An Intro to Finding an Agile Test Automation Tool

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

Agile testing requires the ability to iterate frequently. But it often means the time available for tedious tasks like regression testing gets smaller.  

Whether you’re a development team transitioning to agile, considering going agile, or already practicing a variant of agile, how can you go above and beyond with your test automation to ensure that regression testing isn’t left behind?  

In this article, there is an introduction to finding the right agile automation tool to kick off your agile development. We also have an extended whitepaper detailing the questions you should ask yourself when looking for the right agile test automation tool. 

Related topic: How to Work with Agile Methodology in Testing for Successful Software Development

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What is agile development, really? 

At its core, an agile process means constantly adapting within the organization. This is because software development teams are pushed to deliver updated software functionality and remove bugs on an ongoing basis. 

Test engineers are a fundamental part of the agile development process, and they meet pressure from all sides…  

  • The owner of the product wants speedy releases 
  • Developers want continuous delivery 
  • And the end-user wants a flawless experience with the product 

On a small scale, creating manual tests does not cause large-scale problems. But when features are built and updated in the 1000’s and there are only two functional testers available, something has to give. Most of the time, it’s regression testing 

Regression testing is a tedious task. If you’ve already tested a feature, and you know it works, you may think no new bugs will be discovered.  

Unfortunately, features don’t always work the way you expect them to. When you sacrifice your regression testing, the quality of your product suffers. 

This puts an enormous amount of pressure on QA, and the pressure is only escalated as automation is scaled.  

This leads to a common slew of problems, from security holes and extended-release cycles to the demotivation of employees crucial to the agile testing approach.   

Code-based test automation is one solution, but it is counterproductive to the agile development process. 

Related reading: How to Achieve Agile Testing with Test Automation

How to find an agile test automation tool 

What do you need to look for in an agile test automation tool, and how do you know if it will do what it says on the tin?   

Primarily, you want to look for an automation tool that will fulfil the needs of the business and your agile development team. 

It will foster collaboration between teams, integrate with your existing software infrastructure, and reduce maintenance headaches with the result of shortening release cycles.  

Discover the best practices for building maintainable and scalable test automation

  • Create a checklist with your project requirements. To maintain the quality of your software, map out the scope of the project. 
  • Compare the vendor to your existing tool. If you’re already using a test automation tool, use it as a benchmark to assess a new tool.  
  • Learning and adoption. Find a tool that does not require programming skills to maintain and has a quick onboarding schedule.  
  • Time it takes to build an automated test. Reliable, repeatable and fast test creation is a facilitator of agile development. Codeless automation tools can reduce testing to an average of 40 mins testing down from 3 days. Watch this video, where two testers set up automation in two different tools: Selenium, which is code-based, and Leapwork, which is 100% code free.  

 
 

  • Fill the skills gap. A tool that’s made with business users and tech specialists in mind makes it easier to build and document a process that is easily understood by all. 
  • Maintenance workload. To reap the benefits of test automation, you need to reduce complexity. Test automation can’t truly support agile testing unless the strategy is no longer dependent on technical specialists. The less maintenance the better. 
  • Integrates with existing processes. Your pipeline will dictate the automation platform chosen. Check that the tool has the necessary native plugins and a REST API so that it works with your existing IT landscape. 
  • Supports cross-technology testing. Find a tool that supports applications and integrations across technology, enabling you to automate anything.  

Conclusion 

If we were to take the agile methodology at face value, everything coming out of an agile sprint would work. In enterprise companies with thousands of test cases, the chance of that happening is slim to none.   

So how can you ensure software releases happen at speed without compromising the quality? Leapwork removes the complexity of code and uses a visual language making it possible for testers to get involved in agile sprints.  

Allowing testers to build automation means that you can incorporate the automation scope into your sprint, freeing up the time spent on regression testing.  

For agile, it means your testers are free to utilize their skill sets to challenge the software under development.    

Learn more about selecting an agile test automation tool by downloading our guide on how to select the right test automation tool for agile development. You'll also discover how to make your agile testing more maintainable and scalable.  

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