Top 15 Best Practices For Automation Testing

Modern programming is widely automated. Automation performs menial routine tasks as any human would do. Programmers employ automation for the sake of efficiency and consistency. Automated test cases produce consistent data with consistent results. It allows more focus on what testers need to detect, unlike manual testing where testers focus on discovering software bugs. Nowadays, automation testing is considered to be a layer of quality control and is used before products are launched into the public after development. The automation tests are designed to run repeatedly over a certain period for the purpose of continuous monitoring. The aim of using automation software is to identify errors automatically in order to eliminate human mistakes and make product quality more robust. Automation tests can also be used in parallel with manual tests to maximize efficiency. It is widely recognized as a powerful tool for increasing the efficiency of software testing. Automated tests provide a valuable safety net that can be used to verify large amounts of software very quickly and reliably.

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Best Practices For Automation Testing

Automation testing is one of the main methods to deal with testing in software development. It helps in completing several repetitive and tedious tasks with great ease and accuracy. Once you’ve got automated tests, they are hugely convenient. You can run them in a matter of minutes or hours instead of days or weeks. The feedback cycle becomes very short. This lets you automate tests faster, which means getting feedback quicker, which in turn means finding and fixing bugs faster. With the best 15 practices for automation testing, the testers can easily understand how to perform it wisely. Let us understand what these are:

  • Start naming all the test cases

As the complexity of a system increases, the importance of having automated tests also increases. Thus, simplifying test case names doesn’t sound to be a big task, but it requires you to spend a considerable amount of time. Often times, the teams responsible for business logic may not have proper knowledge of unit testing. In such cases, the way you name your test cases will save them a lot of time and energy. Furthermore, you can even make the test code self-explanatory by name-quoting while referring to it in a nested class. By this method, you can refer to a test case by giving a few characters of its string description. 

  • Going with the best web locator

When automated tests are carried out, web locators are used to identify the components of a webpage that need to be tested. There are several types of web locators, some of which are more popular than others. The locator provides a number of locators so that the locator can be selected based on the situation. Even though ID, Class, and Name locators sometimes give good results, these locators are more brittle than link text locators. The locators are a way of selecting elements or objects from the application. There are several possible values for a given locator and hence identifies the real value of the classes that are used in it.

  • Using Logging and Reporting well

Debugging an application is one of the most important aspects of software development. The quantity and quality of logs greatly affect debugging speed and the success of flaw detection. As is quite obvious, information about errors and exceptions is extremely important for developers in terms of providing a solution to the customers. Hence, it becomes equally important for the testers to create and use the same criteria while generating logs during the testing process so that they can be accessed easily by the developers. If you are part of a development team, there are times when you have to report bugs or issues discovered during your testing phase.

  • Getting all the things in Uniform Directory

Many developers use automation testing frameworks to implement web interface tests of web applications, websites, and web services. However, the thing that the testers should keep in mind while preparing the test scripts is to include these test scripts in a uniform directory so as to maintain the code and hence access it easily. One of the testing approaches being widely used today, especially across the web development community, is Behaviour Driven Development (BDD). A business analyst defines and agrees with a particular software tester regarding technical specifications, goals, general features, and scenarios for certain applications, so as to create high-quality practical, and scalable software apps.

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  • Try avoiding single driver technique

When the test is executed in a regular browser, then all web drivers are considered equal. However, when the same test is executed on a continuous build server, where multiple browser combinations are launched, there is additional complexity because every browser will have a different WebDriver implementation. Moreover, parameterized testing is a huge step forward in terms of automation and adds a distinct feature to the list of best practices for any development house, which wants to integrate automated functional tests as a part of their SDLC. Thus, avoiding the single-driver implementation can have a positive effect on the outcome.

  • Not approving Duplicate Codes

Test Automation is one of the most popular and best solutions that helps organizations in delivering a bug-free web application. The use of automation frameworks to implement test cases on the web application has made it an easier task than it used to be before the advent of these tools. But code duplication has been one of the most common practices that is still followed and hence it makes things difficult for the testers. Thus, it is advisable to avoid code duplication as it allows the testers to work with freedom and gives them enough options to get a neat code.

  • The design of the test cases should be autonomous

Suppose a tester is writing a test for a login scenario. Any good test design will make sure that the login test doesn’t need to depend on the successful completion of any other test in the suite. Test case design is one of the most important parts of automation tests. There are two types of test case design strategies, namely table-driven design and keyword-driven design. In table-driven test cases, the test steps are specified in a table format and with keyword-driven design, you write the keywords related to test steps on a keyword list. To attain a great level of parallelism in test execution, you should design autonomous tests.

