Most software development organizations now follow agile scrum methodology. In most cases, they divide their work in sprints – a repeatable fixed time-box during which all tasks for a deliverable are planned and executed. After each sprint, the target is to complete as many planned tasks as possible and come up with a deliverable.
A user story is the smallest unit of work in an agile framework. A user story is further divided into tasks to be taken up in a sprint. A recommended approach for considering a user story complete is when the corresponding feature that was being developed, is tested and automated too.
When all of these activities for a story are planned for a sprint, the test automation comes to be known as ‘insprint test automation’.
As is obvious, the basic need for successful implementation of in-sprint test automation is speed. So, you also need to look for an appropriate tool that will help you achieve it.
Ability to create test cases quickly: When test automation is implemented, the activity where a majority of the time is spent in test case creation or automation of test cases. Hence, the most crucial feature to look for is – how your tool enables you in speedy test case creation.
The best way to ascertain this is to give a tool a try and automate a few end-to-end test cases or the type of test cases that you need to automate. This will help you to ascertain the usability of the tool and its compatibility with your team members.
If you have a team that is trained in some tool already, then you might want to choose that same tool. In case, you are building a team from scratch and you want a tool that does not require much training, then you should go for a tool that lets you and your team create test cases easily.
Support for speedy test execution: There is no point in having a good number of automated test cases that take a lot of time to execute. If infrastructure is a bottleneck then your focus should be on executing high-priority test cases first and then the other ones later.
But if the infrastructure is not an issue then you should use a tool (for insprint test automation) that can offer you speedy test execution as a feature. A couple of features that can help you there are – schedule test runs, parallel test execution, and good infrastructure (that is where cloud-based tools help),
Support for shift test: Shift left means that you are able to start automation of test cases even before development is completed. For insprint test automation, this is a blessing because it means testers can automate the test cases while developers work on development. It helps meet the goals of insprint test automation better.
Support for quick reviews: Quality is not just the responsibility of a tester. But, it is the responsibility of the whole team. So, it makes sense to get all the automated test cases reviewed by the team or stakeholders.
This ensures that the automated test cases cover all important requirements and are created to satisfy all testing needs. When more perspectives are involved, it also means more thorough testing.
Thus, having a tool that allows other team members (even non-technical ones if possible) to review the test cases and provide them input will prove beneficial.
Easy and swift test case maintenance: The need for maintenance of already automated test cases comes up when features/functionalities in your application change. And that is why the second-most time-taking activity during test automation is test maintenance.
Thus, to meet the requirement of insprint test automation, it is essential to choose a tool that comes with features that make test maintenance easy.
Some features that you should be looking for easy maintenance are:
1. Self-heal: Certain tools come with features to automatically heal your test cases in case of minor changes in your application, like in XPath of elements. This feature certainly can help you to save a great amount of time.
2. Easy readability: Of course, the test cases will be easy to maintain for anyone if they are easy to read too. Here, it’s important to follow certain standard practices for test case creation to enhance readability. Focusing on this feature, certain tools are available that let you automate test cases in simple English for example, our own tool Testsigma. When test cases are written in simple English they give your test case readability a real boost.
3. Easy to understand for new team members: If you choose a tool that also has a big learning curve, then it might not be easy to understand for new team members. In such cases, you can choose to hire people who are already trained in the tools you use or you can choose to use a tool that has a low learning curve.
4. Easily editable: This is more to do with the UI, when you are working on a test case for maintenance, the major work is done during editing it. So, the IDE in use for test case creation should be easy to use and navigate for editing.
5. Easy and Quick to debug: Easy maintenance is only possible if the test cases are easy to debug. Some IDEs support step-by-step debugging while some others let you take screenshots/video recordings of the failures. If your application is majorly UI-based then having a video recording available for failures would be a good feature to have.
Good Support team or a good, supportive, responsive community: Having dealt with test creation and maintenance, the next feature your tool needs is a good support team or a good, supportive, responsive community. Think about it, what if you are in the process of automating a test case, all set to meet your sprint deadlines and suddenly you see your test case failing without any understandable reason.
You go to the support of your tool or its community and ask a question. But then you don’t get an immediate response. You wait till the end of the sprint but you don’t get a solution and the sprint ends without marking the story complete.
That means you were not able to meet your insprint test automation targets too. Thus, a good support team can be the deciding factor for the success of your insprint test automation. Of course, after you have taken care of the aspects of test case creation and maintenance on time.
Easy integration with different tools that you already use: Software development teams can end up using a variety of tools to achieve success in the highly competitive markets today. It also means that there could be multiple tools being used for multiple tasks that are performed during the SDLC.
Insprint test automation is usually implemented by teams that would have already implemented CI/CD and bug reporting tools. Thus, the support of integrating your tool into all these tools can make a big difference in the ease of achieving the results of insprint test automation.
Thus, when you go about choosing a tool to implement insprint test automation, do check out the tools that can be easily integrated with it.
Easy and Quick to Track: Sometimes while you are making changes, some bad commits go into your test automation code too.So, a tool that comes with a feature for tracking these changes would also make it easy to rectify any errors on time and would help achieve insprint test automation better.
Another important feature for good tracking is good reporting, so you need a tool that will provide you with useful reports on time.
Support for future enhancements: The world of technology is fast-paced, and new technologies and techniques are introduced frequently.If by any chance, you decide to update any of the technology stacks you use for development, you should be sure that your test automation tool of choice would support it. An obvious need to be ready for the future isn’t it?
Easy and Quick to set up: This might not be directly related to insprint test automation, but quick setup does let you save time and Start other activities sooner. This is one aspect that you can look at while choosing a tool for test automation.
In-sprint test automation with Testsigma
Testsigma, a cloud-based test automation platform for web and mobile apps is specifically designed to help you achieve insprint test automation with ease.
Some Testsigma features that help you are:
1. Test case creation is done in simple English
2. Parallel test execution that can be scheduled. Supports integration with multiple cloud device labs with thousands of real devices and browsers for exhaustive cross-browser testing.
3. Cloud that can be scaled up and down according to your testing needs.
4. Supports Shift left
5. Features for easy maintenance like self-heal and reporting affected resources before they make your test cases fail.
6. Support review and collaboration with the complete team
7. Very Easy to Learn
8. Supports integration with most of CI/CD and bug reporting tools
9. Highly customizable reporting
10. 24×7 support team
11. Platform agnostic – lets you automate for web, iOS, and Android from the same place.
12. Cloud-based, hence you need to just signup and start automating.
Very affordable. You can check the pricing here: https://testsigma.com/pricing
Give your agile automation a boost, implement insprint test automation with Testsigma