Don’t Fail When You Upscale: 5 Best Practices for Scaling Up Your Test Automation

Don’t Fail When You Upscale: 5 Best Practices for Scaling Up Your Test Automation

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More and more markets are moving towards digital channels as their main means of engaging with customers.  A majority of companies in North America and Europe have embraced the agile philosophy;  close behind and coming up fast is the move towards DevOps practices, which allow teams to release higher quality software at a faster pace.  The importance of companies’ online presences is obvious and the advantages of a DevOps mindset are clear;  however, a recent Sogeti report shows that only 16% of testing is currently being automated.

What’s the holdup, you ask?  With all the obvious upsides to automating your testing regimes, why is its adoption rate lagging?  We’ve identified 5 potential reasons.  We’re also giving you solutions, along with an nice acronym to help you remember what you’re up against:  TUTOR.

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esting and automation dilemmas produced by tighter release schedules

In a recent research report done by Perfecto, we found that the #1 pain for DevOps and Continuous Testing teams is time-  or rather a lack of it.  Under this umbrella, there are a few key sub-problems:

  • Integrating new automated tests into existing test frameworks
  • Innovation and new features requiring more tests in less time
  • New devices and browsers adding yet more testing to squeeze into existing schedules

Are there solutions to these dilemmas?  Well, we have a checklist of best practices to make sure your DevOps strategy is firing on all cylinders.  First, make sure that quality is a top priority for all of your agile teams. Then, check out our new eBook “How to Scale (Up) Your Test Automation Practices..” –  it’ll walk you through a detailed strategy on how to tackle these obstacles and more.

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niversally-accepted best practices are nowhere to be found…yet

This one’s a biggie.  Flaky tests are an ongoing problem for automation engineers.  Properly identifying objects, understanding key performance indicators for test suites, and simple things like ensuring that platforms are in a proper state to facilitate stable operation-  these fundamentals need to be covered in order to get the best results in the least time.  If you want great results (that goes without saying, right?) you need to devote as much discipline to test automation as you do to coding.

We have some great strategies for making sure your DevOps pipeline is running as efficiently as possible.  Stay ahead of the curve; download our new eBook and let Perfecto help you out with the latest tips and tricks.

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esting the “right” things becomes increasingly difficult as testing scales up

Test suites are getting bigger and time constraints are ever-tighter.  Obsolete or duplicate tests, lack of parallel execution and inefficient data management within test frameworks can lead teams to waste time testing the wrong things. The test automation industry is working to introduce machine learning and artificial intelligence in order to help analyze, optimize, and increase productivity.  What can you do in the meantime?  Make sure you have the best analytics you can get and use them to maximize your test suite’s efficiency and optimization.

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pen source sometimes struggles to cover the edges

New technologies such as Face ID, image injection, and voice interaction are turning what were only recently edge cases into critical testing elements.  If you don’t have the proper tools to automate testing of these features, you’ll either be forced to do loads of manual testing or allow quality to suffer.  For mature agile organizations, the best way to ensure continuous quality is to employ a combination of open source and commercial solutions;  we love open source, but for enterprise-grade reporting, debugging, and test authoring capabilities, you really need commercial tools in your toolbox.

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ev up your test automation toolbox to fit your organizational structure

Organizations are made up of individuals, and all individuals have their own specific skills and strengths. When your tool stack isn’t tailored to individual team members’ skills, the overall product quality is impacted.  On top of that, with the new agile development mentality, QA is steadily being integrated into a more end-to-end DevOps process, which in turn requires more adjustments in terms of tools.  

In order to scale up your automated testing processes, you need to match your tool stack to your SDLC methodology;  make sure that your dev and test teams use tools that interoperate well.  Also, as mentioned previously, keep an eye on cutting-edge developments in AI/ML.  They are very likely to be finding their way into test frameworks very soon.

The bottom line

Achieving continuous quality in DevOps demands a careful balance between tools, people and processes.  All your teams need to share the same goal:  fast, high quality releases.  The way to guarantee success in scaling up your automated testing is to get the right tools for the job-  and for your people.  

For a detailed breakdown on the issues mentioned in this post, and for some great insights and simple solutions that we didn’t have time to explore here, grab a free copy of our latest publication, How to Scale (Up) Your Test Automation Practices.  Armed with the wisdom, methodologies, and best practices in this ebook, you can help your organization take its application quality to new heights.  And, as we all know, great apps mean happy customers!

Eran Kinsbruner is the Lead Technical Evangelist at Perfecto and Author of the Digital Quality Handbook and Continuous Testing for DevOps Professionals books. He is formerly the CTO for mobile testing and Texas Instruments project manager at Matrix, Eran has been in testing since 1999 with experience that includes managing teams at ADT, Sun Microsystems, General Electric, and NeuStar. You can find Eran on Facebook, Twitter @ek121268, LinkedIn, and on his professional mobile testing blog at https://continuoustesting.blog/.

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