automate software testing

Automate Software Testing to Deliver Quality Complex Apps

Software and mobile apps are getting more complex every day. Users want more and more capabilities to complete their work quickly and enjoy their lives more fully. As software and mobile apps add features, they grow and require more time to fully test.  If you automate software testing properly, better software and happier customers will result.

Increasing the number of customers that want to use your software is fantastic! Even better, they are actively requesting more features – that means they intend to stick around rather than bail out and use another app.

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But, this growth in features comes with some distinct challenges – here are just a few related to your software and mobile app.

  1. Your software/app becomes more “crowded” with features, links and buttons – simplicity is usually a strong market driver and this complexity has to be managed carefully.  How will you increase features and still maintain a usable application?
  2. Your customers need support for a wider variety of operating systems, browsers, devices.  Again, this a great news but a big challenge to your development team as each operating system, browser and device has “little quirks” that are unique to it.  How will you know?
  3. Your software testing team becomes overloaded.  Not only because of the added features but also because of the number of operating systems, browser and devices that need to be tested.  How can all of the possible combinations be tested?
  4. Your developers begin “refactoring” the code to improve maintainability.  What? At some point in the life cycle of a software application, the developers will begin to recognize repeating patterns and behaviors within the app.  To make it easier and less time-consuming to maintain and improve in the future, the developers will begin replacing several unique code items with a single common function.  This is great and definitely improves both the software application and time to maintain, but it can also break things.  This “refactoring” happens all the time and is the leading cause of functions “breaking” when they worked previously.  Only detailed regression testing will find when this happens.  Automating software testing helps the regression testing go faster and at a lower cost.

Intelligently Automate Software Testing

What does this mean? Very simply, it means that you will need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your software testing team.  Here are some tips to help you improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your software testing team.

  1. Make sure your requirements and test cases are TIGHT!  Take a little extra time to make sure that you have accurate requirements with specific test cases.  This prevents much uncertainty when building and executing your software testing plan.
  2. Manually test the newest features.  New features are subject to change.  Older features tend to be more static.  Manually test new features until they stabilize enough to invest in test automation.
  3. Use Software Test Automation to handle the majority of your regression testing for older, more stable features.  A best practice is to treat your software test automation effort just like you would a software development effort.  You will reduce risk and improve your likelihood of achieving your goals if you take this approach. Tips on maintaining software automation testing suites.
  4. Hire a Software Test Automation expert to guide you through selecting the best software test automation tool set and strategy.  The learning curve for test automation is steep and expensive.  A proven, experienced expert can help you quickly select the best tools, strategy and plan to achieve your software quality and customer satisfaction goals.

 

Mistakes to Avoid when you Automate Software Testing

It’s easy to get in a mess when you automate software testing.  Here are some of the problems we’ve seen when we were asked to fix a “broken” software test automation system.

  1. Pick the Wrong Software Test Automation Tool – selecting the primary software test automation tool (or platform) is challenging.  You’ll need to compare your current technology stack AND future application/technical growth plans with the very long list currently available tools.  Hint – don’t automatically select the one your QA Team has used before – it might not be the best for your situation.
  2. Just Start Writing Scripts – Test Automation Scripts are the fuel that is fed to the test automation engine when you begin to automation software testing.  If you fail to use test cases and a test case management system, you run the risk of building an un-maintainable system to automate your software testing.

At TESTCo, we have been helping companies automate software testing since 2003.  Let us help you pick the best path to achieve your customer satisfaction and software development goals.

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