4 best practices to reduce your software testing time
4 best practices to reduce your software testing time
In the world of software development, testing is under more of a microscope than ever. According to a recent Gitlab survey, 49% of the respondents (mostly engineers) said that testing causes the most delays in development. For many, testing is still extremely labor-intensive, especially when trying to get the most benefit out of manual testing while implementing automation when necessary.
In today’s age, when organizations are under an inordinate amount of pressure to develop and release applications quickly, software testing cannot continue to be a bottleneck. Now more than ever, organizations must establish software testing, specifically test automation, best practices so that they can release software quickly while still ensuring the highest quality standards.
To help your organization address some of the most hot-button issues that arise in software testing, here are four important best practices to keep in mind when determining how to reduce software testing time.
Automate your tests strategically
One great way to start reducing your software testing time is by selecting a few scenarios that you believe would benefit most from test automation, such as regression testing and end-to-end testing for critical processes. By choosing these types of tests, your team will soon realize the amount of time they can save, especially when compared to testing manually. This will not only shorten existing software testing efforts, but will also free up time to increase the company’s test coverage.
Another way your QA team can automate tests strategically is by taking advantage of the scheduling options available within your automated testing tool. Scheduling your tests in advance allows your team to ensure that your critical processes are running both constantly and flawlessly without actually taking up any man-hours. With the option to run tests without having your testers physically online, scheduling your tests will both optimize your team’s efficiency and have them spend less time on running these tests overall.
Smart test design
Another way to shorten the time spent on software testing is by investing time and effort into designing your tests well from the start. Focusing on test design will help make sure that your team is testing as efficiently as possible from the get-go, as well as give insight into why the team may or may not be keeping up with company release cycles.
One great tip for designing your tests strategically is by keeping them short. When you keep your automated tests between 5-15 test steps, you will see both short-term and long-term time-saving benefits. First, keeping your tests short will make them easier to understand, which means that you can receive and implement feedback from other team members (whether on the QA team or another department) more quickly. Second, shorter tests will also help reduce time as you move into creating more complex scenarios.
This leads to the next important test design tip, which is to build your tests using reusable components. This will make test creation a much shorter process because you will already have the building blocks for future tests available to you. Even when you’re looking to test highly complex functions, test creation will be simpler and faster than ever.
Minimize time spent on test maintenance
Building your tests with reusable components also reduces the amount of time your team will spend on test maintenance, which is often known as one of the most time-consuming aspects of software testing. With the right software testing tool, changes that you make to one element will apply automatically to other tests that use it. This will ensure that your tests are continuously up-to-date, which means you need to worry less about whether or not tests that use these components will function properly.
Another way to minimize the time your team spends on test maintenance is by leveraging automated testing tools with self-healing capabilities. To minimize test flakiness, these automated testing tools use AI technology to identify web elements correctly even when they have undergone UI changes (e.g. a bigger login button, change in location of a form). This feature allows tests to continue running by overcoming changes in the application automatically.
When QA teams take advantage of tools that use AI technology in this way, testers will spend less time on excessive work since tests will be more resilient overall. Tests will only break when there is a change in logic or if there is a genuine bug that needs attention.
Choose a tool that appeals to technical and non-technical users
This may seem like a “softer” best practice to consider when you’re looking to reduce software testing time, but it’s an important one to not overlook. When doing any type of test automation task that requires multiple people, best practices can only do so much where there isn’t effective communication. The easier people can communicate about the task at hand, the faster the work will get done.
This is why when considering any automated testing tool that will be used by multiple teams, it’s important to prioritize tools that are user-friendly and show information in a clear, visual way. This will mean that anyone from the most technical developer to someone in the C-suite can understand what is happening. With certain tools, you can expand the test scenario to see the individual steps and compress it to show a basic description of the process under test. This makes testing more accessible, plus it increases overall visibility into the team’s software testing efforts.
Your tool should also integrate with how the testing team already communicates, such as Slack or e-mail notifications. This will shorten your testing time by making the process of implementing test automation more seamless.
Test automation best practices will move your testing forward
Organizations are consistently under pressure to develop and launch new web applications both quickly and flawlessly. Establishing smooth and efficient software testing processes early on will help organizations optimize work efforts and achieve their goals more quickly. By focusing on creating these and other best practices, you will be setting both your QA team and your organization as a whole up for success.