This is the practice of automatically reviewing and validating software, such as a web or mobile app. Automated testing ensures that the software meets previously defined quality standards for code style, functionality and user experience.
When only manual testing was done, software companies employed a full-time team of QA testers. This team developed a series of "test plans" that ensured the proper behavior of the project. In order to verify this series, the QA testers manually executed the checklists as soon as a new update was released. This process was therefore quite slow, costly and often a source of errors.
What benefits ?
Test automation is a major advance. These tests are now owned by an engineering team. Test plans are developed in parallel with the regular development of features on the roadmap, and then automatically executed by the software's continuous integration tools. The QA team is thus reduced and can concentrate on more specialized and sensitive functionalities.
Lower costs, better reliability and more speed. Automated tests have many advantages !
The different levels of tests that can be automated :
End-to-end testing :
These are the most useful tests to implement. Indeed, they simulate the experience of a user on a software product. These tests provide assurance that "real" users can enjoy a smooth and bug-free user experience. These tests can be very costly if used improperly, so their use must be carefully considered beforehand.
Unit tests :
These tests verify individual units of code. We measure these units in function definition. Unit tests are used to verify that the expected input and output match. For example, unit tests are best used when the code contains sensitive calculations. These tests are inexpensive, easy to implement and offer a high return on investment.
Integration tests :
Often, units of code include code belonging to a third-party service. Since the primary code is not directly linked to the third-party service, testers will not have access to it. The integration tests therefore consist of simulating the link between the primary code and these dependencies so that the connection takes place.
Integration tests and unit tests are quite similar both in their writing and in the tools involved. However, the return on investment is not always very high with this type of testing.
Performance testing :
In the context of testing, performance refers to the speed and responsiveness of a software project. These tests create situations for practical cases. For example : "page load speed" can be a chosen metric. Automated performance tests therefore execute test cases on the selected metrics and send alerts to the team in case of anomalies (regression or speed loss).
Which tools for test automation ?
Among the different tools allowing to automate tests we can find, to mention only them : Selenium, Ranorex or Cucumber.
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Editing : Toufik Ourzik & Sophie Berbey.
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