Automated Software Testing

Applying automated testing solutions

Automated Testing can provide a great Return on Investment (ROI). Here are some points to follow to help avoid falling into an automated testing mess.

  • Try to allocate a separate budget to the software automated testing solution. It should be considered its own project.

  • Don’t group Performance Testing Automation with Regression and Functional Automated Testing solutions. Even though both use automated test tools they require a very different skill set in application and should be budgeted separately. -A case in point being test environments. A  regression testing environment does not need to be scalable but a performance test environment does.  In some businesses this difference equates to millions of pounds.

  • Produce a measureable test strategy that clearly measures goals and scope of the automated testing activities.

  • Ensure that you conduct test tool comparisons to verify that you get the best product to meet your requirements; the cheapest is not always the best value for money, neither is the most expensive.

  • Ensure that you get a test tool demonstration against your system under test. Do not assume the demo conducted by a vendor against a system on their laptop will actually work on your system, it may well not.

  • Check the job market to verify the rates and availability for technical resource that specialise in a given test tool. It is quite often the case that an automated tool that is unknown and cheaper is more expensive due to a lack of qualified and experienced resources on the market.  This can result in a business being tied into a vendor’s expensive services solution.

  • Don’t take a tool vendors first price most of them expect a haggle.

  • If you are using a service provider to assist in automated test tool evaluations ensure that they are independent and can provide you with a neutral perspective during your evaluations.

  • Don’t start with outsourcing - start by implementing your own in-house solution.  Make it measureable, controllable and prove its ROI.  After you have made it work in-house you can then safely scale the process with outsourcers. Get them to follow your proven process this ensures that you are always in control. The last thing you want is to be tied to a company without the ability to move your service requirements to other companies easily and efficiently.

  • Don’t attempt to automate everything.  Automated testing should only be conducted against a sub set of functionality that will prove a ROI and focuses on real business cases.

  • Remember every automated test script produced will always require maintenance and re scripting. When a test script is completed it generally stays stable for a short period of time. Typically every test script needs to be verified between code releases. This is one of the biggest hidden costs of automated testing.When using an automated functional testing tool ensure that your applications objects are mapped (known something like GUImap or Object Map) this will help immeasurably to reduce recoding requirements and make maintenance easier and cheaper.

  • Automated testing is not a one-off development activity it is an ongoing processes.  You can save time and money with automated testing through faster test cycles. However you will have to typically pay more for the resource who specialise in a test tool and you will need them to continue their services in order to keep the automated testing process efficient.

  • In house resource can be trained in the use of automated testing tools, however, we would always recommend using experienced people involved in managing the technical process.

  • Get experts in test automation such Testing Performance Ltd to help you produce a measurable and effective test strategy and to build your automated testing framework.

  • Part of the strategy should be to ensure that you are never tied to a service company and can move between companies or in-house testing solutions.