Test automation is continuing to grow in popularity. According to a recent survey of testers and QA professionals, roughly 50% of those who responded expect to make a big leap towards test automation in the next year. All of the respondents were from mid-size and large enterprises, which also means the market has potential to grow significantly.
There is a wide range of automation testing tools that can help QA teams and their companies achieve faster testing that keeps up with their SDLC. However, codeless automation provides distinct advantages that make it the logical choice for test automation.
One of the major ways where codeless automation stands out is that it caters to QA teams with diverse skill sets. While more traditional test automation tools assume a certain level of coding experience, codeless automation takes away this assumption entirely.
In fact, test maintenance is a major area where codeless automation testing tools can make a large impact. Since updating test code can be a very manual and time-consuming task, this is a particularly significant value-add. Let’s review how this works:
Codeless Automation and Test Maintenance
Web applications have many different elements, such as a login button, username and password boxes, and a checkout button. Over time, websites often make subtle changes to these attributes to improve the user experience. While this optimization is important, it also creates a lot of work for QA to make sure that these elements still work properly.
Before codeless automation tools that incorporate AI into their platforms, maintaining these tests required going into the code manually, identifying the changing element and updating the test flow accordingly. Unless you had a working knowledge of the tests’ code, it would be difficult to change these tests effectively. Tests would then break frequently, creating a backlog of manual work to keep them running smoothly.
To overcome these challenges, companies only had two choices: teach their QA team how to sift through and change the code or hire an automation engineer. Either one requires a large cost when it came to time, resources, or both, making them both less attractive options.
How Codeless Automation Helps:
Codeless automation testing tools bridge this skills gap in two ways. First, many codeless automation tools can overcome these changes automatically by incorporating machine learning into their test automation platforms. With machine learning, tests break less because it takes into account all of the different attributes for every test element. If there is a change, you don’t need to drill down into the code and apply the changes within the code itself.
Second, codeless automation allows testers to work in a visual interface, which makes it easier to make test flow adjustments upon changes in the application logic. Even without coding skills, testers can see exactly where their tests break and reconnect these broken elements during runtime. In addition, these changes will automatically reapply to all other tests that are using this process. In each of these ways, codeless automation tools can help reduce test maintenance time and resources.
Other Skills Gaps Where Codeless Automation Can Help
Although codeless automation most notably (and obviously) bridges this coding skills gap, it also can help teams who don’t have skills in other important elements of the software testing process. Here are some examples of other skills-related challenges that codeless automation can overcome.
No Need to Build Your Own Test Automation Framework
Without codeless test automation, QA teams are tasked to build their own framework from scratch in addition to creating the tests themselves. This requires many steps, as well as experience with solutions such as build tools, browser automation tools, and IDEs. More often than not, companies bring in a specialist to build the framework due to its complexity.
To build a framework, the person building the framework needs to create a base project, as well as the modules and dependencies that will go into it. Modules need to be set up for multiple elements, including page objects and classes that facilitate creating automated tests. In addition, they need to add the dependencies that go between each module in the framework. Without an existing knowledge of tools like Java and Maven, this initial setup will prove to be quite difficult.
Second, testers then need to add the actual code to this framework. This is problematic for a few reasons. A more obvious issue is that many testers that are tasked to create and execute these tests, often manual testers, don’t have previous coding skills. Additionally, this process also doesn’t allow for creating tests before the code has been written. This has many repercussions for those companies that are trying to shift left and become more agile.
With a codeless test automation tool, the framework is set up for you from the get-go. Plus, many codeless solutions are already integrated with tools that are likely to be part of your CI/CD pipeline, such as JIRA, Jenkins, and TeamCity. This makes test creation and incorporating test automation into your environment much easier.
By going codeless, testers also have the opportunity to create test scenarios before new features are even coded. Using a virtual canvas, testers can design abstract versions of the tests based on the product flow or wireframe. Once the code is ready, all you need to do is run the test and bind the element.
No Legacy Tool Experience Needed
With codeless test automation tools, you don’t need to invest a lot of time and resources into extensive training. This not only bridges another crucial skills gap but also allows QA to conduct more agile testing.
When searching for a test automation tool, many companies first consider legacy solutions from larger, more established enterprises. Perhaps this is because the company is already highly invested in this enterprise, or many test flows were already built using these tools.
While legacy tools may tout a highly recognized brand name, they also come with a heavy cost. In addition to their hefty price tag, many legacy tools also require a lot of maintenance due to their complexity. Instead of creating new test scenarios, testers will instead spend a lot of their time learning the tools themselves.
While codeless automation tools require some training to acclimate to a new solution, they offer a considerably shorter learning curve. Testers can create test scenarios based on what they actually see in the web application instead of within the code. This will free up time for testers to create new test scenarios, and give more flexibility to create tests in a more agile way. This seems like a much better alternative to spending time learning the ins and outs of a legacy solution.
Communicating with the Rest of Your Team
Another important skills gap that codeless automation tools can assist with is effective communication. While a much softer skill in comparison to test maintenance or building a framework, it is one that QA teams should not overlook.
According to a Cloverpop study, decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results. Therefore, it isn’t just a nice idea to invest in tools that allow for better collaboration; it’s essential for business.
Unlike traditional automation testing tools, codeless automation creates an even playing field for all team members. Instead of tests that cater only to QA or to developers with coding skills, everyone can see and understand the test scenarios clearly. This also allows product managers to get involved in the testing process, which adds even more context and diversity to the conversation.
This creates ample opportunity for stronger communication, as well as more productive knowledge-sharing. Testers, developers and product managers question software testing differently, which is a strong asset when they can communicate well. With the opportunity to ask each other the right questions, the opportunity for faster, and higher quality growth is virtually endless.