What are the test automation requirements needed for better software quality and to reduce testing costs? What are the test automation best practices?
These are the questions we will answer in this chapter. We will also look at what makes a good test automation framework.
Better Software Quality Test Automation Requirements
Here are 3 of some automation requirements for you to consider.
1. The Automation Test Code Should be Automated
The automation test code itself should be automated and repeatable. This is not possible if you use manual test scripts and you cannot ensure that the script is executed as expected.
When we talk about test automation, we must not forget that we want to automate tests to save time and effort and make sure that the tests run as expected. We also want to make sure that no human error enters the equation.
Automated tests should be fully repeatable regardless of who executes those tests. The only thing that should change from one execution to another is the input values. The values of other things such as data structures and environment variables should not change. If you implement this, then your test execution will be more cost-effective and reliable than if you use manual tests.
2. The Automation Framework Should Be Automated
The automation framework should be automated as well – this includes creating automation code, running it, executing it in multiple environments, etc. We do not want any human error here either – otherwise, we would not call our test framework automated!
If you have a fully automated framework, then executing your tests is much easier than if you have a manually operated framework. Regardless of whether the framework is for manual or automated tests. This saves time and effort and makes sure that your tests will execute as expected every time without any human errors entering the equation.
3. All Code Should be Tested with Regression Tests
Automation frameworks should also be tested to make sure that they work as expected. This is very much related to the previous requirement. Automation code should be tested, and the automation framework should be tested as well.
Test Automation Best Practices
A good test automation framework should have the following best practices.
Automated Tests Should be Easy to Read and Understand
How many developers on your team are familiar with the test automation framework you are using? Do they know how to use it, what the result will look like, etc.? If they don’t, then you should consider switching frameworks or at least improving your current framework.
It Should be Easy to Write Tests in the Framework
The goal of test automation is to automate tests. This is why it should be easy for your team members to write tests in the automated test framework. If it takes them too much time to write tests, then you need to consider making them more productive or changing your test framework.
Tests Should Not Be Expensive to Run
It should not cost too much time and effort to run tests. If it does, then your team will avoid running them as much as possible. This will happen regardless of whether you use manual tests or automated tests. What is more, if the costs are high, then you have an extra incentive to skip running tests altogether.
The Framework Should be Open Source for Better Collaboration
If you are working with a large number of team members, then it is very likely that you will need to cooperate with other teams on the same project at some point. If they use closed source frameworks, then it can be very hard to work with them. Also, if your framework is open source, then it is much easier to work together. It might even be necessary to share test scripts and tools with other teams to make your testing process more effective.