The importance of test automation
Test automation is the use of software to control the execution of software testing through the application of strategies and tools, comparing the expected results with the actual results. Its objectives are to reduce human involvement in manual, time-consuming and final cost activities.
When to Automate?
- The importance of test automation is directly related to the quality of the final product. So, when thinking about automating, you have to study its feasibility: with automation can we achieve time gain? Can we reduce costs and maintain quality?
If the answer is yes, other factors need to be analyzed: the maturity of the test process team; the degree of reuse of automated tests; knowledge about the behaviour that is expected of the system to be tested; and the time available for automation.
It should also be considered how frequent the changes in functionality are to be verified – it may not be feasible to automate a test of a feature that may change tomorrow; and whether it is possible to ensure that the same quality of manual execution of the test will be maintained an automation execution.
Automation reduces the likelihood of errors in test tasks, frees up time for the rest of the test work to be performed in the best way and provides a safety net to the system – for example, when a code change is made, automated tests allow identify if something was broken. In addition, it is also a great way to document the development process.
Thus, test automation is a medium- and long-term investment and effort, the fruits of which are collected over time. When used correctly, it can bring several benefits to an organization.
However, it is important to consider the cases where automation can be used. You need to analyze each project to define which ones are really worth being automated and consider that even when you choose to use a test automation tool, you still need to use manual tests for various functionalities.