San Diego, California August 14-19, 2016

Test Automation Strategies

Test automation is considered as the most desired approach for testing due to the host of the benefits it offers- time saving, cost effective as well as reliability. With reduced budgets and limited product life cycles test automation has become top priority for IT organization and hence a careful planning is must to achieve the desired success.

Today’s managers face huge challenges to deliver more but within a limited time. Hence, no doubt they face situation where they have to take right decisions quickly. When it comes to implementing test automation strategies the biggest challenge is perhaps lack of practical strategy. Ideal test automation strategies are the ones that offer realistic solutions to address the specific test requirements with measurable and well-defined goals based on the realistic expectations.

The benefits of realistic test automation strategies are many. It reduces the utilization of manual resources and efficient uses of available hardware resources, reduced test cycle time, performs repeatable test effectively thereby overcoming missed bugs due to boredom. A realistic test automation strategy also contributes in development of programming skills and in some scenarios might let the use of less skilled employees to do actual testing.

The vision for ideal test automation strategies must include what and how much to automate and when to automate and how. According to experts setting a goal of complete automation is not a strategy, but increasing the high chances of delaying the product release. Hence, managers must identify the areas to be automated such as UI/API layers, data migration and test environment setup followed by factors that include repetitiveness, complexity, maintenance and manual vs. automation. Combining all these factors together it can be said that the strategy is surely going to work for the project and yield desired and successful results.

Test automation strategies would be stronger when tool is selected which suits the best based on cost, technology and other points of view. In case, the selected tool is not sufficient, identifying the required customization or building a completely new tool from the scratch would help to make the strategies stronger. Defining dependencies like impact of changes in development plans as well as features strengthens the test automation strategies.

Other aspects that would help to make test automation strategies better is making recommendation on the time-line for automation, selecting appropriate features as well as test cases for automation, providing high level design which is scalable and lets future addition of test cases and providing a plan to manage and maintain the automation after the delivery of the product.

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