The COVID-19 crisis has brought cost control front and centre. QA is no exception. While this situation is unavoidable, it is the responsibility of IT to keep high quality despite workforce and budget reductions. So, how do we do that? Automation is a key, but what is the best way to get automation going?
Let’s consider two organizations:
Org A with dedicated automation team that has developed some regression suites
Org B with no automation in place at all
The question discussed above is relevant for both types of organizations:
For Org A, how do we build more regression suites to keep up with growing features with current
or fewer team members?
For Org B, how do we do more testing in shorter time and with fewer team members?
While there are many ways to approach to it, one of the best options is to adopt an automation approach that is easy to learn and adopt with no special skills like coding or programming that are usually needed for building automation suites. Such a framework and code less automation approach is called a scriptless automation technique.
Here are some additional pointers that may be helpful:
1. What is scriptless automation?
It is an approach that provides the same features and benefits like a traditional framework driven approach but something that is easy to use, easy to build and easy to learn.
2. What benefits does it provide?
No programming or coding skills are needed. Manual testers can embrace automation quickly to increase overall productivity in addition to bringing in higher velocity. Provides all features that traditional frameworks provide, and we would not miss anything important. Increases collaboration as it is easy to involve groups outside of QA and become an integral part of automation strategy.
No code means minimal maintenance
3. What tools are available?
There are two sets of tools widely known in the market, each has its pros and cons and are at various maturity levels:
AI (NLP/ML) based tools: These tools leverage various aspects of AI such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and ML (Machine Learning) to accelerate and stabilize various phases/activities of the automation process. Examples of such tools are Functionize, AutonomIQ and Mabl.
Non-AI – Traditional tools: These tools are either standard commercial scriptless automation tools with proprietary engines like Tricentis TOSCA or wrappers around Selenium to accelerate and encapsulate coding.
4. What factors should be considered while selecting these tools?
Technology stack and type of applications: Not all scriptless tools are compatible with web, desktop, COTS apps, mobile native and web apps. So, a thorough research should be done while choosing the right tool for the right set of applications. A tool that is compatible with most of the technologies would be helpful.
Cost: Some or most of these tools are commercial and not open source.
5. Is scriptless automation viable and comparable to framework / code-driven test automation?
Absolutely, yes. Although, some automation testers feel that they lose flexibility, especially those who are used to coding regularly.
Going back to the two types of organizations that I referenced earlier, Org A might need to build wrappers around these new tools or approaches so that they wouldn’t lose anything that’s already built, while it is an absolute fresh start and new journey for Org B.
To recap, automation is the answer to today’s mandate to bring down costs while raising quality. There are many automation solutions available today, but scriptless automation can help all types of test organizations scale upwards including those who have used automation extensively and those who are new to automation.