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What is QA automation and what are main challenges it brings? This short article will tell you what you need to know about automating QA.
With the increasing digitalization brought about by the global pandemic, QA automation is now at the top of the software testing agenda. But why should you care about it? With faster and faster releases, ensuring a high-quality customer experience is absolutely vital.
Within software development, quality assurance is the process of making sure that software is working as it should. QA testers ensure that in any particular project, the software requirements in place are met.
Related reading: What is QA Testing?
These projects could involve anything from putting a new feature into a CRM system, customizing a platform, or ensuring that new releases don’t interfere with old ones. The point of QA is to limit the number of bugs in development and production.
Traditionally, quality assurance has been done manually but it is increasingly becoming automated.
That said, the Capgemini World Quality Report of 2021-22 found that only 15-20% of testing is currently being done automatically. Manual testing in QA is prone to error and time-consuming, plus it’s harder to scale. And that’s where QA automation comes in.
QA automation (often referred to as test automation) is the process of automating QA – it relies on specialized tools to execute test cases and generate results. It involves writing scripts and then executing test cases.
You might think that QA automation replaces testing engineers, but testing teams still need to write test scripts before software is deployed. There is also still much to be done in terms of creating a testing environment and maximizing test coverage across multiple scenarios.
QA automation has many benefits, but among them are improving product quality, reducing testing time and cost, utilizing resources and suitability for CI/CD integration and DevOps.
Before automated QA, coding and tested processes were treated as separate stages, but testing happens more frequently with automated QA. That means it’s easier to spot bugs.
If QA automation sounds like an easy solution, think again. In many ways, coded test automation comes with as many challenges as it solves. That’s mainly because of how much coding is involved to make QA automation happen.
The graphic below shows how the time and resources spent on building automation can in fact outweigh those saved as a result of that automation.
While it is very common for testers to experience difficulties automating their testing process, Capgemini found that 46% of enterprises find it difficult to find skilled and experienced test automation resources in their 2021-22 World Quality Report.
Apart from the difficulty and resources needed to implement QA, it also has an initially low ROI. Programmers are needed to automate testing and when new functionalities are introduced and automated tests break, maintenance tests go up.
Read more: How to Calculate the ROI of Test Automation
So how should you go about QA automation if we want to achieve continuous testing, preventing defects in advance rather than putting out fires? It means integrating quality assurance into the software development process. Apart from anything else, you need a good QA strategy for automating QA.
A way of doing this is by no-code test automation. There are an increasing number of tools that allow you to test without needing programmer resources.
They bring those who know your business better into the testing process by removing the barrier of coding. Bringing more testers into test automation building means increased efficiency and less reliance on manual testing.
Take Leapwork’s visual no-code automation tool for example. It’s intuitive to use for any person, and it lets you get started quickly and easily. Instead of coding, like you would in Selenium for example, you use visual building blocks to automate QA. Have a look at this example of a Leapwork flow.
Image: This image shows a visual test automation case using the tool Leapwork.
This case executes a Salesforce login, and validates the customer details against a external data set.
If you'd like to know more about QA automation, watch our webinar on successful test automation. In it, our experts Sune Ensig and Praveen Kumar will teach you how to develop a test automation strategy that is both result-oriented and cost-effective.