Did you know that Google App Store had touched a whopping number of 3.48 million apps by the end of 2021, while the iOS store has a number close to 2.22 million?
With this huge competition in the app market, it becomes extremely important for the app creators to come up with a unique concept and a flawlessly working app. To ensure the quality of the developed app is high, the conventional testing process has been replaced by test automation solutions. Undoubtedly, test automation increases test coverage with faster and more accurate results; however, a major part that is often missing or neglected is the fact that when the application is scaling, the test automation should also scale.
Scaling mobile test automation is deceived to be a simple process, but it is highly complex and can be proven unreliable if done incorrectly. On an average, thousands of test cases are designed, planned, identified, and executed almost every week. To scale test automation for this huge number is practically difficult. Hence, a feasible strategy is required to ensure that test automation scales as the app scalability increases.
Ways to scale mobile test automation
As the project grows, the test automation should also scale. Test automation might lead to certain serious discrepancies with the expected results when it doesn’t have the ability to scale. It’s a good practice to prepare a well-panned strategy to scale the test automation. Here are a few points to consider as part of the strategy.
Choosing the right tool
To achieve the required scalable test automation, one of the key steps is to make the right decision in tool selection. With thousands of tools available in the market, it can be quite challenging to choose the right one for you. Here are some of the considerations one should make before selecting the tool.
- Does your tests still run on legacy system? How compatible is it with the modern application that is being built? Is an upgrade or replacement of the legacy system required?
- Do you want to go for code-based or codeless test automation platform? Codeless can be much easier and efficient to manage; if you are choosing code-based be prepared for the hassle that follows.
- Is the tool rigid or does it allow re-using the test run? Re-usable test runs are extremely important to improve the quality.
- Is the software architecture modern enough to handle new-age test runs?
- Does the development and testing processes run hand-in-hand to create a flawlessly working application?
Creating re-usable test automation runs
To scale the test automation, it is not a good idea to consider the entire testing suite. Isolating the required flow and creating re-usable test automation for handling individual features is an effective way to start with. Issues like bug identification and troubleshooting fails are easier to address in the isolated format. Further, the re-usable test runs are easier to scale when compared to the whole testing suite.
Focusing on quality improvement
When the organization has a strong ethical root to create great value for its customers, it can automatically achieve its main goal. The key value additions that an organization can consider includes – seamless customer experience, improve employee experience, adherence to compliance governance, and effective cost optimization. When emphasize is laid on value creation, the organization is already on the path to build great products with higher quality, performance, security, and scalability.
Reshaping operating model
Scaling the test automation involves a combined effort from people across different teams. This will require a change in the operational model to incorporate the strategy. Collaboration from developers to carry out the production, subject matter experts to refine the process, regular auditing to ensure the process is compliant with the defined rules, specified team for risk mitigation, and the tester to ensure the quality is not affected, are all required to operate smoothly.
Common challenges associated with test automation scaling
To scale test automation, it is required to eliminate the challenges associated with the process. Once the challenges are removed and the test automation is giving expected results, it’s time to scale. Here are some of the challenges associated with test automation.
Codeless is not completely codeless
Codeless test automation does not completely eliminate the process of code writing. It involves coding initially to set the process; further, coding is required during development and maintenance process. Due to this hitch, sometimes organizations end up buying tools that may not suit their requirement and involve making additional payments to the programmers for tool set up, upgrade, and maintenance.
What to and how to automate?
Test automation may not be required for all the processes that you are working on. It is important to understand where to automate the process and where not. For example, automation can be proven extremely successful in performing regression testing and repeated executions. Additionally, it is also important to understand which tools to use for automation. The tool chosen should have the capabilities of all the tasks that you are looking to perform, it should be cost-effective, and should support in the longer run.
Understanding the framework
Software development process has moved to agile approach with codes continuously being generated and executed in the CI/CD framework. With the development approach made advanced, conventional testing cannot keep up with this pace and offer accurate results. Hence, it is important to choose a test automation framework, preferably the advanced codeless, Cloud, or AI-integration, to get the desired outcome. In case, you are still operating on legacy systems, it’s time to consider an upgrade or use the testing solutions that is compatible with your existing system.
Automating testing is not as easy as it sounds. The process demands programming skills to set up the workflow and conduct maintenance, handle integrations, browser support, third-party implementation, reporting and analysing skills. Hence, it is important to build a team with professionals who can handle all the scenarios associated and ensure the smooth running of the process.
Test automation sector and the scope of software testing looks quite promising. As the industry is expanding and making advancements, many tools are made available in the market. Some of them come with a price tag while many are still available as open-source platforms. Don’t just decide on the cost factor, look for the tool that not just suits your requirements but also allows considerable scaling. Scalability is one of the important criteria to look for while choosing a test automation platform.