Oct. 27, 2020
Through automation of actions such as filling in forms and clicking buttons, UI Test Automation enables a significant reduction of line of business resources dedicated to testing, all the while creating a possibility for an increase of test coverage beyond what is feasible with manual testing. The result is:
- Faster releases
- Lower cost
- Less testing fatigue
- Overall improved quality of software
- Enabling of more agility in the development cycles
- Increased synergy between training and documentation tasks
UI Test Automation is here to stay. The big question is to what extent test automation can make a difference in your particular organization.
Why should UI testing be automated?
If you Google automated testing, you will quickly encounter the testing pyramid of automated testing (see the image below). The test pyramid illustrates that automated testing should be performed at the lowest possible level. Thus, according to this strategy, the highest emphasis should be on unit testing while the lowest emphasis should be on UI testing. This is because automated tests closer to the base of the pyramid are faster to script (for a developer): They run faster, they break less often, and they provide a clearer picture on what is causing problems.
Although the reasoning behind the test pyramid is sound, we believe that the best way to learn about, and get started with, automated testing, is by automating UI testing first. The availability of several capable no-code tools for the recording of test scripts makes automated UI testing accessible for LOB and compliance personnel – and since just a few UI tests can cover a major codebase, a meaningful code coverage can be more easily established when starting from automated UI tests as opposed to unit tests. In short, automated UI testing can be used as a gateway to automated testing in general.
Advantages of automated UI testing from a learning-perspective
Watching automated UI tests being performed is very akin to watching test being performed over the shoulder of a manual tester – except the automated tests are much faster. This provides much better transparency on both the functionality being tested and on what goes on during test execution compared to lower level tests. Because UI tests emulate the user experience, passing a UI test directly translates to working software. Therefore, these kinds of tests more easily build confidence – and confidence is one of the most important keys to getting rid of automation fear.
Consider automation tools, approaches, and investments carefully
Depending on the nature of a project, an organization, and the maturity of software in development, some automation tools and approaches will provide a better fit than others. Furthermore, automation of testing requires an upfront investment before benefits can be realized – an investment that must ideally be carefully thought out before it is made. We recommend gaining first-hand experience with automation by automating only a limited set of tests to begin with. In this way, you will acquire valuable insight into best practices, as well as insights into how test automation can best provide value in your setting.
Awareness of automation is key
The most pressing concern related to test automation should be the very choice and awareness of automation itself. In a marketplace where efficiency and speed are primary in remaining competitive, it is of the utmost importance that executives, managers, and key employees are able to recognize automation-opportunities, discern between automation-solutions, and consider just how much automation is needed for project and product success. If this sounds difficult, don’t worry – we’re here to help.
Do you want to get started with automation immediately?