Mastering Automated
Testing: Your Ultimate Guide

Looking to get started with automated testing? This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, including when to automate, how to start, Low-Code tools to use, and what to prioritize.


What is Automated Testing?

Automated software testing is a crucial technique for software testing in which testers leverage automated software tools for executing test cases. Automating the test suite helps save time and effort required in performing repetitive and resource-heavy tasks that are difficult to perform manually. Automated software testing simplifies the testing processes with minimum effort and has a positive impact on the quality of the software releases, their associated costs, and time to market.

There are a variety of tools available for automated software testing, which can automate testing for various applications, including web applications, mobile applications, and desktop applications. With today′s modern development architecture and delivery methods, investing in automated software testing is essential for every software-dependent business to release quality software products faster than ever before.

Importance of Automation Testing: Why do we need it?

Here are some of the key reasons why automated software testing is important for software businesses -

If we could have all the usable test data stored or documented at a single place (a storage facility), it would save us a lot of time that would otherwise be spent in creating different test cases using different types of test data. And if we were to find a way to build an automated process that uses data in this file to run multiple times without any manual effort, we have the perfect solution

Cost Effective -With time, the cost of manually testing your apps rises, but if you are executing the same test cases repeatedly or can save effort via automation then you can save money in the long-term.

Time Effective -Automated tests can save you a significant amount of time as regression and other repeated tests can even run at nights.

High Productivity -With automated testing, developers and testers have to spend less time on testing which they can utilize on performing critical tasks or creating new features.

Enhanced App Quality -Automated testing can help expand the test coverage which ensures the quality and performance of the app.

Quick Feedback - Automated testing facilitates instant feedback to the developers who can take quick action to fix defects if any.

Automated Testing vs. Manual Testing

Here are some of the major differences between automated testing and manual testing:

  • In automated testing, tests are executed automatically with the help of an automation tool where human intervention is not required, whereas in manual testing, tests are executed by a human.

    Manual testing is a hands-on technique where the testers need to get involved in everything from test creation to test execution, whereas in automation testing, testers leverage tools to write test scripts and then automate the test execution

  • As automated testing helps in executing more test cases, the test coverage is higher in automated testing than manual testing

  • Automated testing is less time consuming and more efficient than manual testing

Some Downsides and Challenges of Automation Testing

Though automated testing is much more efficient than manual testing, there are some challenges associated with it, such as -

Learning Curve - Most of the automation tools have a steep learning curve as they are code-based tools and coding is required from test creation to test maintenance.

Unrealistic Goals - It is important to set realistic goals and expectations from automated testing and should be mixed with other forms of testing and analysis to get optimum software quality.

Flaky Tests - Another challenge in most tools including Selenium is flaky tests. The test scripts often break if there is any change in the application.

Lack Cognitive Ability - Automated tests will only check the parts which they have been programmed to check and it will fail to detect failures where it is not programmed to detect.

Testsigma is a codeless test automation tool which is built to address the challenges being faced by the test automation industry. It lets you create tests as easily as writing a test in simple English and uses artificial intelligence to automatically heal the tests where possible.

Checkout other features of Testsigma here.

Checklist To Implement Test Automation

Implementing test automation can be a complex process, but following some best practices can make it easier. Here are some important things to keep in mind when implementing test automation:

Define the scope of automation: Define which tests to automate and which tests to perform manually. Automate tests that are repetitive, require multiple data sets, and prone to human error.

Set clear objectives: Define your testing objectives, such as reducing the time required for testing, increasing test coverage, and minimizing human errors.

Choose the right automation tool: A good strategy is Choose the right tool for automation based on your testing requirements, budget, and technical expertise.

Create a framework: Develop a framework that defines the process of test automation, including test strategy, test cases, test scripts, and reporting.

Define the testing environment: Define the testing environment, including hardware, software, network, and data requirements.

Integrate automation with existing processes: Integrate test automation with existing development processes, such as continuous integration and continuous delivery.

