Why Should I Use Scriptless Test Automation If I Can Code?

Maria Homann

Automation Expert

The discussion on no-code, codeless, or scriptless automation is often centered around what it does for no-coders; how it democratizes automation and makes it possible for people without programming skills to create or contribute to automated testing.

For this group of people, scriptless test automation makes sense. They are given the power to do something they otherwise wouldn’t have.

But what about the people who do program? The people who have excellent coding skills and are fully capable of using their skill set to automate tests and quality assurance processes for software development?

What’s in it for them?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the arguments for why coders can also benefit from scriptless test automation:

1. There aren’t enough people with (good) coding skills

If you’re a developer, you might not like the sound of this argument. Right now, you’re in a great position: The world needs more of you. You can pick and choose between job opportunities and get a nice, high salary and all the benefits.

Since COVID-19, digitization has escalated at the speed of lightning, increasing the demand for even more coders who can build new and improved software.

But from the business’ point of view, things look a little different. They know that talent doesn’t hang on trees, and they are actively looking for ways to meet digital demand with alternative solutions. Enter scriptless automation.

What’s more, even though some developers may have coding skills on paper, there’s also a difference between writing code and writing good code. And by good code, we mean code that is well-structured and requires minimal maintenance. In the context of test automation, the difference between good code and not-so-good code can mean hundreds or even thousands of (very expensive) developer hours. In other words, it’s a costly affair for the business.

2. Code doesn’t scale

The consequence of code-based test automation, and particularly code-based test automation written by not-so-good coders, is the difficulty of scaling.

As a business grows, its digital solutions grow with it. What once was a simple software solution with a few features can become a complex constellation of technologies, versions, features and integrations. Simultaneously, customer expectations for the digital solution grows, and hence the need to test it - not just the new features and upgrades, but the system in its entirety. That can often mean testing it on multiple types of devices, browsers, and operating systems.

Now translate that complexity into automated tests. To cover the full scope with code-based automation, you will need your developers to spend a lot of hours writing new code, and even more maintaining it. Not exactly the dream job of your average developer.

If you picture code-based automation next to no-code automation, it isn’t difficult to understand how those developers could save those hours and spend their time on something else.

Watch the video below to see a side by side comparison of a code-based and no-code test automation solution.



3. One developer’s code isn’t another developer’s treasure

We all have our own style. Any developer who has tried to take over another developer’s work will know that reading and understanding code that someone else has written isn’t always easy.

Yet, it will happen at some point to most developers. Sometimes projects are handed over because resources are needed elsewhere. Sometimes developers leave the company and someone else has to take over their project.

A change of hands can happen for a multitude of reasons, but the consequence is often the same: The developer who is left with the code must either dissect the contents and find a way to continue the work, or scrap it and start over. Either way, time is thrown out the window. It’s a lose-lose situation.

4. Visual automation creates a common language for collaboration

On a more positive note, the upside of choosing a scriptless automation solution is that it provides teams with a lingua franca - a common language that isn’t reserved for coders, but can be understood by anyone regardless of their professional background.

How? A no-code automation tool that reduces unnecessary complexity and displays tests through visual flow charts rather than lines of code makes it quick and easy to get an overview of what is being tested. This means more people on the team can contribute to and collaborate on test automation projects.

See the example below of Leapwork’s automation tool.

Salesfroce flow

5. Scriptless automation reduces maintenance. A lot.

While some developers may enjoy the process of writing new code for automation, those that enjoy maintaining it are a rare species.

Nevertheless, maintenance is a part of the package. When updates or changes occur either within your application or within an integrated system, tests are bound to break.

Maintenance isn’t just time-consuming. It’s difficult. Reading through lines of code that you wrote months ago to update an element or input a different data value is tedious and at risk of error. There’s also a good chance that updating something in one place can impact something in another place, and this is where the trouble really starts.

With scriptless test automation, on the other hand, identifying and updating values is much easier, because the interface is simple to navigate. On top of that, most test automation solutions today offer some level of self-healing capabilities that will prevent your tests from breaking in the first place. If the tool also has easy troubleshooting mechanisms like video recordings and logs that can show you where a test broke, you’ve just made your life a whole lot easier.

Learn more

There’s much more to learn about scriptless test automation. Make sure to sign up for our webinar to learn how to build your own codeless UI automation.

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