What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Test Automation
While manual testing still has its place in quality assurance testing, automation has taken over considerable elements of quality assurance due to the various advantages it has to offer. We take a look at the qualitative and quantitative benefits of automation in testing:
- reduced costs: One aim of automating the testing process is to reduce the overall resources spent on this process, thereby cutting testing costs as a whole. Additionally, test automation facilitates quick and early detection of application bugs and faults, allowing for correction early on, which also serves to cut down the total cost of developing the final product;
- cuts down on QA process times by up to 80%, which reduces lead time of launching the product;
- generates quicker Return On Investment (ROI);
- improves overall organizational efficiency;
- faster feedback: Testing for new features can take a long time with manual testing. Test automation helps reduce the feedback cycle and helps provide relevant information faster, allowing for the product to get to the market in a shorter time period.
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- More Accurate Results: Even the most experienced testing engineer can make mistakes, particularly in complex cases. In contrast, automated tests offer 100% accuracy because they run the same way every single time without fail;
- more consistent results;
- considerably faster than manual testing;
- increased and broader test coverage;
- faster testing cycles;
- faster script generation;
- reusable test scripts;
- facilitation of code reusability;
- better time allocation: Automated tests mean fewer man-hours spent on verification of features. The team can spend that time on other key areas of product development and quality assurance;
- reduced need for manual intervention, which can be better spent on other functional elements;
- increased test coverage: manual testing limits the number of features you can verify via testing. Automation allows new tests to be written and added to the testing suite. This increases test coverage, allowing for verification of more features and facilitating the creation of high-quality software;
- reusable code: while developing the code the first time around might be a time-taking and challenging task, once the testing suite is ready, it can be used over and over again across different projects. And now that you know the suite intimately, using it on other projects will be fast and easy.
- it makes the manually impossible, possible: There are many things that manual testing simply cannot do, which automated testing can do rather well such as simulating hundreds of thousands of virtual users interacting with the web or software.
Automation testing hasn’t become the norm in most quality assurance departments for no reason. It offers several key benefits to a product life cycle.
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Disadvantages and Challenges of Test Automation
Automation comes with its share of disadvantages, which we look at below:
- developing time needed: The first time developing the testing software is a time-taking process.
- debugging script is challenging: Not only is debugging tricky, but the bigger issue is that sometimes the errors missed in the script can lead to serious consequences.
- expensive tools and labor: Specialized automated software tools come at a premium. Additionally, automated QA engineers are more expensive to hire than their manual counterparts.
- test program needs support and maintenance: As and when conditions change, the program’s coding needs to be modified and re-tested to verify it is working per requirements. This is a costly process.
As beneficial as automated testing is, it comes with its share of challenges:
- which tasks to automate: not every task can be automated. Some still need manual-testing. Being able to identify the tasks which can be automated can help use automation in the most productive fashion possible. High-risk, repetitive, tedious, or time-consuming tasks are best-suited for automation.
- unrealistic expectations: expect too much from something and you set goals much more ambitious than what is possibly achievable. Set expectations based on actual archived relevant data available. Realistic expectations will deliver better results all-round.
Businesses can struggle to identify the right areas to automate for best results; they can set exceedingly ambitious goals, and they can forget the continued importance of manual testing.
Implemented with proper planning and as part of a bigger picture, though, test automation is central to quality assurance for software businesses around the world, particularly with developments such as intelligent test automation that have helped businesses keep pace with the dynamic environment of today.
At the end of the day, automated testing has a lot to offer as long as it is developed and executed properly. It is a salient feature of quality assurance these days and is extremely important in helping businesses effectively implement continuous improvement and development, which keeps them ahead of the competition in the market.
In the current dynamic environment, these test automation benefits are key to a business’s success, far outweighs its disadvantages, and therefore making a strong case for businesses to automate.