What’s New in Test Automation?
With the arrival of Agile and DevOps development technologies, the software development industry has gone through a significant disruption. Which naturally, has impacted test automation as well. Quality Assurance professionals have had to quickly adapt to the changes in the industry to stay relevant.In some ways, the pace of change is only accelerating. Let’s take a look at some of the latest trends in test automation:
- Enhanced Scope of Test Automation:
Test automation was primarily designed to test the application against its expected behavior. However, today, automation teams have to think past the actual scope of test validations to verify a build before its release. Test automation is now used in CI/CD modeling, continuous integration, and delivery, aggressively.
With the advent of CI-CD and agile development, delivery models with faster time-to-market are coming into vogue. The coverage of test automation has spread across Mobile and Web applications, enterprise systems, and even IoT applications. All automation tools now support a wide variety of application streams.
- Increased Pressure to Shorten Delivery Cycles:
The need for test management tools has expanded to facilitate ever-shortening delivery cycles. Companies are investing heavily in improving their development and delivery processes by making use of new and improved tools. Test automation is an integral part of this process.
Frequent changes in technologies, platforms, and devices have put tremendous pressure on software development teams to deliver solutions faster and more often. By integrating test automation with development, companies can stay on track with market requirements and shorten their delivery cycles.
As mentioned earlier, integration plays a pivotal role in shortening delivery cycles. It is also vital when it comes to facilitating test automation intelligently. For smart testing and analytics, the data is consolidated from diverse sources such as requirement management systems, change control systems, task management systems, and test environment.
The expectation in today’s software development scenario is that the automation suite can execute untended on each code drop regardless of the environment. The need is for it to run through and log failures and successes. In other words, the scope of automation has evolved from test validation to a fully unattended build certification. Though the code required to verify a scenario is the same, software teams have to evaluate all the ways to integrate it to perform unattended integrations.
- Big Data Testing:
Today we live in the day and age of big data. Businesses are going through digital transformation, and data holds critical importance in gaining insights. Essentially, Big Data is large volumes of multiple different kinds of data that is generated at a tremendous velocity. Naturally, this change brings about the need for Big Data testing.
Test automation in Big Data testing focuses on both performance testing and functional testing. In Big Data testing, it is vital to verify that terabytes of data are favorably processed using commodity cluster and other supportive components. The success of Big Data testing largely depends on the quality of the data. Hence, the quality of data is validated before test automation begins.
The data quality is reviewed based on several characteristics such as conformity, accuracy, validity, consistency, duplication, data completeness, etc.
- Union of Test Automation and Machine Learning:
Machine learning has brought about some significant changes in workflows and processes. This includes the test automation processes too. In test automation, machine learning can be used to classify redundant and unique test cases; to predict the critical parameters of software testing processes based on historical data; to determine the tests cases which need to be executed automatically; to extract keywords to achieve test coverage; to identify high-risk areas of the application for the prioritization of regression test cases.
As technology gets more advanced, there is tremendous pressure for development iterations to get shorter. By default, this makes quality-related expectations more complex. With massive shifts in the software development field, the test automation process has evolved tremendously, and it will continue to develop in the future.
In a race against time and driven by the need for world-class quality, test automation will remain a strategic investment for businesses to reduce costs while overcoming challenges related to quality and time-to-market. On that journey, of course, only one thing can be predicted with any degree of certainty. And it’s that as software development keeps evolving, testing and test automation will keep evolving as well.