Maintaining exquisite quality software takes effort, time and patience and who would know it more than the Quality Assurance managers who work tirelessly for the software to perform smoothly without bugs. Software testing is old, testing automation is not! A growing trend, Quality Assurance Testing Automation is being adopted by an increasing number of QA departments for the unit, component, integrations and GUI tests. Does Quality Assurance Testing Automation provide value? If yes, does it mean that manual testing has become redundant? Does it mean that the software industry can save millions of hours in future software testing? Let’s dig a little deeper and see if QA Automation is as good as it’s promised to be.
What Makes up Software Testing?
Robert Morris, a QA Director from the University of Pittsburgh says that Quality Assurance of a software revolves around three key aspects: time, cost and quality, and one has to ensure that a software is tested quickly, thoroughly and of course proficiently in order to get the best results. So how would Quality Assurance Testing Automation fare in these three aspects of software testing? For that, we have to see first how it is carried out.
How Is Quality Assurance Testing Automation Carried Out?
Humans are inherently capable of making mistakes. Consider a tester who is going through a similar kind of testing for the hundredth time. Is there a possibility that he might miss out something? Yes! If it’s not a major scenario, then maybe a step or two. How a testing framework works is that a QA Tester writes the minimal number of scripts to simplify the testing requirements. For example, there is a unit test that a QA guy spends most of his work hours on. It is a repetitive task, a mundane routine with predictable problems. Why not automate the task and let the machine do the job?
Automation: The Ways in Which It Helps Quality Assurance
Automation Saves Time
Above anything, a QA tester would like to reduce the time spent on testing, and here is exactly where automation steps in. It consumes much less time than manual testing. This is highly true for Regression testing. For the same Regression testing that a manual tester would take days, automation does it in minutes. Also, the same script can be run over and over again and parallel testing carried out.
Cost is another major element in which automation makes for a win-win situation. The money spent on automation tools is recovered soon in terms of the manual work hours that are saved. For a software company, the testing cost has an upward curve due to the growing number of applications and an increase in testing associated with it. Less QA resources are required as the automation makes up for all the manual testing work. Moreover, time is money! The time that is drastically reduced with automation is spent on important manual procedures which ultimately ensure more productivity.
Machines are more consistent than humans, though irreplaceable. Automation testing is a form of documentation as it carries out the activities just as it is supposed to over and over again without any possible deviation. Provided that the scripts are written without any gaps, automation testing speaks quality, consistency, efficiency, and reliability.
So Then Is QA Automation the Next Best Thing?
Before it is agreed upon, let’s revisit what testing is. Elisabeth Hendrickson, a QA expert, presents her reservations by saying that Quality Assurance Testing Automation is to check the functionality, but checking alone is not all that testing entails. For her, testing means checking the functionality in addition to exploring more ways to find bugs.
Automation does what we expect it to do, to find possible bugs you know of. It is not intelligent and cannot explore more ways to check possible flaws. Its thinking goes as far as you feed it. There is less room for creativity; automated tests are going to look for bugs in the system which you already know of. So all QA guys, don’t worry! There’s always going to be the need for your human touch in testing- at least for some time before automation becomes more intelligent than you!
How Great QA Automation Is REALLY?
Writing software is not easy nor is testing it flawlessly. So Automation is a really attractive choice for all Quality Assurance guys out there and companies making and distributing software. Not only does it save an ample amount of time but also cuts the budgets allocated for testing by resolving issues that may cheat a human eye. But let’s not get carried away, humans almost inevitably beat the computer in two ways – creativity and learning – and that still makes us very much relevant to software QA testing.
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