Going a Step Further
Mobile apps have become a vital component of modern life: we use them for entertainment, for banking, to wake up in the morning, to go to the doctor, to schedule our lives. Because of this pervasive reliance, creating high quality and functioning apps has become one of the more lucrative businesses today for developers. But, in the landscape of 2018, everything has to be fast. We expect our Internet and our applications to run at the speed of light. On top of that, we also expect the release of new or updated apps to come at a similar speed.
App creation is not a simple process, requiring copious amounts of testing before public release. And if an app skimps on its testing period in an attempt to beat competitors to the finish line, the end result is often glitchy and non-functional. The invention of testing automation programs has led to a faster and more effective creation process. But what can be done to further accelerate automated app testing speeds? What actions can you undertake to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, allowing your company to beat competitors to the punch?
1. Choose the Right Tests to Automate
While automation is a remarkable testing tool, it can’t function alone. It’s important that developers decide which test cases to automate, and which work better tested manually by team members.
When deciding which tests to automate, it is best to defer to Mike Cohn’s Test Pyramid, which lays out three primary areas where automation is most effective. They are: unit testing, service, and user interface. Each of these vital areas are improved upon by automation. For example, unit testing automation can zero in on bugs that exist within an app’s code, telling team members where it can be found. Without automation, human eyes would have to peruse line after line of code. Such tedious work will tire the brain, allowing simple mistakes to turn a quick process into a time-consuming ordeal.
Many tests need to be run over and over again, which can become tedious when undertaken manually. Tired or bored team members make mistakes that an automated system will never make. Assign automation to testing cases which are frequently run and require massive amounts of data all performing the same action. Human minds tire; machines do not.
2. Start Testing Early
Testing does not come at the end of a development cycle. Rather, it should be a process that is undertaken all throughout the app’s creation. Testing early on in an app’s lifecycle allows the development team more opportunities to catch potentially harmful bugs. Some testing can be implemented on the first day of development and create a strong foundation for the automated system to be built around.
Some tests which can be undertaken during the development phase include:
- Performance and Stress Tests – Designed to gauge the functionality of your app over long periods of time.
- Functional Testing – It uses data to determine application inputs, expected outcomes, and compares those expectations to actual results.
- Regression Testing – Tests for unwanted alterations to app performance as a result of code changes.
Remember, it is far more cost effective to fix bugs that are discovered early than it is to correct mistakes after the app has already been released. Testing early saves your team both time and money.
3. Create Adaptive Testing
Your application will undergo several changes throughout the development process. Among them, the user requirements or the user interface. These can change with each new build and, if you’re not prepared, your testing system might have to be recreated from the ground up.
By ensuring that your tests can adapt to changes in processes, like control captions and their locations, you make sure that automated testing can continue to serve its purpose, without ever having to change.
4. Have the Right Team in Place
Your quality assessment team has a strong effect on the various tests your automation program will need to undertake. The knowledge and experience of your team members must be taken into account before you begin the process of dividing up your efforts. Understand which team members are more proficient in certain fields, such as writing and comprehension of script languages, and assign them to the role in which they will be most effective.
Remember that testing is far more effective when undertaken as a team effort. More eyes mean more potential to catch damning defects. Having the right team in place will help the automation process go more smoothly and churn out a better product in the end.