Yes, we need automation
Software testing has taken a new dimension with the entry of mobile devices and is of course changing the rules of testing slightly. Mobile applications today have to be made available quickly in the market, yet tested effectively with shorter QA cycles considering that apps are born each second. But, there are a zillion variations in devices, OS’s, carriers, and networks today and traditional manual testing cannot humanly cover all these scenarios – especially when the app to market life cycle has to be short. So there has to be some mechanism to test an app quickly yet effectively, without wasting cycles.
What and how much to automate?
Automation then becomes a essential to meet the dynamic needs of the mobile applications market. Tapping into this need, there are cloud based platforms such as Perfecto, SOASTA, Eggplant, and Selenium, Robotium etc. which understand the need for automation for mobile and can be used effectively by leveraging a private or a public cloud to undertake test automation. However, having a cloud platform only is not enough. There needs to be a framework and a game plan around which test cases to automate and what tools to use for specific projects? For example, in enterprise class apps, all business functionality and integration with backend verification, ERP or database systems can be automated. Dynamic content such as user stories, game or other UI intensive applications might not.
What’s in it for me?
Automation can help to detect defects early in the QA cycle, saving a lot of cost and effort early on. This also means reduced bugs through the remaining cycle, making the QA process lean and agile. And of course, testers don’t have to do boring, mechanical tests constantly, which saves on the employee morale and boosts productivity possibly. It also means improved quality of the app with reduction in the number of defects and the average cost of fixing those defects.
Can I measure it?
Yes, the ROI from test automation can be easily measured by taking a before and after scenario. What was the QA cycle duration before automation, what was the product quality, how many test cases were executed? How many were released into production and became bug fixes? Did you apply any emergency patches? Now with automation has the test case coverage increased? Has the dependency on engineers decreased? What is the total number of bug fixes done? What is the number on emergency releases?
Of course, this is at a macro level, but we invite you to join Siva Anna on June 20th at 10am PST, where he will talk about mobile test automation ROI in detail. He will also show you simple ROI calculation with and without automation. Siva will also cover the InfoStretch automation framework and show a demo of how we’ve used it successfully with our customers.