BUT FIRST OF ALL, WHY TEST AUTOMATION?
Most of us live life in a fast forward mode, and we want everything to happen right here and right now. And this is what best describes customer behaviours nowadays. Add the rising digitalization of products and services to this, and you will face a customer who expects immediate personalized services.
Add a pandemic to it, and your customer will be someone who wants to have uninterrupted communication and who relies on digital services and the connectivity provided by the telecommunications industry.
It’s been a challenging time for telecommunications professionals. People expect more and more from their digital providers in less time, which calls for a way to increase the level of testing while reducing the time to market. And this way is called test automation.
That’s a good solution, but if you do not use it properly, it might lose its value. So, how do you make sure that you implement the test automation solution effectively, with hands-on results, without losing time in the process? We have some best practices to help you with that.
MAINTAIN A MANUAL-AUTOMATED TESTING BALANCE
There’s no point in automating absolutely everything if you have no good reason for it. For example, if you only need to run a test once, you do not need an automated script for that. However, when it comes to tests that require repetitive actions, involve huge amounts of data or are prone to fail because of human error, go for that test automation tool. It will save you valuable time and resources, and improve test accuracy at the same time.
Take, for example, those regression tests that need to be carried out after the implementation of every new functionality. They are basically the definition of repetition, and a good test automation tool will allow you to perform complex and lengthy regression tests in a matter of time.
You cannot expect results in the absence of thorough planning. Or to put it differently, what outcomes could you possibly expect if you did not set them first? Test automation, like any other service, requires planning. What do you expect from a test automation tool? What are your current testing needs? What’s your budget? What’s the expertise of your engineers?
It’s high time you came up with that strategy, so you will know what you can do with a certain solution when you invest in it.
AFTER THE STRATEGY IS BUILT, CHOOSE A TEST AUTOMATION SOLUTION BASED ON IT
Now your strategy is decided, your roadmap is clear, so you only have to choose a test automation tool that goes hand in hand with it. Taking into consideration that it will impact your entire workflow and will change the way you test now, you cannot randomly choose the first one you find. We talked about the importance of choosing the right test automation tool here, so we’ll just wrap it up now:
- Make sure it supports the type of testing you need, and even beyond that, because you might want to change it in the future;
- Take into consideration the level of programming skills and experience required;
- See if it offers what you need in terms of reporting (you might need to understand test scenarios and get to the root of the issues rather than just getting reports on the existence of some bugs);
- Consider the reation between benefits and costs.
CHECK IF YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED YOUR TEST AUTOMATION OBJECTIVES
Have you ever planned a strategy, come up with a solution and totally forgot to track the results? If yes, this is a kind reminder to not do this when it comes to implementing a test automation solution. At the end of the day (or quarter or even year), you need to see if those previously set objectives have been met.
How much time did your engineers spend writing scripts? What’s the test coverage? What’s the return on investment? If you are satisfied with the answers to all these questions, you chose it right, good for you. If you are not, turn it into a learning opportunity and choose a new test automation tool that works for you.
However, from our experience, we recommend trying your best to choose it well the first time. Book that demo, talk to the professionals, see what’s behind the test automation tool, ask all the questions you might have, tell them about your current processes and your expectations, build on their expertise, starting from your testing needs.
PRIORITIZE YOUR EFFORTS
Failing tests can really, really get into an engineer’s nerves, we know that. You hate it (and so do we, that’s why we are in the test automation industry :D). So, you automate your tests. But some are faster and more effective, while others are simply not. Find the slow tests, see if they can be improved, remove unstable tests from regression packages and always make sure that your tests are up-to-date.
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF END-TO-END TESTING
Remember those hurried and picky customers we were talking about at the beginning of this article? You want to provide them with valuable user journeys, to find bugs in no time and to solve them quickly, to offer them the functionalities they are looking for before choosing another provider. That’s why you have to make end-to-end testing part of your automated testing process, which means that you should test a functionality as if you were the user further using it.
We know someone who can do that for you. Its name is TEO, it’s our testing engine orchestrator, and it uses real devices to perform end-to-end functional testing because it knows the importance of having test cases and results that reflect real subscriber scenarios and experiences. You might give it a try and see if it’s the right fit for your company.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, DO NOT GET EASILY FRUSTRATED
Maybe a test automation tool is not everything you need. It might not cover all the possible scenarios, and it might not be suitable for all types of data. But if you think about it, you do not use your ironing machine to wash your clothes, right? You use it to iron them, obviously. It’s the same with automation testing tools. Make sure you make the most of them for their purpose. Such as saving time, increasing the test coverage, running those repetitive regression tests, etc.
LET’S WRAP IT UP
In this digital and demanding business environment, there’s no doubt that automation is a good solution. However, you have to take a lot of aspects into consideration when trying to implement one that actually fits your business and you might want to give yourself time to do that.
There’s more to it than these best practices that we have been talking about here, so if you need some consultancy on the matter, we’d be happy to help. Just let us know, we’ll take it from there.