Testing for defects is the only way you can ensure the quality of your software product. However, there are different ways you can test your software. Normally we only have three types of tests such as unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests.
Unit Tests: With unit tests, you need to test a component in isolation without external resources like database, file system, API endpoints, and much more.
Integration Tests: With integration tests, all you need to do is to check whether a few components work while they are integrated.
End-to-end Tests: It simply involves testing your application’s workflow from its initial phase to its final phase.
In this blog post, we will dive into some of the benefits of automated testing on your software development project.
So What exactly is automated testing? Is it a replacement for manual testing? Do I really need it? how should I do it? should I write my tests first (which we call test driven development)? Or should I write the application code first?
These questions can haunt you if you lack a solid understanding of software testing. Automated testing is basically the practice of writing code to test your code and then run those tests in an automated fashion.
We will illustrate this with the help of an example:
Imagine we have the above function somewhere in your application. It’s a basic calculate function that takes input. Depending on some conditions it returns multiple values. With manual testing, you have to launch your application in the browser. You also need to login first to get to the target page. After that, you need to enter values into the form fields. Eventually, this function is called. However, this appears to be very time consuming. The whole cycle of executing this function in a manual fashion could take anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds of time. However, with automated testing, you can write code and directly call this function with multiple inputs.
After that, you can run this code in an automated way. It only takes less than a second to test this function with different inputs. Hence, by following this practice you can test a large part of your application for functionality in an automated way several times faster than a manual tester. However, various developers are having different opinions regarding this. One group of developers believe that writing automated tests is time consuming as not only do they have to write production code, but they also have to write the test code. So, implementing a new feature with tests will consume more of your time when compared to implementing it without automated tests. Moreover, a fair share of your development time is spent on writing and maintaining these tests. This can extend the delivery time of your software product. In situations like these, hiring a dedicated software tester or reaching out to a software development company that has solid expertise in delivering automation testing service can make the software development process a lot easier and cheaper.
What if I don’t Implement Automated Testing for my Software?
The quality of your software can get compromised If you don’t implement any automated test in your software development project. As you add new features and your application grows in complexity. The time required to test all the application functions with different arguments increases exponentially. If you ever worked in the development of a large application with a lot of features that have built over years. You know that sometimes no one in your team knows how these functions work and how they should be tested. They even won’t have any clear picture of the requirements as those developers who initially built these features may not currently work in that company. Hence, there are a lot of legacy functions around and many developers won’t even dare to touch them. However, if we implement automated testing we can test a large part of the application functionality using automated tests. The time needed to accomplish manual testing will be way less. In fact, some enterprises will not have any manual testing at all and they automate everything. However, avoiding manual testing completely is not a recommended practice.
What are the Pros of Automated Testing?
The cool thing about automated testing is that you can catch bugs before releasing your application. This can save you from a lot of nightmares. With automated tests, you can detect more defects before releasing your application into production. However, it’s not true to say that automated testing assures you deliver bug free code. But what you release is a software of better quality.
Where should I avoid Automated Testing?
Even though automation tests have a lot of benefits, it doesn’t fit every project and every development team. If you don’t work in a team like that writing automated tests will end up costing you more money than the value you get out of them. Because you will spend more time fixing broken tests that are hard to read and understand. In those cases, it’s better not to take the right test at all. Another factor is the time and budget of your project. If you are part of a startup company and you have a deadline of 3 months to turn a product idea into working software. In this situation, it will be better for you not to spend your time writing automated tests because you don’t know if that product is going to succeed. Furthermore, many startup businesses will only have a small budget.
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