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HOW ANTIQUATED SOFTWARE TESTING TECHNIQUES MAY BE HOLDING YOU BACK

February 10, 2017 No Comments

Featured article by Ajay Kaul, Managing Partner of AgreeYa Solutions

We operate in an environment where complex software systems are essential to business functions. Especially in verticals such as retail, finance and manufacturing, there is the need for exceedingly reliable software—and proving this reliability requires in-depth software testing. Conducting tests is no longer a “last minute” activity, but a core part of the development process, one that can dictate how the software meets development goals and in some cases how successfully a business can sell its software to potential customers.

Unfortunately for many software developers, the tools used for testing are antiquated and inefficient, often requiring manual operation from IT staff, even within situations that need to be tested repeatedly.

Saying Goodbye to Resource-Draining Manual Testing

Today’s organizations employ a variety of testing methodologies, but many of them are grossly inefficient as they require manual and repetitive processes guided by human hands. Many firms do not have even 10 percent of these testing processes automated, despite the myriad benefits of automation.

Common drawbacks of manual software testing include:

- Introduction of mistakes due to human error in applying and/or interpreting test results.

- Manual testing is time consuming and actively takes IT away from revenue-generating projects.

- Human resource growth of IT staff can stall due to their conducting repeated testing tasks instead of collaborating with other departments. IT should be an integral part of strategic planning teams, not testing “drones.”

- Slower growth due to longer timeframes to complete testing, resulting in longer time-to-market for new updates and programs as well as the possibility of missed market opportunities.

- Testing multiple systems manually is very cumbersome, as testers need to test a single system and then move data to another. This is a slow and potentially error-prone process.

The Transformative Power of the Right Automation Tools

Applied properly, automated testing can dramatically cut a company’s resource costs by up to 90 percent, as IT can shift their time to other tasks that directly impact business results.

Recognizing its benefits, many organizations wish to adopt automated testing as their strategy for delivering software faster and more reliably.  The challenge is that majority of the available test automation tools require programming – a skill that manual testing resources do not possess. So the organizations are left with two options – hire test automation engineers or train manual testers in programming. Unfortunately, neither of the two options are attractive – while test automation engineers are expensive and harder to find, teaching programming to manual testers can be a costly and time consuming process.

The end result is that firms that conduct software testing either have no automation at all, so every test is manual, or they have some measure of automation but are frustrated by the process and/or tools. Companies turn to automation typically when they can’t finish testing to meet deadlines. So, an organization might, for example, hire more manual testers or outsource testing to a third party. As these two approaches have their own challenges, many firms look instead to implementing test automation, especially for sanity tests that are ideal for multiple software releases, regression tests, unit tests which provide daily value to the team including performance tests to focus on response time of the application and load tests that simulate large quantities of users in the system to check its capacity and constraints.

Automation of various tests offers a range of advantages over manual processes:

- More expansive test coverage that can manage complex cases with an efficiency that is simply not possible with manual testing.

- Repeatable accuracy is possible with automation, as a human tester that repeats tasks over and over will likely make mistakes.

- Automation can be conducted 24/7, so testers do not need to be engaged or “on call” at all hours.

- Continuous-build software and test automation go hand-in-hand, as tests are automatically run when submitted by the development team.

- Lengthy regression testing can be completed quickly, allowing for faster software delivery.

Companies looking for an advanced automation software tool should review vendors for functionality, performance, ease of use and multi-user support. The tool should also support cross browser and cross platform testing and integration with third-party tools, as this will provide needed flexibility for changing conditions.

The advances in automation certainly do not mean the end of manual software testing. For example, usability testing, especially for mobile applications, requires a human tester for a smooth and intuitive user experience.  Automation of testing is best used to replace outdated test methodologies where it can bring new efficiencies, both in terms of human capital and how effectively companies bring software to market.

About Ajay Kaul: As managing partner, Kaul brings over 27 years of experience in sales, consulting, and managing small to large IT projects worldwide. Kaul has led AgreeYa through 16+ years of success, leading the company in highly competitive and complex markets and driving significant profitable growth with global workforce of over 1400. Prior to founding AgreeYa, he was responsible for managing engagements for Deloitte serving private and public sector clients across US.

About AgreeYa Solutions: AgreeYa is a global provider of software, solutions and services focused on deploying business-driven, technology-enabled solutions that create next-generation competitive advantages for customers. Headquartered in Folsom, Calif., AgreeYa employs more than 1,500 professionals across its 20 offices in eight countries. Over the last 16 years, AgreeYa has worked with 200+ organizations ranging from public sector, Fortune 100 firms to small and large businesses across industries. AgreeYa’s software portfolio includes QuickApps (award-winning suite of SharePoint/Office 365 apps to customize SharePoint without coding), BeatBlip (simplified test automation solution), SocialXtend (intranet and enterprise social collaboration), VDIXtend (desktop-on-cloud) and Cogent (comprehensive end-to-end case management solution for collections agencies and law firms). As part of its solutions and services offerings, AgreeYa provides portal, content management and collaboration on SharePoint/O365; cloud and infrastructure; enterprise mobility; business intelligence and big data analytics; product engineering; application development and management; independent software testing; Anti Money Laundering (AML)/Risk & Compliance and IT staffing. For more information, visit www.agreeya.com.

APPLICATION INTEGRATION, DATA and ANALYTICS , SOCIAL BUSINESS

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