Why Automation Testing is Essential in Agile Development

Automation is a net positive in any tech field, but when it comes to Agile, automation testing is as essential as breathing is to humans. As fast as Agile is by itself, automation makes development more flexible, speedier, and less infrequent than manual testing, which keeps customers happy.

Software Development Before Agile

To understand how test automation tools benefited Agile development as a whole, we first have to see how applications were tested before it.

Prior to Agile, developers would follow the Waterfall Model, which completed tasks in a linear fashion, from requirements to maintenance.

Testing would come right after development, which means a programmer must complete a new feature wholly before testing it. If a bug is found in the code, they would have to comb through each line. If something changes in a previous stage, the whole process must be repeated.

Software Development After Agile

With Agile, developers can go back and forth between steps and release a finished product without completing an entire step.

This means that programmers can develop, test, and release a basic version of a product first, allowing them to add updates periodically.

Agile is also useful for collaboration. The development team can work on a section of a product while the testers test this section in real-time. Developers can then fix problems before they get worse. When done correctly, manual Agile development can release products faster.

Ideal Candidates for Automation

Although automation testing perfectly compliments Agile development, some use cases are better than others. The following candidates are ideal for automation testing:

  • Repeated Testing
  • Business Critical Functions
  • Multiple Test Data Cases
  • Direct Test Cases
  • Tedious Test Cases

Test automation is best implemented incrementally for Agile products, so testers can slowly adjust to a system with fewer manual test cases.

Automation isn’t necessarily cost-effective, but organizations can initiate a process that generates a return on investment for their stakeholders.

Agile Development and Automation

Agile is pretty fast, much faster than the Waterfall Model, but it can be even quicker with test automation. Here are six reasons why automation is considered a crucial component of Agile.

1. Incremental Development

In Agile development, teams only have a few weeks to get a grasp of their requirements before the release date. If teams perform manual tests, they’ll never release their programs on time. Testing would also be fast-tracked, leading to more bugs and a poorer-quality product.

2. Continuous Testing

Agile development demands early and continuous testing. Test coverage includes newly added code and previous iterations, so testers must ensure both pieces come together to form a whole. Automation gives testers the freedom to initiate more manual, exploratory tests.

3. Frequent Changes

Software testing requirements may change depending on the priorities of the organization and its customers. Agile development is great at adapting to meet these changes, but manual tests alone can’t account for every adjustment. But, automation can help testers keep up.

4. Immediate Viability

Automation testing is perfect for developers who need to test code quickly against a standard suite of test scripts. Both testers and developers can get a bird-eye-view of their code before moving on to the next step. Automation gives developers time to react to coding issues.

5. Exhaustive Testing

Depending on code complexity, exhaustive testing can cost an organization a lot of time and money. Organizations also have to account for human error, as programmers may not catch a problem the first time around. Automation can initiate exhaustive testing cheaply and effectively.

6. Test Support

Automation testing isn’t just for executing test scripts against code. It’s also used for data set ups, test reporting, and test result validation. These repetitive tasks slow down development, but automation removes much of the mundanity from testing, improving morale and test accuracy.

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