating an account and then providing all the base specifications like test URL, browser details, and tools to integrate with, to name a few, at the time of test suite creation. You will be able to start building your tests in under five minutes, as all of the infrastructure headaches have already been taken care of for you. This ensures that anyone can do this setup and move on to the next step of test case creation.

Thirdly, get started with the test case creation process

Now comes the part where you need to define the test cases the tool will run. Test case coverage must be wholesome by testing both positive and negative scenarios. If a scenario is expected to give different outcomes depending on varying input parameters, consider those too when writing your test cases.

Start with the most repetitive test cases, which are also straightforward to automate. Smoke testing is usually the primary candidate to start with, where you will see tangible results in a short period of time. Regression tests typically come next – the test suite is much larger than smoke testing, but it will save you countless hours every time the tests are running.

Finally, run your tests and view the results

Sit back and relax while your tests are doing the work for you! But wait, there’s one last point that’s important to mention. Do you wish to trigger each test run manually or from a CI pipeline? This depends on the organization’s needs and can be tailored to your needs.

When talking about testRigor, you can easily integrate with most CI/CD tools on the market and get as many parallelizations as you need in order to get results fast (we’re talking minutes). Once your tests discover a bug, you can enable an integration with Jira – and create a bug ticket in just a few clicks. Need to debug? There are screenshots for each test step, making the process a lot more streamlined.

Conclusion

To summarize, automation testing is a powerful trick to have in your arsenal. It will help you with repetitive testing, saving time and effort, and allow the testing team to focus on new features.

Based on your requirements, you can choose an automation testing tool, set it up for your environment, create your application-specific test cases and execute them how many ever times needed. These test cases will help identify any changes or bugs and deliver the news fast.

Starting with test automation is tenfold easier now than ever before. With testRigor, it’s accessible to virtually everyone, and the setup process is extremely fast and straightforward. You will be able to build your first automated test on the very first day, and get test results for as many iterations as needed.

We encourage you to try it out yourself. Take a look into the documentation section to see how straightforward the plain English commands are. Test web applications and mobile browsers, native desktop, as well as native mobile applications, and create cross-browser and cross-platform tests. The world is your oyster.

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