The benefits of test automation are plentiful and well publicised.
However, even though most companies believe that automation is crucial, few can claim actual success.
Desktop and mobile browsers support increasingly more advanced capabilities, and services like FaceID, location capabilities and Virtual Reality (VR) /Augmented Reality (AR) are tough to automate and scale across multiple permutations. In addition, the available time within software iterations is continually shrinking--and so, for many, that means that there simply isn't sufficient time to create automation that really works.
Smart automation promises to make test automation easier. Smart practices give us faster release cycles, better tests and smoother collaboration between all practitioners. They help shrink unproductive delays between coding and defect detection, freeing up testing resources to focus on new development.
Ultimately, the benefits can be the difference between success of failure--not just for a product release, but for a business as a whole.
So how businesses turn the tide and make automation efforts a success?
A move to smart automation
Firstly, important to remember that not all test automation is created equal.
At its most basic level, automation stands for the process of taking a set of requirements and creating code to implement them in an automated fashion. Traditional automation refers primarily to static test scenarios, such that whenever a change occurs in the app, it requires code changes, refactoring and other time consuming tasks. In addition, traditional automation is error prone since it is created manually, and so subject to human error (wrong object IDs, duplications, wrong prerequisites to the test scenario implemented, lab issues, etc.).
Smart automation, on the other hand, takes traditional automation to the next level by minimising the human risk error, as well as eliminating the need for test maintenance. Since smart automation often relies on record and playback, there is close to zero code that needs to be managed and maintained, and this is clearly a huge benefit to teams. Coders at every skill level can use these tools--the output (the tests themselves) are more reliable, robust, and the flakiness that traditional code-based automation creates is reduced to minimum.
And so, automating everything shouldn't be the goal of continuous testing in DevOps. Instead, what's important is automating what's relevant from a risk mitigation /...