Exploring the Unseen Aspects of Test Automation in Agile

October 09, 2023

Greetings, Astute Readers!

In our journey to uncover the hidden facets of Test Automation within the realm of Agile, we dive deep into the roots of this dynamic field. The Agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is the fusion of iterative and incremental process models. It breaks down products into small, incremental builds, seamlessly integrating them into iterations.

Agile, known for embracing change, views Test Automation as a powerful tool for effectively managing change. It integrates testing seamlessly, allowing continuous and systematic scrutiny of evolving products.

Now, let’s debunk some common myths. The idea that every manual test can be automated is a fallacy. Test Automation is more than just executing tests; it extends beyond, involving various aspects. It doesn’t necessarily lead to downsizing the QA team, and one script certainly doesn’t fit all build versions. Automation costs may not always surpass manual testing expenses, and it’s crucial to remember that automation, while valuable, isn’t a universal remedy.

Delving deeper, Test Automation encompasses much more than test execution. It involves an array of tasks, from setting up the test environment to simulating component behaviors, handling failures, generating builds, monitoring production logs, environment cleanup, result comparison, and seamless integration with ALM tools.

Is Test Automation the essence of Quality Assurance? Quality is about ‘value’ to the stakeholders. Test Automation helps retrieve data and spot regression issues but isn’t the sole essence of QA.

Furthermore, Test Automation isn’t just a collection of scripts. Automation engineers perform numerous activities, often overlooked, such as modeling applications, generating test data, developing reusable frameworks, contributing to CI/CD/CT efforts, documenting processes, creating readme documents, logging actions, designing tests, formulating strategies, building accelerator tools, and conducting code reviews.

Does Test Automation render manual testing obsolete? Automated tests excel in repetitive tasks, freeing testers to explore applications using diverse testing approaches. Manual testing adds a human touch, emphasizing user empathy and evaluating applications from a customer’s perspective.

Can all automation fit into one test suite? It’s wise to build a flexible automation framework and categorize test executions into distinct groups, allowing for periodic runs, like Smoke and Regression suites.

Is 100% test coverage attainable with automation? Not every scenario warrants automation due to factors like complexity, flakiness, system dependencies, and more. Striving for 100% exhaustive testing is nearly impossible. We must consider the problems we aim to solve, weigh automation’s cost versus its value, and establish clear goals for measuring progress.

In the grand scheme of things, manual and automated testing have distinct roles. Automated Testing excels in performance, load testing, and repetitive cases, while Manual Testing thrives in usability, exploration, and ad-hoc testing. Automation tools and frameworks have evolved significantly, offering enhanced capabilities.

By Saranya Rajagopalan, Senior QA.

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