What Is Software Test Automation?

14 Sep 2018
What Is Software Test Automation?

Manual software testing is performed by a human who is sitting in front of a computer and who is carefully executing the test steps. On the other hand, automation testing means using an automated testing tool to execute your test case suite on demand, through continuous integration or scheduled overnight.

Software testing automation is when you convert manual functional test cases into programming code that can be executed repeatedly without any human intervention required. There are tools available for this. Selenium, for example, is one of the most popular software testing automation tools for web applications.

Automation Tests Give You More Test Coverage

When a unit test is created, a lot of code is written to cover a small amount of production. There is usually at least two or three times as much unit code than production code that gets written. A unit test is focussed on only testing a specific component being developed.

With automation tests, the opposite is true. It is possible that only a small amount of code will be written to test a huge part of the system. Automated tests focuses on testing an end to end user flow which can interact with multiple components and systems for a single flow. Test data is often stored in an excel file allow for a single automated script to test multiple different combinations without the extra effort.

Software testing automation allows you to get more coverage with your testing. Unit testing is important, but software testing automation will get you more coverage faster, which is more valuable on complex projects.

The Drawbacks Of Software Automation Tests

A common complaint about software testing automation is that it is difficult to maintain. When an application’s user interface is enhanced, it could lead to a number of existing automated tests breaking due to the changes on the screen. The broken tests need to be manually updated and fixed, which leads people to feel that automation is too time-consuming.

Through various advanced scripting techniques as well as designing automated tests with high reusability in mind, maintenance to automated scripts can be kept to a minimum.

The Benefit Of A Software Test Automation Framework

Software testing automation needs to be treated like a production application. In other words, you need a framework. You can think of a software testing automation framework as a set of rules or guidelines to create automated scripts. The framework will determine the approach to test automation, facilitate the execution of the tests and reporting of the results.

Software testers will write tests that use the framework to automate the application. In this way, the tests become really simple because the tests are being done in the framework. When something (like the UI or the button name) breaks or changes, it can be fixed in a single place within the framework so that multiple tests don’t break as a result of the change.

Need software testers who can do a comprehensive and thorough test on all your applications and software? Then contact Inspired Testing today.

Sastri Munsamy

Executive: Technology and Innovation for Inspired Testing

Sastri is a passionate and engaging mentor, educator and speaker with extensive experience of real-world testing and automation projects. He has worked in the consultancy industry for over 17 years. He has implemented test automation on various systems ranging from desktop, Web, SAP and mobile applications in multiple industries across the world, with an emphasis on defining an efficient and profitable automation strategy. As a mentor, Munsamy has hosted testing community meetups in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and has guest spoken at numerous industry events.


Join the conversation on LinkedIn
Connect with our experts and read the latest industry insights on our dedicated LinkedIn page.