11 Jul 2018
04 Sep 2017
At the face of it, automation of acceptance testing is a compelling idea but watch out for the caution-areas lying on some fringes
Automated tests have defined new frontiers of speed and velocity while bringing quality-related relief for software requirements. They are especially useful when the pace of development needs these aspects:
– Super-fast cycles
– The GTM (Go-to-Market) window can be suitably reduced
– Continuous delivery is relevant
– Automation can eke out shrinkage of feedback loops
– Impact of comprehensive-requirement-validation is high
Software release cycles assume a different momentum altogether when automated tests come into play. The ‘Acceptance’ component is a crucial one in testing so automating that transpires into a new level of speed and traction for quick apps that an organization wants to dish out in today’s dynamic business environments. That comes in very handy when an enterprise is keen and hungry enough to quickly deliver a good idea to its users. More so, as testing has ceased to be a time-guzzler in Agile SDLC and DevOps environments. Automation enables simultaneous development, integration, testing and deployment of code.
But such gains are not directly amenable here as some pitfalls have to be taken into account before it’s too late:
1. Precision of test goals and test target can never be footnotes for any test, and that applies all the more for automated tests.
2. Reasonable roles of positive and negative testing would again have to be reckoned properly.
3. Designing sharp and accurate scenarios, with a good hold on the features intended for a production context, helps to accomplish important test areas well. That will also aid profusely in avoiding unnecessary test-breakdowns.
4. The potential of dependencies and maintenance-burden is higher for this zone and hence, this adds an extra element of complexity.
5. For systems which are complex and complicated, this kind of testing may not be an instant fit. The level of consumption of time and expenses should be factored in adequately, especially when the size of automated tests goes up.
6. Run-time acceleration and integration are other areas to consider and adopt. It brings a new clarity altogether when one makes decisions based on risk and impact degrees of a software or a module.
7. Automation works well when the product is not entirely new, when knowledge about possible bugs is playing out, and when test configuration and planning aligns with testing constraints and goals.
8. The test should be devised and deployed keeping into mind the scope of regression testing in a manual mode as well.
9. Then, there are always special problems or questions that come in when the scenario is an Agile one – like scope clarity, iterative nature, frequency of automation required, documentation scarcity, use of right tools, collaboration, an eye on possible chaos and lack of control.
The capacity of testing environments available is quite crucial in determining the success of these tests, so too many of these tests where the environment is not sufficient or not provisioned smartly, would be a no-go zone. Do ensure that test-results analysis catches up in time with the pace of the rapid continuous test. No matter how much an automated test serves your thrill, intention and time-crunch; make sure that real and rigorous testing is not sidelined in this choice. And that these brilliant time-saving tests are not brittle when they run.