Running tests manually is restrictive in more ways than one. When compared with automation testing, manual test processes are notably inefficient. As a result, they impede productivity and scalability potential for software development projects.
Not to mention the time it takes to run seemingly simple and linear software tests. Deploying software products is delayed due to implementing manual software testing processes. With test automation, this process is quicker and has a lot more benefits than manual testing. One of those benefits is increasing test coverage. So how does test automation allow increasing test coverage? Here is a detailed breakdown of how this happens.
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Some software projects have massive amounts of code. Others can reach up to millions of code lines supporting the product. Inspecting the code and bug fixing is relatively complex in this case.
Development teams rely on the efforts of each developer in inspecting his code. However, there might be errors that make it through to the integration phase. As a result, the software might not function as intended and hamper testing productivity.
Test automation allows software testers to run code-based testing by analyzing all lines of code within the IDE. Any syntax or formatting errors can be highlighted immediately and fixed by the developers. Additionally, using CI/CD, developers can cover more tests as they go, which significantly increases test coverage.
Scalability for cross-platform support
One very important test coverage is testing software compatibility across different platforms. Some software projects require extensive cross-platform support for mobile devices and desktop OS systems. Unfortunately, the mobile device OS system field is a minefield on its own with the variety of versions and models that are available.
For example, Android has enough diversification on its own. Therefore, testing an app on each supported version of Android manually is counterproductive. To scale this aspect of software testing, finding cross-platform compatible test suites that run tests automatically can prevent limited coverage.
The software can be tested on the various OS systems and browsers on which it has to be available. In addition, software testers and QA analysts can execute those few tests that were not run by the test suite.
Automating less critical tests
Test coverage is often impeded by manual testing. When testers conduct tests manually, they focus on less critical processes that seem urgent at the time. As a result, QA analysts and testers are sometimes intrinsically tethered to these tests despite their drawbacks.
These tests create a bottleneck, preventing testers from attending to more sensitive processes that need their full attention. Therefore, automating these less critical tests allows testers to focus more on those highly important processes. It is a matter of prioritizing important testing processes by doing them manually.
All the tedious and repetitive tests that might not be essential can be automated using test cases or software tool suites. In that way, test coverage is widened, and more can be done in less time with fewer resources than before.
Test coverage expedited timeframe
To experience higher test coverage, testers have to invest time when carrying out manual testing processes. However, even with extended testing timeframes, testers and QA analysts simply cannot cover much ground as they can with test automation.
With test automation, testing timeframes are expedited exponentially. For example, some tools utilize automation to run tests around the clock. Compared with manual testing, more ground is covered in just a fraction of the time.
Testing processes that could take weeks or months can be finalized within days or hours. Despite the quick turnaround time, the test covers more units, components, and codebases. Therefore, the test coverage period is expedited without compromising results.
Simplifying testing workflow for high-quality results
Testing workflows can be very complex with manual processes. At times, testers and QA analysts might find it challenging to sequence testing processes according to priority. In such cases, the test results can be out of sync and fail to meet the expected outcomes.
Implementing test automation to simplify testing workflows produces high-quality results and widens the coverage thereof. As a QA analyst or tester, implementing test suites help with prioritizing tests that should come first. At the same time, implementing full-stack test automation promotes CI/CD.
The main benefit is that the testing workflow is sequenced and optimized to produce the best results. For example, if all codebases are filtered through the development team after being unit tested, this will make integration testing and the other tests that follow more convenient.
Implementing automation to increase test coverage
The key to implementing test automation with the intent of increasing test coverage is going full-stack. Begin automating test processes at the grassroots level by promoting CI/CD testing to the developers. From then, try to implement software test suites for the entire QA pipeline wherever possible.
Also, maintain the same frameworks for testing different software elements. A unified approach increases test coverage and produces high-quality results. However, all team members are expected to pitch in and automate their test processes to the fullest extent possible.
Remember that test coverage does not only mean the scope of software testing but also the quality. Coupling these two concepts together when choosing frameworks, tools, and processes will yield greater results.