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The Absolute Essential Test Automation Best Practices To Follow

We know, the struggle to find the test automation best practices is real this is why our team of bloggers has put together this post to help you in the best way.

Test Automation is now not an option but a necessity. This is why I can't stress enough to all the IT community out there to never ignore them. Why? Because the benefits are vast:

More stable releases – Automated testing is your best friend when releasing software from a buggy state. I can't count the number of times that we've been able to fix a bug before it hits production (or should I say before our customers experience that bug). While this does not come cheap in terms of time, leads, and lost customer confidence it is well worth the cost for companies looking for more stability.

Performance tests – This one seems obvious, but I'm surprised how few people run performance tests on their applications. The cost of fixing defects at release time is far more than running that same test daily once their application starts running well again with no bugs. It's also much easier and cheaper than rewriting code when needed (for instance, when dealing with third-party libraries). Further, performance issues aside, many bugs are caused by slow execution of one or several critical methods which lead to suboptimal results or worse even crashes due to resource contention (inadequate memory allocations, etc.). Prove that testing your apps every day is performing better could have a real-world impact and therefore a very positive effect on future optimizations through unit testing and so on. That said there comes a point where you simply cannot perform everything manually anymore.

Testing at scale – The most obvious benefit of any type of continuous integration/automated testing setup is scaling. Much like continuous delivery, scaling becomes easier after you have automated builds and tests in place; all points in your pipeline act as tester nodes without having too many manual testers involved within each release cycle. 

Since I have now laid out some basics and their advantages to automation, now let's go through how to implement our recommend flow of test automation best practices in the real world:

1. Decide which tests to automate.

You should be able to answer these questions:

  • What are the tests you have to automate?
  • What are the tests you want to automate?
  • What are the tests you can't automate due to skill limitations, or because they're too hard for humans (e.g., writing a test plan)?

2. Use small test suites that represent your work in progress.

  • Use small test suites that represent your work in progress.
  • Use small test suites to test the most important features of your application and website.

3. Run the tests frequently to catch issues and improve quality.

You should run your tests frequently. When you do that, you're able to catch issues and improve quality before they become any bigger problems. 

Run the tests on real devices: As much as possible, run your automated tests on real devices so that you can see how they behave in different situations and environments. If a feature works well on desktop computers but not on mobile devices or tablets, this could be an indication of something wrong with the design of your app or service—or it could just mean that users have different expectations about what makes sense for their device type when using certain apps/services.

Run multiple browser versions: Many browsers support varying degrees of compatibility between them (e.g., Chrome vs Firefox vs Internet Explorer). This means that if one browser version works well enough for some tasks but not others within an application/service then there may be some areas where extra effort needs to go into testing those specific functionalities because they rely heavily upon JavaScript code running within particular browsers' respective engines.

4. Create automated checks that generate the results of real users.

The most effective way to capture user experience is by using real users in your tests. You can create automated checks that generate the results of real users, which will then be used as input for other automated tests or manual evaluations. Real data is also important when it comes to testing your application's performance. You should test against real data from users and make sure that you use different devices and browsers on each device configuration (operating system, network connectivity, etc.).

5. Identify improvements in your automation process

To be successful, you need to identify the problems and opportunities for improvement. You can do this by:

  • List all the things that are wrong with your current process (e.g., it’s not fast enough, or it creates too many errors).
  • Listing what would make things better (e.g., using continuous integration).
  • Making a list of potential solutions to these problems, including some potential cost savings or time savings due to reduced complexity/streamlining workflows for testing teams who use Agile development practices like Scrum or Kanban boards instead of waterfall projects where there is no continuous integration process until all units have been completed and deployed into production environments.

6. Prioritize tests that can be automated easily but keep manual tests in place for later.

As you’re building your test automation strategy, it’s important to keep in mind that not all tests need to be automated. You should only automate the ones that can be easily automated and those that are critical for the functionality of your product.

For example, if you have a feature where users can create an account by entering their name and email address into a form and clicking a button to send off their information (we call this “signup”), then this is probably not going to be something worth automating because it doesn't need any kind of automation beyond just sending off the data from one place/form into another place/form. However, if there's some complicated logic involved with creating an account—say checking whether someone's entered something correctly before proceeding—then perhaps more work needs to be done before we can consider automating this process as well as other related ones like "create profile" or "reset password."

7. Build as many small, automated test suites as possible, run them regularly, and prioritize fixing any problems before they become big problems.

There are two main reasons for this:

  • First, you want to make sure that your test automation is working as well as possible. If a failure happens during a critical test suite and it takes months before anyone notices, you may never be alerted to the issue.
  • Second, if you have an automated regression test suite running regularly (at least daily), then when something does go wrong in production because of an error in the code base or some other reason—for example, one of your tests broke due to a bug—you can fix it immediately instead of waiting until there's a problem with all users' websites experiencing slow loading times, which would mean hundreds or thousands of dollars lost per day across multiple sites depending on how many visitors they have each month.

Conclusion

This concludes our post on the topic "test automation best practices". There are many ways to describe the automated testing process, but every company will find a way to make it work. At the end of the day, you need to be able to do it as your product evolves toward maturity.

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