Last updated on - January 10th, 2018
When to automate testing activities? Most of the times people ask this question when they think about automation.
Here, we will discuss what is the right time in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to start automating your day to day testing activities.
There is no straight and clear statement when to start automating testing activities. There are different factors which play an important role. Let’s explore them one by one.
Automated Testing Myths
There are few myths in the world of automation testing that people believe. Later they end up realizing its too late to change the opinion because either they cannot automate application or it’s not feasible to automate.
Few automated testing myths
- We can automate testing activities of ANY application.
- Automated testing always results in GOOD software quality.
- We can automate COMPLETE application (100% automation).
- Automation testing can REPLACE manual testing.
- We can automate everything at ONCE.
Automated Testing Facts
Understanding automation testing myths and facts are important and help you to know the right situation for you to start automating testing.
We should not and can not take sudden decision for automating the test case. Below facts will help you to identify the reasons.
Automated testing facts w.r.t. myths
- We CANNOT automate every application or software.
- Automated testing DOES NOT always return good software quality.
- We CANNOT automate complete application.
- Automated testing CANNOT replace manual testing.
- We SHOULD NOT automate everything at once.
When to Automate Testing Activity
As you include testing early in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Likewise, you should also think from automation testing perspective early in the SDLC.
If not, later you may come across a situation where you cannot automate your application or it’s not feasible to automate.
Yes, sometimes it happens that you cannot automate your application because application interface (GUI) does not support automation due to several reasons.
Sometimes it’s not feasible to automate application because it is not going to return good return on investment (ROI).
However, you can comprehend the complete answer to the above question only after considering all the factors outlined below.
- Does testing team have time to invest in automation task?
- Are they aware of automation tools and its uses?
- Is organization having a budget for using popular automation tools?
- How often your team needs to perform regression testing?
- Are they getting enough time for other testing tasks?
Moreover, there are many more questions you should find answers, applicable to your project and team. We will talk about few of them here.
Is your application stable?
If your application’s modules & features are not stable and their test cases need to be updated often, then you should not automate those test cases because changing the automation scripts will be time-consuming.
You will not get automation benefits with this kind of automation in place because maintenance cost will be too high.
Do you test functionality with multiple sets of data?
Is there any functionality that you need to test for multiple sets of data? Let’s say for 100 or 1000 different sets of data. It is worth automating such functionality as long as it is stable and there will not be any major changes at least.
You will run the same automation script for multiple sets of data, supplied from an external source (Excel Sheet or Database etc). This is called data-driven automation testing framework.
How many test cases you want to automate?
You should have a good number of stable test cases which are automatable. It’s not good to invest in automated testing hardly for ten or fifteen test cases.
How often do you run a test suit?
Ideally, if you are planning to run your test cases multiple times in a test cycle then automated testing should be in place and should return good ROI.
On the contrary, if you are running your test cases once in a while, you can continue with manual testing. However, you can still implement automation testing considering above discussed factors as long as you get good ROI.
I hope this article helped you to identify the right time to start automated testing for your project. You can also check other articles.
Comment below and let us know what are the factors you consider before automating testing activities.
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For Further Reading :
- Why Automation Testing
- What Are The Popular Test Automation Tools
- What is Selenium
- What is Selenium WebDriver