Test Automation in Agile Environment

by Ivanna Kyryk | April 10, 2018 7:05 am

According to Agile methodology, all processes should be fast and iterative, and test automation solves this problem. The implementation of continuous integration ensures quick turnarounds. The execution of test automation suite enables to check the product quality at any given time. This is a very convenient approach as Agile requires build deployments on a regular basis.

Proper test automation helps to prevent an inadequate test coverage. Automated regression tests verify whether the existing functionality[1] operates according to the requirements. Besides, they detect an accidentally broken code. The more complex system is, the more code lines it will have. This may cause performance[2] bottlenecks that usually remain unchecked. Load testing will help to detect issues and track performance capacities over further iterations. Using tools for load verification, test engineers will be able to identify weak areas quickly.

Despite all advantages provided in Agile development, test automation has several weaknesses. A test engineer should have a special set of practical skills. He / she should be flexible and have a large experience in working with automation software. Besides, the test engineer should have good functional knowledge. To find the specialists with required skills is rather challenging.
Test automation of Agile project needs a thorough planning and may take a lot of time. Preparatory activities include the selection of a proper automation tool, suitable test approach, and the test cases to be automated. A test engineer should analyze the capacities of automation tool and check whether it supports end-to-end testing and integration with third-party tools, e.g., bug trackers, test management tools. Investing more time at the stage of tool selection, test engineers will spend less time on scripts design and execution.

In case of test automation of functional scripts, the process is more challenging as the majority of tools depends on the product UI (user interface), e.g., object identification. In comparison to other software development methodologies, UI is not available before the automation start in Agile environment.

The maintenance of prepared automated scripts requires a lot of time because of a scope creep of Agile projects. To avoid the development of new automation suite for every new iteration, test automation should be well-planned at its initial stage with the scope creep considered. Also, in order to save time, test engineers may prepare a poorly designed test plan. This will cause the scripts failure and require extra time on resolving mistakes. Nevertheless, test automation[3] cannot ensure the detection of all software bugs. It cannot replace exploratory testing that testers perform only manually. To achieve high productivity, the combination of different software testing types should be conducted.

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Endnotes:
  1. functionality: http://qatestlab.com/services/manual-testing/functional-testing/
  2. performance: http://qatestlab.com/services/test-automation/performance-testing/
  3. test automation: http://qatestlab.com/services/test-automation/
  4. Agile Testing: Crossing the T’s: http://blog.qatestlab.com/2017/10/13/agile-projects-testing/
  5. Books Every Agile Tester Should Read: http://blog.qatestlab.com/2017/03/31/agile-testing-books/
  6. Books for Learning Test Automation: http://blog.qatestlab.com/2017/03/16/test-automation-books/
  7. How Does Agile Environment Affect QA Specialists’ Roles?: http://blog.qatestlab.com/2017/02/13/agile-environment-affect/
  8. Designing an Appropriate Performance Test Environment. Part II: http://blog.qatestlab.com/2012/02/08/designing-an-appropriate-performance-test-environment-part-ii/

Source URL: http://blog.qatestlab.com/2018/04/10/automated-agile-testing/