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10 Test Automation Best Practices for Better Software Quality

10 Test Automation Best Practices for Better Software Quality

by Aishwarya Gaikwad

Automation has created its fair share of buzz for quite some time now. And its rapidly evolving nature is going to maintain it at the forefront. Automated testing, which requires QA teams to use software tools to run in-depth, recurrent, and data-comprehensive tests automatically, is the logical step to minimize manual testing. Test automation levels up the overall software development efficiency and paves way for making the most of always-limited testing resources by building sturdy & durable tools. 

This article is going to enlighten you on how you can reap all the benefits of automation and have a swifter release of high-quality software. 

Source: Pin It

The realistic approach to automation

Just like a rational test strategy, following some insightful tips is also profitable. These tips would help towards making your service robust enough to present an optimal experience in any real-life situation. You need this piece of technical knowledge to organize & balance resources and also manage time better so that the testers can direct all of their attention to the manual tasks. 

Settle on what to automate

Settle on what to automate

As automation is so full of possibilities, its utilization must be smart enough. If you start automating the whole testing procedure thinking it’ll get faster and better, you will rather end up making the situation worse. This tool dependent process results in many false negatives & false positives and that’s why in many areas manual testing is mandatory. Automation lessens the burden of manual testing, while manual testing is the base for automated testing.

As automation is so full of possibilities

Look out for these types of tests to automate:

  • Tests that run across multiple builds
  • Tests that are repetitive in nature
  • Tests needing to have multiple data sets. 
  • Tests that are vulnerable to man-made errors. 
  • Tests with emphasis on frequently used functions as these invite high-risk constraints. 
  • Tests that are either extensively lengthy or impossible to do manually. 
  • Tests that involve observation of the said software’s behavior on much-varying hardware, software, and OS platforms & configurations. 

Test cases with ever-changing conditions do not perform well with automated testing. Due to a lot of time getting wasted, automation turns out to be a terror rather than a boon in such cases. 

Devise planning that includes the set of tests to automate. As large tests become complicated and inconvenient to debug, dividing them into simpler, rational parts proves helpful. This way any newly added functionality gets tested right away rather than waiting for it to be fully implemented.  Tests can be grouped by functionality or test data. Another thing to do is the creation of a test tree wherein you run tests as per specific order. 

Naming the tests

It is crucial to name every test in a way that indicates its objective. 

Automation testing includes replication of registered testing scenarios when the same conditions arise again. The documented tests can be used even years later. Therefore they have to be properly labelled to be identified easily. Within an organization, the documented test data can be used by everyone. How can someone find the required test case if it is ambiguous? They may have to rewrite a test that was already available but couldn’t be found as it was nameless. 

Additionally, if a properly named test fails, one look at it can instantly tell exactly what functionality is broken. Therefore the advantages of naming a test are manifolds.

Run the tests wisely

Checking all of those components that are similar in nature against every chosen browser is unnecessary. Our chief goal is to confirm the application’s browser compatibility which can be checked even with a minimal test suite. When you have a program with a bunch of similar components, testing just one of the components one by one on all the browsers is enough. This way you get to know that the basic functionality of your program is compatible with all of the targeted browsers. The rest of the components can be inspected on only one browser for error detection. 

Bag the apt tool

Automation uses computers and codes for testing. It is exclusively machine-based. Henceforth, tool selection deserves the utmost care. 

Let us have a look at the approach to choosing the appropriate tool(s):

    • The software: Your testing tool has to be identical to the platform your designed service is going to interact with. Be it for Windows or Linux, Android or iOS or desktop-based, pick out the best possible tool accordingly. 
  • Skillset of the testers: The tool must agree with the testers’ forte. After all, they are the ones who would use the tools. Always keep in mind your QA team’s experience of handling tasks so that when you provide them with the tool, they can make the best use of it. 
  • Flexibility: Your tool must have room for regular updates and any unforeseen new feature that will be added to the application under test. An adaptable tool will let you test every desktop, web, and mobile application with ease. Try to carry out checkpoints that verify values, databases, or key functionality in your applications.
  • The source of the tool: When your budget doesn’t allow a commercial in-house lab of tools, your best choice would be an open-source one. You can find a range of incredible tools online that would do a fantastic job without burning a hole in your pocket. Take a free trial and decide for yourself by considering your needs and the merchant’s reputation. 
  • Versatility: Look out for a tool that is equally good for automation as well as manual testing. 
  • Sorting the outcome: All test results must be logged in for easy access. This makes the whole test process orderly from top to bottom. Your nominated tool must be equipped with suitable instrumentation for proper documentation of all test results. 
  • Provision of the collab: Testers and developers must be allowed to hold discussions about their part of the job. That’s how they are going to brainstorm about everything they came across during the product’s development. An automated testing application that supports synchronized working with project files, script sharing within projects and merges source code control and the issue-tracking system is warmly welcomed. 

