What is Test Automation ?

Continuous testing is core to the software development lifecycle, with test automation fundamental to its delivery. Yet the 2017 World Quality Report (WQR) shows that only a mere 16% of test activities are automated by organizations. Over a third of global respondents to the WQR stated the biggest technical challenge faced in application development is 'reliance on manual testing'. So what exactly is Test Automation, why is it valuable and how does it compare to Manual Testing?

What is Test Automation? 


Test automation is the process of using specialist software to automate suitable test cases. It increases the effectiveness, efficiency and coverage of your software testing and is particularly beneficial when used repeatedly in regression testing.  

What is the Value Add of Test Automation? 


Test automation adds value to your organisation by increasing the effectiveness of your testing, improving efficiency and increasing the coverage of your software testing. Test automation can be scheduled to run remotely or overnight therefore reduced costs are an added benefit.

Manual Testing Vs. Test Automation


Manual Testing 

Manual testing is time-consuming, taking up human resources as they execute and record test steps and results.

Issues with Manual Testing 

  • Time & Cost due to it tedious and laborious nature 
  • Manual testing is not accurate at all times due to human error

However there is still a need for manual testing and for some test cases it is imperative. These Include;  

  • Newly designed test cases that have not been manually tested 
  • Test Cases that have a requirement for frequent changes 
  • Exploratory Testing which requires the tester's experience, intuition and analytical skills.
  • Usability testing which allows the tester to to understand how real users will experience your website or application 
  • If a test case is executed on an Ad-Hoc basis 

Test Automation 

Test automation is the process of using a computer program to execute system or user transactions against an IT system. Automation software can execute specfiic tests in the system under test, compare actual and expected results and generate detailed test reports.

Benefits of Test Automation 

  • Does not require human intervention - automated tests can be run unattended or overnight 
  • Increases speed of test execution and test coverage 

There is still a need for manual testing however the purpose of automated testing is to reduce the number of test cases to be run manually. 

As with manual testing, there are some test cases that should specifically be automated. These include; 

  • Test cases that are executed repeatedly 
  • Tedious or difficult to execute
  • Test cases which are time-consuming 
  • High risk cases - Business critical test cases 

Process for Automation Testing 

  1. Test tool selection
  2. Define scope of automation 
  3. Planning, design and development 
  4. Test execution 
  5. Maintenance - to improve the effectiveness of automation script

For more information about our Test Automation service offerings please click here. 

Contact Will Murray, Head of Quality Assurance and Testing,to learn more about how Sogeti Ireland can assist with all your testing needs.

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