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What is Test Automation?

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Test automation has become an increasingly popular tool for testers, developers, business process experts, and QA teams, helping them to improve the quality and efficiency of their work. In this article, we’ll explore what test automation is, how it works, and why it is so valuable.

I. Definition of Test Automation

Test automation is using software tools to automate the testing of applications and software. This includes automating tasks such as validating data, verifying that data has been successfully submitted to a database, and ensuring that dynamic values are calculated correctly (for example, the cost of items in different currencies). Test automation is used to streamline the testing process and reduce the amount of manual testing that is required, thus allowing testers to focus on other important tasks.

This process can include several types of tests, such as functional tests, integration tests, performance tests, and regression tests.

Functional tests verify that the software performs the intended functions correctly. Integration tests ensure that the different parts of the software work together properly. Performance tests measure how the application performs under different loads and conditions. Regression tests are used to ensure that changes made to the software do not negatively impact existing functionality.

Test automation also includes tasks such as setting up test environments, configuring test data, and running test suites. The use of automated testing can help reduce the time and effort required to perform these tasks, as well as increase the accuracy and consistency of test results. However, the benefits and the ROI will vary drastically depending on the type of test automation chosen. 

II. Benefits of Test Automation

With the right approach and test automation tooling, teams can experience the many benefits of having great test automation set up. From improving the efficiency of your testers, reducing costs, and improving the overall quality of software. By automating the testing process, testers can save time and reduce the risk of human error, ensuring that tests are run consistently and accurately. Additionally, test automation can help to identify and fix problems early in the development process, reducing the cost and time required to fix bugs and improve software quality.

III. How Test Automation Works

Different test automation solutions work in different ways. But generally, it’s a type of software that can be open-sourced (like Selenium) or commercial, meaning that you must purchase the tool to use it. 

Selenium and most commercial vendors require a varying degree of coding knowledge. It’s then up to a developer, or testers with developer-like skills, to write and maintain scripted/coded tests that perform a series of actions automatically. This type of automation is not always best suited to the needs of a business, and it doesn’t scale well either. It has long onboarding time too, and impossibly high maintenance, which leads to a mountain of test cases to update and document. 

Some vendors require no development skills. Leapwork is an example of such a tool, where users work with visual building blocks to create their tests, rather than coding them. This makes it possible for a wider pool of people to adopt, build, maintain, and scale test automation. 

Why You Should Use Test Automation

Test automation is a valuable tool, offering many benefits, including increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved software quality. By automating the testing process, teams can focus on other important tasks and ensure that their software is of the highest quality, meeting the needs and expectations of their users. Whether you are a seasoned tester or just starting, test automation can help you achieve your goals and deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of your users, if the right tooling is adopted.

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