Taking into account all the above, LambdaTest may prove to be a wise choice. It presents the option of online interactive testing where you can test portable fragments of code to get quick feedback. With access to over 2000 different browsers and OS, its offers some cool features like screenshot testing, real-time testing and visual testing. And its Selenium Grid is the holy-grail for automation. You can also have a complete manual testing session for double-checking before the final launch.

Sign up for free today and experience excellent cloud support for your project, great customer service and the lifetime facility of one 60-minute free testing session every month, on this buzzworthy economic tool.  

A portable framework

A testing framework becomes totally perfect when it has the ability to be run by anyone, on any operating system. It is a very bad practice if it struggles to run any machine, other than the one which was used to create it. The framework’s value significantly decreases if it fails to be usable by all machines, thus creating setup troubles for existing and new members of the team. Hence, always aim for your framework to be portable. 

The green tests run policy

What are the green tests? When the code tested turns out to be fault free and a “no error” outcome is generated, that test is called a green test. 

Many times there are some probable errors in the program that the developers are aware of already. For an effective testing process, it is better to give a separate run to the ‘expected to fail’ tests and neglect them during the main execution. This way you don’t have to waste your time on those obvious errors repeatedly. This is the green test policy. After this when the results of the tests show up to be red, it is guaranteed to be an unexpected error. 

Testing in advance & in abundance

Testing mini segments of workable code from the start prevents major red tests later. When the testing starts in the early development stage, the bugs get caught & resolved as soon as they appear. Whereas a delay in beginning the test procedure leads to the faults getting heaped up resulting in the extension of the test process. Naturally, this will waste a lot of time & money for fixing bugs in a belated development stage. So it is advisable to test from the very start on real devices while keeping a user’s eye. 

Real devices are mandatory for testing as they accurately display the software’s performance in real-life situations. Run the program just the way you would use someone else’s product. That’s how you can understand what any visitor can expect from your service. 

Your tests must be independent of the UI

The user interface can get altered based on build switching, especially in the primary stages. If your tests rely upon the user interface, any shift in it will affect the test results, and maybe your automated tests won’t even work with future versions of the application. That’s why formulate your automation suite such that it can debug your release even without any UI. Replacing high-level tests (e.g. UI) with low-level tests (e.g. APIs) makes them faster & more stable and also the process becomes cost-effective. 

Ensure validity

The ultimate goal of automation is to deliver all tests’ ranking as errorless. But sometimes there are many false positives hidden amidst the array of successful tests. So in reality your product isn’t exactly fault free. To get rid of this type of uncertainty, eliminate unstable tests in regression packs and update your tests regularly. 

Adopt the data-driven approach

Data-driven tests are a better choice when testing varying data sets on the same workflow. Data-driven tests are built with room for data changes. Numerous combinations of data can be used on a single workflow without needing to make changes to all tests. 

Source: TestingWhiz

In the above-said requirements, a tool is one of the most important parts of automation testing. Why reinvent the wheel when you have it already? Tools provide a single solution to perform automation tests with ease. LambdaTest provides a series of automation tools with a lot of integrations such as JIRA, Slack, GitHub to use these tools without navigating to them. Test on LambdaTest’s automation grid without building your own infrastructure with ease. This whole article guides you in reforming your automation schedule. Few nonchalant modifications will hugely uplift your testing exhibit and glorify you, your product, and your business plan among your audience. Learn these tactics as per your organization’s unique needs and automate like a genius. 

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