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Dariya Malakhova, Automation and Manual Quality Assurance Engineer

Nov 09, 2023 14 min read

When to Use Automation Testing: A Detailed Guide to The Test Automation Process.

This concise guide provides step-by-step insights on when to use automation testing, from planning to analysis. Master this knowledge to have a profound answer to "Wen to use automated testing?".

When to use automation testing?

Automated testing is a process in which test scenarios are executed using special tools and programs with minimal human participation. The main purpose of automation testing is to check software operability and quality faster and, in most cases, more resource efficient than manual testing.  

This service is gaining more and more popularity every year. The automated testing market size is expected to grow from USD 27.65 billion in 2023 to USD 58.16 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 16.03% during the forecast period (2023-2028). 

In this article, we will compile a detailed guide when to use automation testing, its best practices and future prospects.

Step 1: Evaluate the benefits of automated testing

Automated testing offers several benefits that can make it worthwhile for almost any software development project. Let's take a look at some of the advantages of automation testing:

Advantage

Action 

Outcome

Accelerate Time to Market

Execution of tests byscripts with minimal human participation. Scripts may run even during non-working hours.

Accelerated release of new features, which can provide a competitive advantage.

Time and resource savings

Automating repetitive tasks that would normally be done manually.

Freeing up time to focus on other tasks.

Cost efficiency

When tests are already integrated, only one AQA is needed to maintain a large volume of tests, whereas manual testing would need several testers.

Saving the cost of salaries for several testers instead of one.

Certainly, there are a lot more benefits of automation testing.

Step 2: Define when you should think about automation

When to choose automation testing?

Automated testing can be implemented at any stage of the SDLC. It's important to understand which stages are more appropriate and impactful. Let's consider the key points when and why automation testing is required:

  1. Early stage of development: This is due to identifying bugs early on when they are easier to fix.  
  2. Integration and testing stage: Here automated testing can help to check how the different components of the software interact with each other.  
  3. Pre-release testing stage: Automated testing is used to test the software before it is released. This helps to ensure that the software works properly and matches the requirements.  
  4. Support phase: Automated testing in this phase can help make more effective regression testing new features that have been added to the software. 

Use automation testing to and the maker's functionality, performance, and security at any stage of development to avoid costly bug fixes in later phases.

What to consider before implementing automated testing? 

The following factors should be considered when deciding whether to implement automated testing: 

  1. Importance of software quality: Automated testing can be useful for projects where software quality is especially critical. For example, for projects related to security or finance.  
  2. Complexity of the software: Automated testing can be more challenging but sometimes more helpful for complex projects. These projects may require a more multilayer and flexible testing automation system. In this case, automation will save significant time and resources. 
  3. Budget and resources: Automated testing can be expensive at the start, but less expensive in the long run, so budget and available resources need to be considered. 
  4. Team skills and experience: The team should have the necessary skills and experience to implement and use automated testing.  

Step 3: Choose the right time and tasks to automate

The following factors should be considered when selecting time and tasks to automate:  

  1. Complexity and duration of tasks: Tasks that require repetitive and routine execution are often suitable for automation. However, not all tasks can be effectively automated.  
  2. Application architecture: The structure of the application can have an impact on the ability to automate. For example, applications with a good modular structure are usually easier to automate.  
  3. Frequency of task repetition: Tasks that are regularly repeated may be candidates for automation. For example, regression testing.   
  4. Return of investment (ROI): An assessment of the potential return on automation, including time and resource savings, should be made before starting a project

These factors will help determine which tasks are suitable for automation, how easy they are to automate, and what effect to expect.

Step 4: Evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of testing automation

To better understand the benefits of testing automation, let's look at successful use cases: 

  1. Increased speed of delivery: Automated testing reduces the time between introducing new features and releasing them to the market. This makes your product more competitive.  
  2. Improved product quality: Automated tests can detect bugs and defects that might have been missed in manual testing. This helps in improving the quality of the product.  
  3. Saving resources: Automation reduces the need for a large number of manual testers and saves budget

Testing automation has been successfully applied in various software development projects. Here are some examples: 

Google: Google uses automated testing to validate their search algorithms and web applications, guaranteeing the exceptional quality of their products and services.  

Microsoft: Microsoft employs automated testing to validate their operating systems and office applications. This helps them to ensure the reliability and security of their products.   

Amazon: Amazon uses automated testing to check their websites and services. This helps them to ensure that their systems and applications are running smoothly.  

Netflix: Netflix relies on automated testing to validate its streaming services, providing high-quality video and sound experience. 

Step 5: Compare the need for automation testingand manual testing

Between automated and manual testing, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches.  

