A software project includes several phases that enable us to ensure its correct execution. To guarantee the quality and correction of the final product, we need to apply software testing.
As we have already seen in a previous article, there are two different types within software testing: manual testing and automated testing.
In this article we explain the features and the advantages as well as disadvantages of automated testing in a software project. To develop the content of this article, I have extended my personal experiences with those of various colleagues in our team at WATA Factory.
We will show the most important aspects that one should definitely consider in order to make the path to success as easy and fast as possible.
Features of automatic testing
Automatic testing is the approach based on the processes developed by test automation tools. One of its main objectives is to improve the testing process of a software projectas a complement to the improvement of manual testing.
With the current state, automated testing can never replace 100% of the benefits that manual testing brings us. Automation only improves the testing process by providing benefits such as parallel testing, automated reporting, elimination of repetitive tasks for manual testers or reuse of test scenarios. But currently, the software testing of a project cannot be fully covered by automated testing alone.
In this type of testing, the responsibility of the process lies entirely with the selected tool and the scripts that the tester has designed for the Application Under Test(AUT). Unlike manual tests, automatic tests cannot be applied in every area. Above all, automatic application still leaves a lot to be desired, especially in visual and UI tests. There are projects in which better tools based on AI are developed every day, but which still do not manage to achieve all the desired goals.
With this data, we can identify the main advantages and disadvantages of automatic testing:
In contrast to manual testing, automated testing allows us to parallelise many workflows. The planning of these workflows offers a multitude of possibilities to improve the quality of the product. With a higher level of detail, we could say that automated testing offers us the following:
- Speed: The execution time is shorter.
- Reliability: more permutations and paths can be covered in the AUT.
- Efficiency: more tests are performed in less time and AUT coverage is improved.
- The tests are automatically executed from the scripts.
- The tests can be reused in different scenarios.
On the other hand, the use of this testing technique brings with it a number of implications. Among these, the most prominent is the need to have a more technically trained testing team to design the scripts. And as we have already mentioned, the limitations we have to consider in different areas, such as user testing. If we analyse these disadvantages, we can get the following list:
- The testers must have technical knowledgeto be able to implement the test scripts.
- Cannot be applied to all possible types of testing. For example, the visual test.
- If the scripts are not designed correctly, false negatives can be produced that reduce the reliability of the reports.
- We cannot automate aspects such as the degree of usability or how intuitive the AUT is. For that we need the manual test.
- Recommended for consistent and long-term projects, due to the technical investment to be made.
The use of automated testing is becoming more and more common in the various areas of software, due to the many advantages it offers. Because despite the possible disadvantages we face, the result of a good application is always positive.
However, based on all these details we have analysed, it is necessary that two very important aspects are considered by the automated tester: the selection of a good test automation tool and the appropriate design of the test scripts. In future posts we will discuss how we can meet these challenges and how we can implement this kind of testing in our projects.