If you’re wondering how to implement automated testing into your application, this is the right article for you. Before we get into the details of doing so, let’s quickly review the importance of automated tests.

Automated Testing Overview

When it comes to testing, you can choose to do it manually, automated, or a mix of both. By incorporating automated tests into your software development process, you can ensure the following:

  • No regressions: when deploying code, you can be confident that features currently working on your app won’t stop working after a deployment. Your developers will make progress with little worry about leaking issues into production.
  • Faster development: similarly, changes in your code are verified to be working for both pre-existing and newly added features covered by your written tests. Your team will build and deploy code faster without having to spend a bunch of time reviewing their code.

Net-net, automated tests help reduce errors that make it to production and as a result, greatly improve the development cycle.

Implementing an Automated Testing Strategy

Now it’s time to dive into implementing automated testing. The first thing you’ll need to do is to develop a strategy. After all, there’s no execution without strategy and planning.

Consider the following testing strategies:

Form a team: One of the most common teams is to have a dedicated QA (quality assurance) and/or SDET (software development engineer in test) personnel within your project/organization.

  • The QA personnel mostly focuses on the manual part of tests. There are parts of the application that may require manual testing, such as testing the business logic. The role of the QA personnel is to focus only on manually testing all features that are ready.
  • The SDET personnel focuses on supporting the technical side. They design, develop, and maintain all the automated test setups and test cases. They are thorough when designing the test cases and must account for edge cases that are critical to functionality. This team doesn’t necessarily need to be a part of a separate/dedicated team and can be from your development team. If they are from your development team, each developer receives faster feedback about their code’s functionality, without having to wait for a separate test team to write the tests. We recommend this arrangement whenever possible.

Maintain the testing momentum: Beyond the initial SDET work, your development team must constantly build out tests for new features and functionality. Avoid long breaks between a finished feature and writing its tests since this may add time for your SDET team to be acquainted/reacquainted with the code. In doing so, your team will be update-to-date with features and will maintain good test coverage, ensuring a shortened QA cycle. 

Ensure Adequate Test Coverage: Automated tests are a vital tool for any development team. However, it’s not always critical to get 100% of the code tested automatedly. We find that 80% of the core functionality is a healthy balance between automated and manual testing.

Determine when to switch from manual to automated testing: For small enough projects that are less frequently updated after their initial release, you may want to go with the simpler testing strategy of doing everything manually. The amount of effort to automate the testing may not be worth the upfront costs for these smaller projects. Perform a cost-benefit analysis to project when to switch.

Consider the Frequency of Releases: When your project gets larger or has faster release cycles, it becomes increasingly time-consuming for manual QA, and for development. You’ll waste a lot of time with manual QA as your application becomes complex. At some point, you may even find that it’s impossible to QA manually! If you’re already here, the obvious answer is to switch things over to automated testing.

Executing Automated Testing

With the above in mind, it’s time to execute your test strategy. Have peace of mind, especially in high-risk industries like health and finance, and engage with an expert team like Uplancer to bring your automated testing to life. As your test integration partner, we’ll implement continuous testing into your CI/CD pipeline. We’ll also set up the full CI/CD pipelines in AWS CodePipeline and GitHub actions to handle full application testing, packaging, and deployment.

The Bottom Line / TLDR

Automated tests can benefit your development team. Make sure your team has dedicated some of their time to laying the strategy framework. Consider your team, your project scope, your project size, and test coverage when building out your implementation strategy.

Unsure whether you’re on the right track? Reach out to our team today for a free consultation on your current standing. We’ll set up end-to-end tests to test your application and website in simulated browser environments. We’ll also set up automated Google SEO and website performance tests in your CI/CD using Lighthouse.

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