Automated testing 

Advantages: Fast turnaround time, repeatability, coverage, saves time and resources.  

Limitation: Not suitable for some types of testing, requires upfront costs.  

Manual testing   

Advantages: Intuitive, suitable for non-standard scenarios, and does not require deep technical knowledge.  

Limitations: Slow, prone to human error, ineffective for repetitive tasks.  

We recommend using a combined approach and not choosing between two types of testing. They complement each other. 

Step 6: Select best practices in automated testing

The following guidelines should befor successful testing automation: 

  1. Define automation goals and strategy: This will help you choose the right tools and methods for automation.  
  2. Choose the right tools and methods: There are many tools and methods for test automation. It is essential to choose those that align with your specific needs. The best way to make this choice is through consultation with our QA engineers. 
  3. Create a testing infrastructure: You need to create a testing infrastructure that will support automated testing. This includes creating test data and setting up CI/CD. CI/CD can help to automate regression testing. This can help improve software quality and reduce time-to-market. 
  4. Develop and maintain test scripts: Test scripts are the backbone of automated testing. It is important to develop and maintain test scripts that are efficient and reliable.  
  5. Run test suites regularly: Test suites should be run regularly to ensure high quality software. 
  6. Track and analyze test results: Test results should be used to identify and fix bugs. As well as value product quality and test coverage as a whole. 

 By following these tips, you can effectively implement automated testing and improve the quality of your software product.

Step 7: Assess the role of automation in the future of software development, trends, and prospects for automated testing.

Test automation is constantly evolving and improving due to technological innovations and changes in software development requirements. We will look at some of the trends and perspectives of automated testing that will be relevant soon: 

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are used to automate testing. AI and ML allow computers to learn and make decisions based on data and algorithms. They can be used for tests automation to improve the process of creating, executing, and analyzing tests and to adapt to changes in software. For example, AI and ML can help generate test scenarios, prioritize tests, optimize test suites, predict test results, etc.   
  2. Using cloud services for testing automation. Cloud services are provided over the internet, allowing access to computing, storage, networking, etc. They can be used for testing automation to simplify the process of deploying, scaling, and managing infrastructure for testing and to ensure high availability, reliability, and security of tests. For example, cloud services can help with parallel and distributed testing, simulation of different testing environments and conditions, integration with other cloud services, etc.   
  3. Using Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) to automate testing. CI/CD is an approach to software development that involves continuously integrating code from different sources into a single system, testing the code for bugs, and continuously delivering the code to the production environment. It helps to speed up the software development and delivery process, increase its quality and stability, and improve collaboration between developers and testers. Test automation is an integral part of CI/CD because it enables tests to be run at every stage and integrates with other tools and systems such as version control systems, build systems, deployment systems, etc. 

Automated testing is predicted to continue to grow and become an integral part of the software development process. Therefore, it is essential to keep an eye on trends and continually educate yourself to adapt to the changing requirements of the industry.

A word to conclude

Test automation is a process in which special software performs tests that were previously done manually.However, test automation is not a panacea for all problems and requires certain conditions for successful implementation.  Although it is an important and useful tool for improving software quality and productivity, it requires the right approach and implementation. Test automation does not replace manual testing, but complements it by allowing testers to focus on more critical and complex aspects of the product.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When to use automated testing, and when not?

Automated testing may be limited when human perception, creativity, and intuition are required, such as when testing user interface, design, or usability. Also, automated testing is not recommended for frequently changing or one-off testing scenarios. In all other cases, automated testing can and should be used.

Why do we use automation testing as the best quality control tool?

Automated testing is effective for many reasons: 
• Speed and efficiency
• Repeatability
• Coating
• Saving time and resources
• Quick feedback
• Scalability
• Maintaining regression stability
• Increasing confidence in the product
While automated tests have many benefits, it is important to remember that they cannot completely replace manual testing. In most cases, the best results are achieved by combining automated and manual testing methods.

When use automation testing in the development process?

Automation testing should be included in the development process as early as possible. This will allow you to:
• Determine the scope of test automation and develop an appropriate plan.
• Start developing automated tests at an early stage so that they can be used for testing new features and fixing bugs.
• Improve testing efficiency and reduce time to market.

Which test cases should be automated?

You should automate those test cases that have high priority and execution frequency. Only stable test cases not confirmed by frequent editing can be automated. For example, regression, smoke, and load tests.

What are the disadvantages of automation testing?

Some disadvantages of automated testing are:
• High initial investment in developing and maintaining scripts and tools.
• Limited ability to detect new or unexpected defects.
• Dependence on the quality and relevance of scripts and tools.
• Need to continually update scripts as requirements or functionality changes.
• Inability to completely replace manual testing.

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