  • Always take up Sleep Calls

Delay Overrides are one of the most widely used techniques in web testing. They allow you to specify a delay before performing any actions on a web element. For example, if you set the delay override property to 2 seconds, then when you perform an action on an element that takes more than 2 seconds to load, the action will not be performed until the web page is loaded and JavaScript execution resumes at that point. In many situations, 2 seconds is an appropriate value for this override, but you can set the number to whatever works best for your specific test. There is no best-fixed delay for all cases; it depends upon factors such as network speed, device capabilities, and so on.

  • Getting up the Browser window to max level

Test automation starts with the testers taking a screenshot of the web pages of the application to be tested. While taking a screenshot, one should not take more than that what is required for the successful validation of software features under consideration. Taking screenshots is necessary for the faster execution of test scripts and for the convenient review of items discussed during tests. There are several methods to take web page screenshots, the use of keyboard shortcuts to save screenshots in a single click remains one.

  •  To get all elements for cross-browser testing

As updates are rolled out and browsers get updated, the vulnerabilities in applications increase. This increases the complexity of web application testing, as we have to test our applications on different browser versions and their combinations with the operating systems and other underlying technologies. Other than this, many third-party APIs need to be tested as well so that they don’t interfere with the application’s functionality. However, to keep all these things relevant, cross-browser testing is required and hence all the elements should be taken care of.

  •  Design Patterns should be used carefully

Page Objects pattern is one of the popular web UI automation patterns to simplify and document your test scripts. Page Objects pattern allows you to create reusable code that can be used across different parts of your test automation framework without making any changes in your existing script. Page objects help in creating a centralized object repository for all web controls on a page. By using page objects, you can easily add new controls i.e. attributes, methods, and properties to any page without changing the underlying source code.

  •  Taking up Data Driven Testing

Although parameterization works well for covering a high percentage of test cases, it could not be considered an end to end testing solution as it lacks basic functionalities such as scheduling automation tests, reporting/tracking bugs, and reusing code. Using frameworks for running test cases against multiple data sets is a smart way to increase test coverage, but it involves a fair amount of effort. Hence if you want to automate clicks in both, you need to use parameterization for data-driven testing. Data-driven testing is an essential element for implementing good quality practices as well as achieving robust automation tests.

  •  Using Asserts properly

The automation testing adopted by the QA engineers has been modified from the one used for development testing. During testing, the tool does not check for errors or bugs on its own; instead, it depends upon the definition of the tester for error checking and code coverage. The tool provides two ways to automate code testing. The first is known as a ‘verify’ method in which case it covers the defined methods and is shown as passed while in case of an assertion failure, it is shown as an error. 

  •  Get along with Parallel Testing

The automation testing frameworks support the parallel execution of tests on different browsers, platforms, and device emulators. The framework supports the ‘WebDriverParallelHelper’ class which allows a test script to execute different commands on different browsers in parallel. Furthermore, running parallel tests along with your other test scripts helps the testers to understand the bugs and other problems well and hence they can work accordingly.

  •  The Zoom level should be 100%

Testing a web application on multiple browsers is a challenging and time-consuming task. But it is not possible to avoid cross-browser testing completely, to do the same manually would be very laborious, lengthy, and prone to human errors. However, to test these things properly, it is essential to get the zoom level to 100% so that small errors can be easily picked up and hence the browsers can be corrected accordingly. Setting the browser zoom level to 100 percent is one of the best practices that should be followed while performing cross-browser testing with frameworks.

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Final Thoughts

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Test automation is a software development process in which tests are written for software applications to detect and correct defects as part of the software release life cycle.  Whereas test case design aims to test logic, test scripts are used to validate both functional and non-functional requirements. However, if you are looking for a reliable option for automation testing, then LambdaTest is the perfect option to go for. The platform allows you to do testing across several platforms including Selenium, Cypress, HyperExecute, Playwright, Puppeteer, Appium, XCUITtest, and more. LambdaTest is based on a cloud infrastructure that allows you to run tests without any kind of interference or interruption. With test automation through LambdaTest, the testers have a faster and more efficient way to ensure the quality of an application or web-based service. The process allows testers to check the application or service, write down the various steps, and use them as a basis for creating automated scripts.