What is automation testing and can it enable rapid software testing?

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Posted by Brian Borg
Investment in enterprise software grew 8.5 percent last year, according to Gartner. Given that COVID-19 has forced many businesses to digitize their operations, the need for reliable technologies is more important now than ever before.  
For development teams, this means working to tighter timeframes. What’s more, COVID-19’s impact on business means having to find new ways to maximize operational efficiencies while retaining the same level of quality assurance
One way to do this is to perform ‘rapid software testing’. As you might expect, ‘rapid’ is a hard thing to achieve when testing is done manually. Thankfully, there’s a much faster alternative. 
Here’s how automation testing can enable rapid software testing. 

What is automation testing? 

Automation testing is the process of using automated technologies to execute reliable, fast and effective tests on software.  
By adopting automation, you can begin to execute and analyze test outcomes on a larger scale. The results can be used to make continual improvements to applications prior to launch, debugging and streamlining new software so that it’s ready for public release.  
There are many benefits to automation testing compared to manual testing. For example:  
  • Automation testing is significantly faster than manual testing. 
  • The long-term ROI of automation testing is far better than a manual process. 
  • Automated tests are more reliable, and not subject to human fatigue or error. 
  • Automated tests can be run across different platforms in parallel to reduce test execution time. 
  • Automation testing is more scalable than manual testing.  
While manual testing does have its benefits, automation testing is undoubtedly faster, more effective en masse, and less prone to human error.  
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How does automation testing enable rapid software testing? 

When you’re working to tight delivery schedules, rapid software testing is a great way to ‘cut the fat’ from your testing process. In short, it lets you focus on testing only the critical areas of your product – features that directly impact things like user experience and product value.  
Doing this manually can be slow, clunky and labor intensive. By automating the process, QA engineers can run multiple automated tests on new lines of code and provide immediate feedback to developers. Once automated, these scripts can be included in a continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD) solution to speed up the QA iteration cycle and slow the release of damaging defects to the public.  
Although automated testing may feel a little ‘hands off the wheel’, it isn’t. QA engineers are constantly strategizing a testing environment, understanding what tests are safe to conduct automatically, and which require manual configuration. With careful planning and execution, testers can be ready to conduct exploratory testing should an automated test flag an issue. If there is no problem found, however, you’ve saved hours of testing time and improved your time to market, saving your business handfuls of money in the process. 

The importance of testing for quality assurance 

Testing is a vital aspect of software development – it allows you to gain a comprehensive (and continual) understanding of a product and the risks associated with bugs that may be found.  
Automating your testing lets you both retain a high value for your products and reduce the costs associated with developing it. For managers and business decision makers, then, this is the perfect recipe for a healthy bottom line. And during COVID-19 especially, a healthy bottom line should be your top business priority. 
To find out more about automation testing with OnPath Testing, contact us here
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