QA Automation: How it Works, Benefits and Challenges

Gigster
|
December 12, 2022

With time and budget constraints challenging software development projects, bugs and poor software quality are an unfortunate reality. Companies are left choosing between devoting valuable resources to quality assurance or spending even more money and resources when the application breaks or performs poorly.

The better option is to employ QA automation to reduce the amount of manual testing while ensuring your software reaches the highest quality. 

This article discusses the importance of delivering uncompromised quality through complete quality assurance automation so your organization can gain a competitive advantage from reliable and efficient technology.

What is QA automation?

Quality assurance (QA) automation is a software testing technique that relies on automated tools and frameworks for testing software. The processes differ from manual software testing methods, making the tests faster, more accurate, and more reliable. QA automation increases a test’s coverage and eliminates any chance of human-prone errors. Also known as automation testing, the process involves using specific tools, scripts, and software to perform test cases through repeated predefined actions. The main aim of QA automation is to replace manual testing with devices or systems that enhance proficiency. 

Why is QA Automation Important?

Manual software testing involves humans sitting in front of computer screens meticulously scrutinizing application screens, trialing different input and usage combinations while matching results with projected behavior, and recording observations. These nerve-racking processes must be repeated during the development cycle to incorporate multiple operational environments or hardware configurations.

Repetitive, time-consuming tasks that become boring are prime frontrunners for testing automation since they’re easy candidates for mistakes. Investing in QA automation processes ensures you no longer have to export your data, crunch the numbers or make complex graphs. Rather than manually typing data into forms, the best strategy is to apply automation for any tests using multiple data sets.

Automated quality assurance tools can play back pre-defined recorded actions, compare results with expected behavior and deliver success or failure factors to engineers. Once initiated, automated tests are easily programmed to be repeated and can be extended to include tasks that would otherwise be impossible with human testers. Some tangible benefits of QA automation include the following:   

Saves Time and Money 

Testing software every time a source code is modified on all supported operating systems and hardware configurations can be expensive and time-consuming. Implementing QA automation ensures quick tests at no additional costs besides reducing the time spent on a run. 

Increases Test Coverage

Testing automation increases the scope and depth of testing hence improving software quality. The testing tool automatically looks inside the app and inspects files, data tables, internal programs, and memory content to determine if they behave according to expectations. 

Automated QA testing can run on multiple computers working on different configurations and executes thousands of complex test cases simultaneously, thereby offering a level of coverage that’s impossible with manual tests.

Improves Accuracy

Even the most meticulous human tester could miss out on a thing or two during manual testing. Automated QA testing exacts precision every time tests are conducted and records the minutest details when delivering results. Testers freed from doing monotonous manual tests can now concentrate on creating more automated tests dealing with other complex features. 

Supersedes Manual Testing Capabilities

Most companies’ QA departments are generally overwhelmed by the sheer number of web application tests involving thousands of users. Test automation instantaneously consolidates hundreds or thousands of virtual users using an organization’s network, software, or web applications. 

Aids Developers

Developers can use shared automated test results to arrest problems quickly before they reach the Quality Assurance desk. It will save developers time, besides increasing their confidence. Tests can run automatically every time source code changes are implemented, and the developers are informed as soon as a failure is identified.

Boosts Developer and QA Teams Morale

Teams that execute repetitive tasks using automated software testing tools have more time to spend on more rewarding or challenging tasks. The result is improved confidence and skill sets, bringing positive gains to their organizations.   

Why Most People Overlook QA Automation 

Test automation has become an effective tool for QA teams to optimize their testing processes. When done using the right tools, it fast-tracks software testing cycles, improves QA teams’ efficiency, and increases product quality. Nonetheless, with all its benefits, the classical automation approach has some downsides that act as barriers for many organizations:  

Lack of Engineering Resources

Unfortunately, most organizations don’t have access to the engineering talent needed to build, train, and optimize QA models and sourcing this talent can be difficult in the current shortage. Engineering resources companies do have are most likely already devoted to more urgent tasks or, worse, are bogged down by manual QA testing.

QA Automation Can Be Expensive

Running an effective automated test regime can involve ongoing engineering resources, maintenance, and some resource allocation to make it effective. The technical expertise required to keep the test environment running can be expensive since the experts are highly sought-after and mainly demand high salaries. 

Hidden Costs and Delayed Release Timelines

Triaging failed tests may also cause delays, especially when a bug is identified. This is especially true when a failure is specified during a launch release. Some users need to be more aware of the cost associated with the delayed release of new software since most QA tools essentially create an additional database that the internal team must wait for.

A Balanced Test Automation Strategy

While there are challenges to adopting QA automation, the key to moving forward lies in creating a balanced test automation strategy that uses the best tools to process and complement your existing testing regime. Gigster found that switching from a more traditional automation approach to something more intelligent could reduce the resources and costs associated with QA models and make them accessible to more organizations.

A robust test automation strategy that guarantees a return on investment will mostly depend on the technology you select from the raft of different QA automation tools in the market. Gigster offers QA automation services using AI-driven automated testing software that uses plain English to decrease the time it takes to develop and run tests. This approach also results in more stable tests which cut down on failures which could cause delays. Since we rely on codeless test automation, maintenance and optimization are also simplified.

In addition to using the right tools, refining processes for developing and testing QA models is key to reducing costs and development time. Working with experiences engineers that understand the best design patterns for different test automation frameworks can significantly cut down the time it takes to achieve an accurate model.New advancements in QA automation allow companies to reduce QA overhead and refocus their engineering resources. Gigster’s QA automation services can help you automate this critical but time-consuming task and allow your team to get back to tasks that will truly grow your business.

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