Maintain test scripts: A good strategy is Maintain test scripts regularly to ensure they are up-to-date with changes in the application.

Create reusable test scripts: Create reusable test scripts that can be used across different versions of the application.

Perform regular regression testing: Perform regular regression testing to ensure that changes in the application do not break existing functionality.

By following these best practices, you can ensure a successful implementation of test automation that will save time and reduce errors in the long run.

Why Automated Testing Is Essential For CI/CD

Automated testing is very crucial for implementing CI/CD as with quality automated tests running at scale, developers can get the test results within minutes which helps them to work on the defects or key issues straight away.

One of the main features of CI/CD is to test more frequently and reduce the manual work on the developers. Hence, automation of tests plays a key role in organizations that are planning to maximize the value of CI/CD.

Is Low Code Replacing Test Automation

Low code/codeless testing is helping the current Agile and DevOps scenarios to continuously release quality software faster than ever. The complex, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks are easily manageable by these low code testing tools such as Testsigma. Team members who can not code can easily perform automation testing quickly and effortlessly.

However, the intention of low code test automation is not to replace test automation but to aid it. Human effort, time, and attention can be utilized for specialized tasks such as making the testing process better, resolving complex issues in projects, better test coverage, innovating novel solutions, etc

Currently, low code/codeless test automation tools are working in tandem with the traditional test automation to provide astonishing quality results with low human effort and time.

Easy Handling of Changes -As there are numerous small changes in the application as it progresses, managing each and every small change becomes easy with automation

Read more about codeless automation tools here.

Types Of Automated Testing

  • Regression tests

    They are ideal for automation testing because of their repetitive nature and huge test suite size.

  • Unit tests

    The smallest units of code are tested using automation, during the early development stages.

  • Integration tests

    They help to certify the seamless interaction between modules and are really critical for any software.

  • Smoke tests

    Checks major functionalities of the software are working when an initial new build is deployed.

  • Data-driven tests

    Huge data inputs, outputs, and results are easily managed through automation testing, which would otherwise incur enormous manual time and effort.

  • Keyword-driven tests

    They are popular today, because of the flexibility, reusability, and clarity keyword-driven tests provide.

Benefits of automated testing

Here are some major benefits:

  • Increased testing speed and efficiency

  • Improved accuracy and consistency of test results

  • Enhanced test coverage

  • Reduced testing costs

  • Faster release cyclesFaster release cycles

  • Improved regression testing

  • Improved software quality

  • Increased team productivity

  • Reduced human error

  • Improved reporting and analysis

Misconceptions about automated testing

  • Automation can replace manual testing entirely: Automation is not a replacement for manual testing but rather complements it. Both approaches play different roles in the overall testing process.

  • Automation is only for large projects: Automation can be beneficial even for small projects, especially for repetitive tasks and regression testing.

  • Automation is expensive: While initial setup costs may be involved, automation can significantly reduce long-term testing costs due to increased efficiency and reduced manual effort.

  • Automation is challenging to implement: While technical expertise is required, numerous tools and resources make automation accessible to teams of various skill levels.

Automated testing best practices

  • Start small: Begin by automating simple, repetitive tasks before moving on to more complex scenarios.

  • Choose the right tools: Select automation tools based on project requirements, team skills, and budget.

  • Develop clear and concise scripts: While initial Use proper coding standards and documentation for easy maintenance and understanding.

  • Integrate with CI/CD pipelines: Automate test execution as part of your continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for faster feedback and release cycles.

  • Monitor and maintain test scripts: While initial Regularly review and update test scripts to reflect changes in the software application.

  • Combine with manual testing: Leverage automation for repetitive tasks and utilize manual testing for exploratory testing and tasks requiring human judgment.

How Can Enterprise Businesses Use Automation?

Enterprise businesses can leverage automation for various purposes, including:

Regression testing: Automate the execution of regression tests to ensure new features don′t break existing functionality.

Performance testing: Automate performance testing to ensure the software can handle the expected load and user traffic.

Security testing: Automate security testing to identify and address vulnerabilities before exploitation.

