Every professional software development company tests its products before handing them to the client, in order to ensure a higher level of quality, and increase customer satisfaction. Quality assurance engineers work hard to find anything that the developers might have overlooked. As such, we make sure the client receives exactly what they requested, specified and paid for. The quality assurance engineer (QAE) has to carefully go through the front-end and the back-end of the application, simulate user behaviour and verify if everything works according to what the client expects and needs. It’s a continuous process that requires a lot of thorough, repetitive and meticulous work.
Luckily, there’s an alternative to that – automated testing, a process that involves using tools to playback predefined actions that mimic user behaviour, and report differences between the test output and the expected output to a QA engineer. As you can probably realise, there are numerous advantages that come with implementing automated tests with your project. Let’s take some of the most important ones:
- Automated testing saves time and money. This is quite obvious, since instead of doing manual testing every time the source code is modified, and thus consuming precious resources, you can just run the automated tests over and over again at no additional cost. Automated tests never get tired, take 10% of the time needed by a human to complete, can be run in parallel with other tests, and cover a wider range of test cases.
- Automated testing improves product quality and, thus, customer satisfaction. Because automated tests can provide a much larger test coverage, as mentioned above, the risk of missing a bug is dramatically lowered.
- Everybody makes mistakes, and that’s a fact. People are prone to errors, but automatic tests perform the exact same operations on each iteration, therefore reducing testing errors to zero.
Since automatic tests seem awesome, you may ask, rightfully so, why doesn’t everybody use them. Well, aside from the advantages, automatic tests require an investment of both time and money. Depending on the tool used, some programming skills may be needed. The QA engineer would have to start learning using that tool, developing test cases, learn programming at some degree, and all that while still performing manual testing at the same quality as before. It’s not easy. Automatic tests require maintenance effort, as well, as tests will have to evolve along with the project, and new content sometimes require modifications in the testing code. Therefore, you can safely assume that introducing automatic tests into your project will not be a walk in the park.
However, you should regard this not as an expense, but clearly as an investment, which, if properly implemented and used, will help you deliver products faster, with less overhead and at higher quality. And what is a software development company, if not the products it builds?
We are, if you haven’t guessed already, fans of automated testing and we like to share knowledge. If you want to know more about it, you can read our articles on Codeception starting here or subscribe to our newsletter to receive information anytime we find something interesting and useful.