The technology community is a big fan of automation. From DevOps’ continuous delivery roots to enterprises’ automatic business processes, automation is a trademark of the business world and rightly so; organizations love the time-saving, cost-efficient benefits automation has on their bottom line.
Automation is especially prevalent in the software industry, including the previously manual world of software performance testing. Automated testing regulates tools to continuously execute scripts and tests on the product, taking over the more routine testing tasks. This takeover frees employees to focus on other projects or dive into more intensive processes, bug-hunting, or development, encouraging innovation and productivity while saving the organization money, time, and resources.
Sounds like a win-win, right? Not exactly.
Treating automated testing like the silver bullet for your software testing concerns is dangerous. Removing human interaction (a.k.a. manual testing) from the testing phases removes the check and balance that guarantees the testing process and therefore results meet your organization’s standards. Instead think of automation as a helping hand, a support system to reinforce testing processes.
Think of it this way: automated testing is ideal for making your life easier. Consider your testing strategy and current operations. Are there any outstanding issues or testing cycles that consistently slow down your progress? Would your team benefit more from automating the initial testing phases or from the last review? Don’t rewrite your strategy; find ways automation can improve it.
Don’t believe the hype: Automation is not the cure-all for your software testing. Instead use its benefits and features to modify your current process to increase team productivity and time-to-market. By aligning automated tests with your current testing procedures, you can create a testing strategy that combines the best of both worlds: the detail-oriented focus on manual testing and the speed of automation.