API testing: Automate API testing to ensure APIs function correctly and meet specific requirements.

Cross-browser testing: Automate testing across different browsers and devices to ensure a consistent user experience.

Types of Test Automation Frameworks

Here are the six types of automation frameworks that are used commonly:

Linear Automation Framework - In this framework, all the test steps are written one after the other in a sequential order

Modular Based Testing Framework - In this framework, the app is divided into “functions” and “sections” and each of them are tested in isolation

Library Architecture Testing Framework - It is largely based on modular framework with an added advantage of higher degree of reusability

Data-driven Framework - In this framework, test data is separated from script logic which allows testers to store data externally

Keyword-driven Framework - In this framework, test data and script logic are separated but keywords are all stored in an external data table

Hybrid Testing Framework - As the name suggests, it is a combination of both data-driven framework and keyword-driven framework

How To Choose Which Tests To Automate?

The types of test cases which have plenty of complex manual scenarios and require a lot of data should be automated. A test case should be automated if -

  • It will save significant amount of time

  • The tests are going to be repeated

  • The tests are stable, not risky, and unlikely to change

  • The tests are error prone if done manually

  • The test has several downtime between steps

You can automate test cases, based on these qualifications which will increase the ROI on the test automation.

For a more details on what to automate and how check here

How does Automation Testing Work?

Automated testing involves creating scripts that simulate user actions and interactions with the software application under test. These scripts are executed by automation tools which then compare the actual results with the expected results to identify any discrepancies or failures.

Here′s a simplified overview of the process:

  • Define test cases: Identify the functionalities and scenarios to be tested.

  • Develop test scripts: Create scripts using specific automation languages and tools.

  • Run test scripts: Execute the scripts against the software application.

  • Analyze results: Compare actual results with expected results to identify failures.

  • Fix bugs and retest: Fix identified bugs and retest to confirm the fix.

What Kinds Of Software Tests Should Be Automated First?

Here are the three types of test cases which should be automated first -

Unit Testing - Unit testing is the fastest testing method, hence should the first to automate. They are easier to debug, highly reusable and get fixed at low costs

Integration Testing - Integration testing should be on priority for automation as integration tests make sure that everything is working as per the expectations

Functional Testing - Running functional tests upfront will help you identify the flaky tests, so it is good to automate functional tests on priority

Cross Browser Testing - If there are the same kinds of tests that are being executed on multiple browsers multiple times then automating them will save a good amount of time for sure.

How To Handpick Manual Tests?

Smoke Testing - It focuses on verifying the proper functioning of the core functionalities of the app

Exploratory Testing - In exploratory, the tester to test the app based on their curiosity without any set guidelines or structure

Negative Testing - It checks how the app responds or behaves to invalid inputs

Usability Testing - Usability testing is done to ensure the user-friendliness of the app by observing the reaction of the user

Acceptance Testing - It focuses on how the application is capable in meeting the user’s needs and expectations

Building A Test Automation Framework For Your DevOps Team

Frameworks are the base of test automation as they provide reusable components that can be utilised for creating custom automation tests. Building a test automation framework and test environments require a lot of effort from tech experts.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while building an automation framework for your DevOps team:

  • Companies should automate workflows to reduce testing time and costs and bugs should be tracked and fixed quickly

  • Focusing on achieving the full test coverage

  • Searching the automation experts having the right skills

  • Maintaining excellent communication and collaboration between the teams

If test automation frameworks are implemented properly, they can significantly reduce test suite maintenance costs during DevOps.

5 Rules For Successful Test Automation

Here are the 5 rules for successful test automation -

Automation Improves the Process - It is crucial to understand that automation just improves a process that you already have, but it does not replace it. Automating a good process can amplify the results for you.

Building a Dedicated Team - Having skilled professionals can guarantee the quality you expect and also reduces the burden on the developers.

Automating the Right Things - Don’t expect to automate everything. Test automation is ideal in some specific situations, but not work well everywhere.

