Before we speak about agile test automation, we must first understand the history of software development. In the past, the journey of software development was tedious and time-consuming. It was full of long projects that involved heavy investments. Agile development methods were introduced to fix these issues. Not only did they emphasize tight collaboration between developers and their customers, but also enabled rapid prototyping and continuous testing. Additionally, the agile approach also improved developers’ productivity as it brought about a significant change in their ability to make faster releases and adapt to customer-priorities. It also reduced risks thereby increasing quality.
With the agile methodology, emerged the need for software testing to be carried out throughout the software development lifecycle. Owing to this, the detection of bugs started happening much earlier in the process, thereby giving a broader scope for quick bug-fixes. However, when testing early, handling certain repetitive tests became time-consuming as they were tested manually. This restricted QA engineers to work ahead in time. Hence, agile test automation tools were introduced. These specifically supported agile test automation, thereby aiding quicker progress and delivering better quality.
Agile Test Automation Came With its Own Set of Challenges:
The Skill Set of Agile Testers
Agile demands QA to play many roles. Not only does it require testers to have experience with automation testing tools, but also demands them to have good functional knowledge. It is quite challenging to find these diverse skills sets in the market.
The Need for Planning
Agile test automation requires planning. This isn’t just restricted to the selection of the right automation testing tool but also includes deciding on the test approach and selecting the test cases to be automated.
It is Challenging to Develop Automated Functional Tests
Since, the UI isn't available, in agile, starting test automation can be fairly challenging because most automation testing tools rely on object identification. However, this can be overcome with the use of highly specialized automation testing tools and co-ordination between QA and developers.
Since agile allows scope creep, maintaining existing automation suites can be time-consuming. With proper planning, this can be taken care of in the initial stages of automation development.
How to Ensure that Agile Test Automation is Successful?1. Adopting DevOps
You can get benefits of collaboration and cross-functioning from the same team by adopting DevOps, thereby improving the speed and software delivery process. Since DevOps encourages shared working- development, integration, and testing take place in real-time, it makes the entire agile cycle more effective.
2. Choosing the Right Automation Testing Tool
And most importantly, select the right automation testing tool. The features that ensure the success of agile test automation include:
- It should be OS friendly. The higher the number of operating systems it supports, the better it is for teams to perform testing.
- It should meet end-to-end testing requirements.
- It should be script-less, since productivity increases when no programming language is required.
- It should provide integration support with cross-functional tools like continuous integrations, test management tools, bug tracking tools, etc.
- The tool should be user-friendly and intuitive. It should come with an easy-to-understand UI, navigation, and functionality.
- It should be robust and produce quick results so that testers can promptly respond to the test results.
The success of agile test automation largely depends on the efficiency of the automation testing tool. Qualitia's script-less test automation platform has all the necessary abilities required to automate testing in an agile environment successfully.