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Best Practices in Test Automation for Agile And Continuous Delivery

Best practices in test automation in an agile environment mean that frequent software releases to production must exhibit the best possible quality.It is essential to synchronize automated testing with the Agile development methodology to ensure that all necessary elements are considered before releasing software into production. Testing early and often is crucial for attaining high quality in frequent software releases. Furthermore, test automation becomes increasingly important during the continuous deployment phase, as it provides immediate feedback to the development team.

The automated tests should be reliable and implemented continuously to get instant feedback. You must ensure that most quality assurance is completed while new features are developed within the sprint. The new functionalities should not hamper the workflow of the existing features of the application.

The concern is that the Sprint duration is low, making it practically impossible to execute the entire test case when the application advances towards the end of the Sprint. An automated Test Suite is your answer here.

Prioritize and group Test Cases into Test Suites. An initial investment in planning and designing the test automation process would pay off in the long run.

Introducing automation testing into Agile and Continuous delivery has a risk of failure. This is because the test object changes with time as the object is improvised by the developers in every Sprint. Test automation that undergo constant changes would eventually require high maintenance.

So, an obvious question arises, “How do you create a sustainable automated testing architecture for Agile and Continuous Delivery?”

Even though test object changes continuously, working in Agile and Continuous Delivery without Test Automation to cope with changing requirements is impossible.

Refer Why Use Automation Testing Tools in Accelerated Development cycles

Best Practices in Test Automation

Here are some of the test automation best practices you should follow:

Keep Tests Small And Run Lean

Your continuous testing process should aim at providing value to the business. Instead of investing in producing artifacts that may not pass any value, create an aesthetically lean testing strategy. Short test cases will help you remove unnecessary test data, enable instant modifications as per regression requirements, and help slice down the maintenance of large test suites.

Create High-Quality Test Scripts

While writing test scripts, testers should ensure that the scripts are flexible to accommodate regression testing requirements. The scripts may be measured for accuracy, maintainability, portability, integrity, and performance. This will ensure a seamless execution of regression tests without much intervention from the testers.

Introduce DevOps When Possible

DevOps collaborates the development, testing, and operations role in a product life cycle. With DevOps, you can make the most out of collaboration and cross-functioning of the Dev and QA teams and yield a high-speed delivery process. Since DevOps is driven by shared development, integration, and accurate time testing, the Agile cycle becomes more efficient when backed with DevOps.

Work Closely With Business Analysts

Continuous testing would require you to test correctly from the very beginning. Make sure that the entire team has a clear picture of the product and business requirements before flagging off Development. This means that the QA team should work closely with Business Analysts best if they are a part of the Test Automation process. Ensure that every user story you create matches the acceptance criteria. Create an end-to-end test scenario based on the current trends and analytics in order to understand user activities and behavior.

Implement A Sound QA Practise

Build an Agile QA strategy which drives development. Perform regular QA workshops that enable testers to improve their technical skills.

Follow The Best Practices For Test Automation

Know when you should follow the manual testing approach. Automate regression tests, performance tests, and security tests where possible. You need to strike a proper balance between Automated Testing and Manual Testing.

Ideally, you should perform automated testing from a Continuous Integration server. Create fast processing smoke regression packs and run them whenever the application updates.

Automate The Deployments

Continuous testing works best when the deployments are automated incrementally. Instead of waiting for DevOps to deploy the product’s release and QA team to test after that, automate the entire cycle.

Automation should not be limited to merely testing and verification. If you find the process lagging due to repetitive manual procedures, introduce automation to eliminate manual effort and time.

Use the Best Automation Tool

Be prepared to invest your time and effort in evaluating Popular Automation Testing tools in the market. Selecting the right test automation tools is a crucial part of the continuous delivery process. Before you pin down your choice on a certain tool, make sure that it meets the basic requirements to meet your test automation program.

Here are a few features to begin with, regardless of your custom testing needs:

  • An OS friendly tool – The number of operating systems a tool supports, the better.
  • Intuitive – The tool should come with an easy-to-understand UI (videos, screenshots and logs for clear understanding for all user levels) and should provide relatively easy functionality.  
  • User-friendliness – This will help the QA team to instantly start with the test automation process.
  • Seamless Integration – Tool should provide collaboration with Bug tracking, CI/CD integration and collaboration.
  • The tool should provide instant and precise results to make informed decisions.
  • A Steep learning curve – Easier the tool, lesser is the need for team training.
  • Tool should be versatile enough to be used in various other projects.
  • Data Driven testing  – the tool should test multiple datasets and values and execute a single test script with different input values stored in Excel, CSV or XML formats.
  • Support Cross Browser/Cross Device testing in parallel and for all versions of web browsers.
  • Allow SMEs, QA Analysts, and stakeholders to provide their feedback and inputs
  • Adapt to changing elements of an application UI.
  • Finally, the tool should justify its pricing.

You may find a few other tips on How to select the right Automation Testing Tool?

Keep A Check On The Development Environment

QA team should keep an eye on the development environment. This may include virtual machines and cloud environments integrated with external databases and services. The idea behind this approach is that a bug may not always lie within the application. Sometimes, the concern could be the environment, network conditions, configuration, and backend database.

Keeping a check on the actual development environment will help you save time when detecting the cause of test failure.

Conclusion

Automating tests helps development teams ensure their code changes are tested and validated before they get released to the public. To get the most out of test automation, it is essential to use the right tools, create a good test suite, keep your code clean, and work together between dev and testing teams.

Testsigma is an awesome platform to help you with Agile and Continuous Delivery testing. It’s super easy to use, so you can still create and run tests even if you don’t know how to code. It makes test automation a breeze by giving you many cool features like easy test creation, integration with other tools, test management and analytics. Plus, it’s cloud-based, so it runs faster than ever! It has an AI-powered self-healing feature which helps reduce the time you have to spend on maintenance tasks so you can focus on other important stuff.

In short, Testsigma is perfect for Agile and Continuous Delivery teams who want to speed up their testing process while still delivering high quality products. Give it a try and see how it can help you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Best Test Automation Practices you Follow while doing UI Automation?

Identifying the test cases that can be automated when performing UI automation is essential. Creating a robust test automation framework and selecting an appropriate tool is vital. Furthermore, reliable and maintainable test scripts should be written and unique, stable locators should be employed. Synchronization techniques should also be implemented, as well as error handling mechanisms. To ensure the accuracy of the results, it is necessary to review and update the automation scripts regularly.

How many Test Automation is Not Limited to Test Execution?

Test automation isn’t just about running tests. It’s a process that involves planning, designing, developing, executing and reporting on tests. You can automate a variety of tests, like functional testing (testing how the system works), performance testing (how quickly it runs) regression testing (checking for bugs) and integration testing (making sure different parts of the system work together). You also need to set up and maintain the test environment, generate test data automatically and analyze the results. In short, test automation is more than just running tests – it’s an involved process with lots of steps!

Suggested Reading

Benefits of Automation Testing

Top Test Automation Challenges

ETL Test Automation

Top 20 Online Automation Testing Courses

Build Test Automation Framework 

Top Automation Tester Skills

Agile Automation Testing in SaFe

Elements of Test Automation

Top Test Automation Mistakes




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