Treat Automation as Another Development Project -Put specifications on what automation will do and it will not. You need to plan, monitor, and manage automation just like any other project.

Automation Metrics - Metrics matter a lot in the success of automation as this is how you will justify the investments. Check the time and money you can save annually with automation as compared to manual.

Also checkout the best practices for test automation here

How To Choose A Test Automation Tool?

Selecting an ideal test automation tool is one of the most crucial decisions for a software company before the starting of automation.

Here are a few things that you should consider before selecting an automation tool -

Understand the Project Requirements - It is important to get a deep understanding of the project requirements including the nature of your app, what you need to automate, and the amount of test cases to be automated

Consider an Existing Tool as a Benchmark - You can consider an existing automation tool such as Selenium as a benchmark to determine the best tool for your project

Ease of Maintaining Scripts - You should consider a tool in which developing and maintaining the test scripts is simple to save time and effort.

Ease of Test Execution for Non-technical members -Analyse how simple the test execution is and whether a manual tester having little to no technical language can easily perform it.

With Testsigma, you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects as it is Low-Code and uses simple English for test cases and has an intuitive UI which makes it easily accessible even by non-technical members.

Testing Needs - First and foremost, understand your testing needs and whether the tool suits your project environment, technology, and all the objects used in the code.

Budget - Once you have the deep understanding of your project, it’s time to analyse whether the tool match your budget

Learning Curve - It is also important to analyze the learning curve of the tool and whether the learning time is acceptable for your goals

Coding Language - It makes sense to invest in a tool that supports most of the coding languages on your projects

Tool Version Stability - Check whether the current version of the tool is stable or not and the company has good reviews, customer support, and help resources online

Setting Up Your Own Test Automation Environment

You can easily install your own test automation environment and run tests using Selenium WebDriver and also integrate it with other commercial tools, including LambdaTest, SauceLabs, and BrowserStack. WebDriver is an API that calls browsers to automate it and is ideal to run automated tests.

Different browsers need different drivers to allow WebDriver to communicate with them. Most of the environments have a framework that installs WebDriver.

Cloud Automation Testing

When automation is done using resources on the cloud, it is termed as cloud automation testing.

According to webtribunal stat: here: 90% of companies are on the cloud. So, testing their application using resources on the cloud makes sense too.

Test automation on cloud offers a wide range of benefits including almost zero initial time and cost, 24/7 access to resources, better team collaboration, multiple test environments support, and faster app reach to the market. Thus, we can say that cloud automation testing is something that is here to stay.

Testsigma is a test automation tool that is completely cloud-based. Being on the cloud, the time to setup is almost negligible. Also, most third party integrations and configurations are as easy as plug and play. With the support for test automation on 5 cloud device providers, ability to automate your tests on web, mobile, APIs from the same place and very easy test creation ecosystem - Testsigma saves your time and cost throughout your test automation journey.

Choosing the Right Automation Testing Tool - A Unified Platform

If you′re searching for an automation tool that can help you achieve 10x faster testing and a positive ROI, look no further than Testsigma. With its cloud-based platform, intuitive UI, and simple English language, Testsigma can increase your test automation speed by up to five times without any coding or in-depth tool knowledge required.

Here are some reasons why Testsigma is the right choice for your test automation needs:

Easy to Use: Testsigma′s simple English language and intuitive UI make it easy for even non-technical users to create automated tests.

Cloud-Based Platform: With Testsigma, you don′t need to install or maintain any software. All you need is a web browser and an internet connection to start creating tests.

No Coding Required: Testsigma eliminates the need for coding, allowing testers to focus on creating high-quality tests rather than writing code.

Automation: . Intelligent Test Testsigma′s AI-powered technology helps identify and fix errors in real-time, reducing the time and effort required to maintain tests.

Cross-Platform Support: Testsigma offers cross-platform support for web, mobile, and desktop applications, ensuring your tests work seamlessly across all platforms.

Overall, Testsigma is a powerful and user-friendly automation tool that can help increase your ROI and improve your testing process.