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Automation testing is always not GOD

Posted by: Amit Rana On July 23, 2015 04:56 PM

Why Tests Are Necessary?

Testing software is nothing new in IT industry whether it is manual or Automation. The core objective of Testing is to ensure a 100% defect- free product. Automated testing eliminates the need for manual testing. Working in an agile environment makes it essential to automate system testing to rerun tests in each iteration. But in the some stages of some systems, there are changes in the UI, product flow, or design itself in each iteration, making it difficult to maintain the automation scripts. The role of automation in agile context is repetition of regression and redundant tasks, while the actual testing happens at the hands of manual testers. The creativity, skills, experience, and analytical thought process of a human mind cannot be replaced by automated scripts. This belief has to be ingrained in every organization’s culture in order to achieve the best quality.

My views

Talking about software testing today is incomplete without the mention of test automation. Automation has become an important part of testing tasks and is deemed critical to the success of any software development team—and rightly so, with all its benefits like speed, reliability, reducing redundancy, and ensuring complete regression cycles within tight deadlines. Working in an agile environment makes it essential to automate system testing due to the bulk of regression tests required in every iteration. But what makes test automation hard within an agile context is its very inherent nature of constant change (CI-Continuous Integration)Because the system under test changes continuously, the automation scripts have to be changed so often that they actually become a task themselves instead of a benefit. The biggest misconception is that automated tests are the same as manual tests they are not. Automated tests are programs that check something – the tool only runs what it has been programmed to run, and doesn’t do any thinking. This misconception leads to many mistakes in automation for example, trying to automate all and only manual tests. Not all manual tests should be automated. It is fact that humans have the ability to notice, analyse, and observe things that computers cannot. Even for unskilled testers, for amateur minds like fresher, or in total absence of any knowledge, requirements, or specifications of the system under test, people can observe and find a lot of things than any automation tool will be able to, I can bet on that. Actually my belief is automation is not actually testing; it is merely the repetition of the tasks and tests that have been performed earlier and are only required as a part of regression cycles. Automation is made powerful by the various reports and metrics associated with it. Mind it, regression testing is only done once we have system under control and all the manual tests have been created. Baseline of Automation scripts is Manual test scripts. But the actual testing still happens at the hands of a real tester, who applies his creativity, skills, experience, and analytics to find and report bugs in the system under test. Once his tests pass, they are then converted to automated suites for the next iteration, and so on. So the basic job of automation suites is to free up the time and resources of the manual testers from the repetitive and redundant tasks so that they are able to concentrate and focus on the new features delivered and find maximum bugs in those areas. Therefore, it is very important to not get caught up in the various charts, coverage, and metrics of our test suites. Instead we must focus on our projects’ context and requirements and, based on those designs, our automated versus manual tests ratio.

Summary

Automation test suites, though essential, should not be thought of as the “gold bullet” of quality. The actual test efforts still lie with the manual tester’s expertise and skills, without which actual quality cannot be ingrained into the system. We must keep a check on the unrealistic expectations for automation tests, because after all, automation suites are not God. I have been working if Software testing since last 9 years and currently working on writing books for manual testing. I have worked on various testing projects in Product As Well As Service Company.

Tags: Product Engineering
 
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