An automated test is a script simulating user interaction with a system. Its main objective is to identify errors and bugs in software, send reports to QA engineers who fix identified bugs, and ensure uninterrupted delivery. In this post, we discuss the main benefits of automated testing, how they affect project costs, and help eliminate repetitive, boring tasks.
What are the main goals of automated tests?
Increase effectiveness of testing. Regular automated testing frees up time for QA engineers to focus on investigating new functions and spending less time (and client’s money) on retesting and monitoring of already-created functionality. With a project’s growth, the possibility of human error increases; automated testing helps avoid this issue.
Reduce the time for regression testing that increases with each iteration Sprint. Automated testing reduces the amount of time needed for QA workflow “find a bug – log the bug – fix the bug – check in fix”. In “manual” mode, it can take
a minimum of 7-8 working hours of one QA engineer. In automated mode, it will take 2-4 minutes.
Transparent testing process. QA engineers regularly spend considerable time on completing and reporting all errors and defects. During automated testing, reports are generated automatically and contain all information about what passed and did not pass testing steps.
Reduce testing cost. Once created and written, automated tests need minimum maintenance. If either functionality or interface has been changed, the time required for engineers to adjust their test scripts range from 10 minutes minimum to several hours, depending on the number of changes in the system.
What projects benefit with automated testing?
The diagram shows time needed for manual testing increases compared to time needed for automatic testing. As the project grows, manual testing requires increasingly more time and effort from the QA team. As the project increases in size and complexity, so too the amount of time required by the QA team to manually perform functionality tests.
Automated testing requires a greater investment of time at the beginning, but over a short period of time helps in reducing time for regression testing of all the functionalities and features already developed.
Here are just a few examples of projects that need automated testing:
A complex project with extensive user roles. The number of tests to be run increases with a project’s complexity. When manual test cases reaches 500, and the resource management system and one person must spend one week or more to check them, we begin to automate testing.
Team with more than 2-3 developers. There are more than two developers in a team. Developers must be sure that the code he/she checks in does not break someone else’s code, already-created logic or any functions of the system. Without automated testing, if such a failure occurs, it will take one or two days—or more—for the developers to discover it. Or even worse: users or clients uncover it.
Generating test data takes a lot of time. Doing the job manually includes setting up the data in the system and analyzing the results manually. Such an unjustified waste of resource time! Spending a week testing already-completed functionality within a milestone takes too long, especially when we can do it with automated testing within 1-2 days.
What are disadvantages of automated testing?
- Initial investment
- Specially qualified engineer required to write tests
- Duration of time for automated testing to take effect on ROI
How to make approximate calculations of ROI for automated tests?
ROI can be used as a rudimentary gauge of an investment’s profitability.
Once the ROI is >1, we can consider that we have a profit from the investments. Let’s take ~500 test cases. We spent 32 hours to run all test cases manually.
If we set a goal to automate ~80% of those test cases, we get the following benefits:
Writing 400 test cases for automatization at approximately 40 min per test case = 16,000 min. (267 – let’s round up to 270 hours).
100 test cases cannot be automated and take 6 hours to run.
Profit: 32 hours – 6 hours = 26 hours per each run
Cost of Investment: 270 hours
ROI = (26 * X – 270) / 270
Where X – amount of Milestones
ROI will be > 1 if X > 11
Once we have already prepared the framework for a particular project, time required decreases after each sprint. Accordingly, profit is achieved faster because investments for automated tests are reduced to 60%. Speed of automated tests: 30 sec. per test * 400 = 200 min. Plus, they can run in parallel with manual test cases.
Not all the projects require automated testing. Sometimes we cannot use them; it is better to do manual testing.
However, if the project is large and its duration expands over years, automation helps speed up many processes and minimizes the human-error factor.
Automation testing services helps increase the quality of the product and improves the product’s structure and the versatility, stability and reliability of the used test scripts.
The main benefit of automation lies in time saved: a lot less time is spent on regression testing after each sprint.
Once written, test cases can be run with each iteration of regression testing. Each test case will take less than 1 minute.