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Don’t Let Your Boss Read This Article if You Aren’t Already Doing This
Not every software development group tests its products. Wait … did you read that correctly?
You did! It is amazing but not every company tests its software or systems. Eighty-three percent of developers don’t like to test their code. They act like they are at the roulette table in Las Vegas and let it fly without testing.
One of the reasons that most developers don’t like to test their code is that they find that “the process is too tedious.” So, many avoid pushing their testing to the limits. They do the minimal amount of work. Do you know what you get when you do the minimum? You get substandard results. At best, you get mediocrity. I can’t think of anything worse than being mediocre.
Do you say you’re not that person? Well … that’s good!
But even if you think you are doing a thorough job testing you can’t be perfect all the time. Let’s face it. Every new batch of code always has defects. Test professionals strive to catch them before the product is released but they always creep in and they often reappear, even with the best manual testing processes.
The only way to significantly reduce the incidence of errors being released into the code is through test automation. Test Automation software is the best way to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and coverage of your software testing.
Here’s the deal. This isn’t rocket science. Test automation tools have been around for over a decade and are widely used by “the best” test engineers. If you are already testing and you give a damn about the job you are doing, you really should be looking at automation. If you aren’t testing but want to, automation is the way to start right.
Still not convinced? Okay … here are 10 compelling reasons why test automation is the right way to go.
- Return on Investment: One of the top reasons that companies don’t automate their testing is the initial investment. There is a financial investment and there is a time investment. Like anything in life, the best things come with a little sacrifice. It is for that reason that ROI is the first thing we talk about. The ROI for this investment depends on the type of testing operation that you are running. Investing in automated testing software should be no different than any other business investment. Best practices dictate that you go through some type of formalized review process. There are simple formulas that you can use that show how you can save both time and make additional revenue through automating your testing. You should easily be able to determine the time-line payback specific to your business.
- Always “on” Testing: The beauty of automated testing is that you don’t need to be physically present to do the test. Preset when the test is going to be run. For example, perhaps you compete for server resource time in your company. With test automation, you can set the tests to run whenever you can get computing access. It doesn’t matter if it is the middle of the night; no one has to be awake or present to do the testing. You can start the tests when you leave the office and when you get back in the morning you can see the results and keep on working. You can even start or stop tests remotely using your mobile device.
- Better Utilization of Human Resources: If you currently use offshore testing resources because you can throw bodies cheaply at the effort you don’t need to continue that activity. In fact, in some instances, the test tools available today need only be run by a single seasoned testing professional. That person writes the test scripts and sets the parameters for when the tests will be run. Gone are the days when test professionals need to spend lots of boring hours running the same manual tests over and over again. Your internal test team can focus on more sophisticated testing challenges. This is a better use of your professionals and leads to higher job satisfaction and less burnout.
- Repeatability: The test scripts that you create can be archived in a test case library and reused anytime. You don’t need new scripts all the time, even if the version of the OS on the device changes. It allows you to redo the test exactly the same way, without forgetting any steps.
- Auto Error Detection: Automation helps you find bugs in the early stages of software development which reduces expenses and working hours to fix these problems. Manual testing often ends in a test professional staring at a screen after screen to find what error made the test fail. Autotest detection allows for auto-identification of error right down to the bit level. No guesswork involved. You can get right to solving the problem.
- Reliability: Automated testing is a more reliable and quicker method of testing. Once created, the test results can be archived in the test case library for future use. They never change unless purposeful action is taken to modify them. The steps of the test never change, and no accidental errors occur due to boredom from repetition or fatigue. Computers don’t get tired!
- Simultaneity: Automation allows you to test more devices simultaneously. A test run can be set to simulate multiple devices interacting with each other and exchanging messages. Manual testing usually entails one testing professional or team working on one interface, device, or switch at a time. With automation, that number of simultaneous testing is unlimited.
- Continuity: One of the biggest headaches that any company faces is the loss of testing personnel. Depending on the sophistication of the testing practice, retraining can negatively affect productivity. With an automated test practice, the repository of knowledge for the test cases being run exists in the system, not the person. This is especially helpful in situations where companies have a dependency on outsourced testing where incidences of high turnover occur. Continuity is also important when test run comparisons are conducted. Automated testing allows for accurate test comparisons to be done without concerns that something has changed in the test script.
- Complete Testing: A complete testing system handles all types of testing. Often test tools (automated or manual) are designed as point solutions. While they may be sufficient for one type of testing, their limitations often cause companies to invest in multiple testing products to do the job. The results usually are wasted capital resources, test systems that don’t talk to each other, and inefficient use of time due to having to start or stop disparate testing systems.
- Good Insurance: Investing in automated testing technology is not just good insurance, it’s the best kind of insurance. Companies buy may types of business insurance because it’s good business practice. But, insurance doesn’t stop the undesirable thing from happening. It just helps to ease the pain once it has happened. Automated testing is like the best kind of insurance a company can get because it actually can stop the bad thing from happening. What’s the value of this type of insurance? It’s probably different for every company. So ask yourself, if you have an error in your product or service how much do you stand to lose in “real” revenues? How much do you stand to lose in the goodwill of the brand or the customer? Those answers are why automated testing is the best kind of insurance.
Which one of those 10 reasons resonated with you? Probably a whole bunch of them … right?
What’s the next step? The next step you should take to making any kind of change is to get all the data you can so that you can make an informed decision. Let the facts help guide your decision making.
If you’re ready to dig a little deeper. Click HERE to schedule a 15-minute phone call with me where you can learn more about test technologies available to companies just like yours.
Do you want to know the best part of taking the next step? Now your boss can see this article.
About the Author
Dr. Richard Greene, DBA, has more than 30 years of experience as a sales executive and testing professional. He’s active in sports and is a 7-time Ironman finisher and ultra-distance open water Swimmer. Rich also has a passion for helping others to achieve peak performance in their personal and professional lives.
As a Sales Director at Ascert, he draws upon this passion for excellence to help companies realize their highest levels of efficiency and business potential. Using the industry’s leading technology from Ascert, his customers can achieve unprecedented levels of testing productivity and performance in their organizations.
Contact Rich at: RichG@Ascert.com or 415-339-8500 x5125