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No-code Test Automation: What it Actually Means

Anna Thorsen

Anna Thorsen

No-code test automation solutions are supposed to ease build and maintenance. But does no-code actually equate to an easier and lower maintenance test automation? Well, the short answer is - it’s complicated. We’ll go into more detail below.

In this short article, we’re going to explain:

  1. What no-code test automation actually means
  2. How to assess no-code test automation vendors
  3. The test automation fallacy
  4. True no-code test automation

What no-code test automation actually means

To be no-code, a solution or test automation vendor doesn’t require a user to use a programming language to build an automated test.

This makes test automation accessible to the people responsible for QA.

While the underlying solution is built on top of a programming language, the user will never have to interact with code.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

What is sold as an easy, no-code, scalable solution is often just a thin layer of UI based on top of a complex machine.

Most automation tools are complex, require coding skills, and have a high maintenance burden graphic

“No-code” and “low-code” are often used interchangeably as well. While in fact they’re very different once you take a closer look. Low-code solutions do require developers, making them difficult to scale and maintain.

Code, low-code or no-code test automation

And so the meaning of no-code has transformed and morphed into something that is no longer no-code

So how can you assess whether a test automation vendor is actually no-code?

How to assess no-code test automation solutions

When you’re on the hunt for a test automation vendor, this is your time to put their solution to the test.

Beyond the technology, process and organizational fit, have the vendor show you how the solution performs on test cases that are notoriously complex for your business.

Do they require coded workarounds to get the test case to work? Or can a business user or QA team member handle the build and maintenance of the test cases, without requiring developers? And when something breaks, how easy is it to find the root cause?

This is where you can understand whether no-code actually means no-code.

We detail all the steps that you need to consider when you’re on the hunt for a test automation vendor in this checklist - you’ll be equipped to assess a vendor on their process, technology, and organizational fit, their ease of use and maintenance, training and support.

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The test automation fallacy

Automation tools are complex and many of them require coding skills. If you’re searching for no-code test automation, you’ll undoubtedly know that. Because 8 out of 10 testers are business users who can’t code​.

Eight out of 10 testers are business users who can't code graphic

And because of this previous experience, many have internalized three things:

  1. Test automation always has a steep learning curve - regardless of whether or not they’re no-code.
  2. Test automation maintenance is always impossibly high
  3. Scaling test automation is not possible

But what if we told you that’s not the case.

What if there actually was a solution that:

  1. Is easy to use, and can bring value to an organization in just 30 days.
  2. That maintenance can be manageable, without having to waste valuable resources
  3. And that test automation can be scaled

Here’s how:

Leapwork is a visual test automation solution that uses a visual language, rather than code. This approach makes the upskilling, build, and maintenance of test automation much simpler, and democratizes test automation. This means testers, QA and business users can use test automation, without requiring developers.

Users can design their test cases through building blocks, rather than having to use code. This approach works even for your most complex end-to-end test cases.

See how other common test automation vendors compare against Leapwork in this test automation comparison chart. You’ll be able to assess vendors on their usability and adoption, integrations, applications supported, governance, compliance and documentation.

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