Test Automation Is Mandatory, Thanks to Agile
Test automation has become more and more prevalent, thanks to the advancement of available commercial and open source tools. Different tools have become sophisticated and mature enough that it would almost seem silly to not take advantage of them, but it’s the growth of agile that has made automation less of a choice and more of a necessity.
Unlike waterfall, where people had to do their best to explain the value of automation, agile more naturally promotes that need for these tools through its rapidity and integration of testing throughout the development process.
In a sense, agile assumes that test automation is the key ingredient of your testing mission strategy. It can seem impossible to keep up when you’re only focusing on manual testing to get the job done, and that’s why Kalyan Konda, the president of Gallop Solutions, sees more and more of the companies he works with leaning on test automation.
“I would say almost to the extent of 50 to 60 percent of the companies are actually doing test automation within the sprint. Of course, they're using test tool development, acceptance test tool development, behavior driven development, things like that,” Konda explains to StickyMinds. “So it's very difficult to imagine a project that there is not test automation being done, especially if they're practicing agile, because agile sort of embraces test automation right from the get go.”
Test automation can help simplify your agile processes, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to find a single, catch-all tool that will get each and every job done. Konda explains that even though companies hope to centralize their tooling and automation, they often rely on commercial test tool vendors for their legacy hardware needs and look toward open source tools like Selenium in the mobile realm.
That means you need test automation as well as multiple tools to be successful, but in order to make it all work, pulling together a single automation framework is key.
“The different automations have to pull together a framework that sort of helps you to standardize all your testing automation assets, the best part of the tool that you're using. As a test team, though, you have a lot of tools and a lot of needs,” Konda continues. “But when it comes to your test automation and assessing automation, you are able to drive all of them using a single framework and are able to see the results that are being produced by these different tools in a single format.”
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Automation isn’t automatic. It’s a necessary step in the testing process, and that means you have to understand it at many different levels to correctly implement it.