A blog around the reasons you should consider in-sprint test automation and how you can set it up
How do you test new functionality in your application? One way commonly followed involves writing a unit test before handing the functionality over to the tester to perform other tests. However, this leaves scope for errors in case of defects since it may be harder to find what logic caused the defect. In-sprint testing automates this process and ensures that each additional feature gets tested and automated as soon as implemented. Thus, it significantly reduces the possibility of finding an error at the end of development when it may be more expensive to fix.
In this blog post, we’re going to explore in-sprint test automation — the ideal development scenario where the entire testing process — from creation and implementation to execution and reporting — happens in one sprint. All this, without compromising the software release frequency or the quality of the product.
What is In-Sprint Test Automation?
In-sprint test automation is a very trending topic today. In the traditional test Automation approach, testing professionals invest months automating their tests only to find out that the code had changed so much between releases that the last set of automated tests did not even compile or run anymore.
In-sprint test automation is when the complete automation testing process — creation, implementation, execution, and reporting of automation test cases for the features gets completed within the sprint. This helps improve the quality of the features delivered in the sprint cycle and reduces the backlog of cases pending for automation at the end of the release.
Why should you look at integrating in-sprint test automation?
The benefits of in-sprint test automation are with the success of shipping new products and services: 95% of Fortune 500 companies say in-sprint test automation has proved sufficiently valuable. In addition, test automation is critical for improving the quality of your software. It makes software development cycles faster, enabling you to add the latest requirements and interfaces more quickly, reducing costs, and ensuring that your software is always ready for deployment.
In-sprint testing provides a better way to manage feature implementation and quality assurance. It also improves delivery times and provides increased efficiency from the team members involved.
How to approach in-sprint test automation?
In-sprint automation means the automation needs to be completed within the sprint, i.e., two weeks timeline. There are various challenges faced when planning and conducting a Sprint Automation Test. These include; time of execution, performance metrics, functional requirements, and integration issues. So how can we ensure we can achieve this within the timeline?
1) Role of Product Managers, Developers, and Testers
a) Product Managers
When a client requests a new requirement, product managers must understand how the end-users will use the feature. This information would be essential to categorize and prioritize the test cases which need to be automated for the feature. While moving to the in-sprint test automation approach, there is a time constraint in which we can automate the story, so the user stories will have to be divided into smaller doable chunks. This approach helps the software testers achieve a good automation suite and aligns their vision with what the customer expects.
b) Software Developers
Developers will play a crucial role in the entire sprint phase. First, software testers will have to work on proper brainstorming meetings with the developers to understand the impact areas of the new feature, which can break the existing automated code. Second, Software testers will have to understand the various elements that can be automated in the new feature – UI, API, etc. Finally, the software development team has to provide a stable build so that there are no upfront blockers which can be a hurdle in completing the automation within the sprint.
c) Software Testers
Software testers will have to plan and strategize the automation for the feature. It is crucial to consider API automation instead of UI automation wherever required. Understand ROI while automating the user story. Not every point mentioned in the story has to be automated. The best way to write test cases (especially in functional and integration tests) is by breaking the app into small units of functionality that can be tested independently. It also helps to group related functionality to retest the entire feature if one feature fails. When written well, test cases help you catch bugs early, preventing major frustration when the feature ships. They also make it easier for the developers and QA teams to understand what is going on in your application.
2) User story estimates
Planning is key. It is critical to plan what we want and what the constraints will be early in a sprint. Once we’ve decided on our goals and priorities, it’s worth outlining clear actions to achieve them. Finally, all teams must consider factors that can affect delivering in-sprint test automation for a user story and highlight the stakeholders.
3) Incremental build approach
For in-sprint test automation, building a series of minor improvements before the main functionality is ready for deployment is necessary. The best approach is to use an incremental build system. This approach provides a way for you to test changes quickly and will help in achieving automation timelines. By developing this way, you can make sure that any changes aren’t breaking anything that isn’t already working and that they don’t introduce additional problems.
4) Automation framework
For in-sprint test automation to be successful, it is crucial to have a good automation framework. Furthermore, to speed up test automation, it would be beneficial to use No-Code automation solutions like ACCELQ, which will help testers focus more on automating the cases than understanding the technical front of automation.
ACCELQ provides a configurable test framework that allows you to write complex tests, configure infrastructure automatically and execute tests quickly. It will enable you to write less code and set up automated tests in a much shorter amount of time than what is possible using traditional testing tools. ACCELQ ensures that software professionals can focus more on getting test cases faster with minimum human errors. It offers excellent features such as self-healing for easier location of elements, parallel execution of test cases, multiple browser support, integration with CI/CD.
In-sprint test automation is the most recommended approach for faster releases of the product. It helps in reducing the automation debt within the application and improves the quality if appropriately followed. No-Code automation tools like ACCELQ will be an additional boon to achieve in-sprint automation. They will help in addressing the technical challenges faced by the team during software automation.