It has long been regarded as best practice in older forms of software testing to manually test and sign off on a product before automating the publishing of the sign off. Software test automation has always run one cycle behind manual test efforts in this configuration. The testing lifecycle has, however, experienced some important adjustments recently. It is quite challenging to manually achieve the necessary test coverage because the cycle itself only lasts a few weeks, sometimes even a few days. With the shift to an Agile development methodology over the past few years, test automation has unquestionably advanced up the development cycle.
Even before development could begin, test driven development introduced test automation. Despite the many benefits of test automation, there are still some important advantages to manual testing before test automation. It primarily improves the tester’s comprehension of the functionality of the product. The best way for a tester to learn about a product is to test it manually because such knowledge provides a comprehensive perspective of the product workflows, crucial situations, and different types of mistakes, enabling the tester to add more robust validations to the automated suite. When this is done consistently by all testers, at least during the first few product releases, there is a solid core product understanding and a close relationship between functional testing and test automation. As a result, the software test automation effort will have a higher return on investment and be easier to manage.
The Power of Integration
Today, plenty of new frameworks are emerging to assist functional testers (manual), who might not know programming, in taking on test automation. In comparison to a collection of merely lines of code that are weak on their asserts and lack a deep understanding of the product, test automation suites are now better in test coverage and validations because of this strong relationship between manual functional testers and test automation. At the end of the day, test automation must smoothly connect with the main functional test effort, where automation specialists will also need to participate in the human effort to grasp the nuances of the product.
The modern testing environment supports this by permitting both automation specialists and manual testers to fill the other’s shoes, which is an excellent step toward advancing quality. Therefore, the question of whether manual testing or test automation should come first should be replaced by one of tight integration—almost like a paired effort—between the two in order to maximize coverage, the effectiveness of the automation effort, and the camaraderie among the testers.
Exploring the Landscape on Smart Device Application Example
In the broadest sense, we use the term “smart devices” to describe equipment that supports audio and video communication, internet connectivity, and a variety of applications for end-user computing.
Before considering smart device application test automation, let’s first grasp the general landscape or possibilities to take into account while developing a thorough testing plan that incorporates both human and automated methodologies. We’ll examine this from both the software and hardware perspectives as well.
The underlying platform and the supported applications are what are in use in terms of software. The platform offers both closed-source and open-source alternatives. Regarding apps that are supported on these systems, you have hybrid applications, online applications that have been expanded to function on mobile platforms, and native built-in programs that are part of the vendor’s repository. The strategy must be adjusted based on the type of application that needs to be evaluated.
There are many form factor alternatives on the hardware side. To mention a few, there are smart devices designed as flips, touch screens, sliders, and bars. Although these don’t always directly affect testing, it’s vital to know the corresponding input type to determine if the instructions are entered using a keyboard, a touch screen, or by speaking them out loud. When creating your test matrix, keep this vital variable in mind.
Because compatibility testing is typically what is done on devices, while much of the functionality has already been tested for on a base platform, a large portion of the test efforts still occur to be manual, if you were to examine the testing strategies from a manual and automation standpoints. Since it might be expensive to have every device in-house, businesses typically turn to alternative tactics like employing devices for cloud testing, crowdsourcing testers, using device emulators, etc.
Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Test Automation
The market is always developing when the time comes to test automation for mobile devices. Tools for test automation designed for non-mobile scenarios might not always function well when used with mobile applications. For the particular purpose, they can require additional plug-ins, add-ons, or perhaps a whole other tool. Before choosing which tools to utilize, it is important to consider the type of application that will be automated (native, web, hybrid), as well as the underlying operating system (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.). While some tools may require access to the source code, others can be created and implemented using the executables that are already available.
When choosing which tool to employ, one must take into account the needs of each tool with regard to source code access, whether or not the automation is based on images (if it is, maintenance costs will be high), and the other aspects described in the post above. The bottom conclusion is that test automation for competent device applications is achievable, albeit developing. To develop a successful test automation plan, understand the constraints you operate under and begin with small batches where the return on investment will be significant.
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