Note: This is a guest post from Maria Harts – Functionize

Manual software testing has a lot of disadvantages that create bottlenecks in the development process. The life cycle of software under development lasts significantly longer when manual testing processes are implemented. At the same time, manual testing processes could potentially yield inaccurate results.

Unlike manual processes, automated testing prioritizes speed and accuracy. Using comprehensive testing scripts developed using reliable frameworks yields significantly better results. Without compromising any critical testing phase, automated tests report back results in a considerable short time. 

Test results that would return in days or weeks can be easily accessed by testers within minutes or hours. However, there are so many test automation tools and frameworks that testers can use. Compared to manual testing that has been used by specialists and has spent a lot of resources and time, the automated testing process gives more reliable results and shortens the testing time. The diversity of test automation tools and frameworks overwhelm some testers. To make a good decision, software testers need to understand how to choose a suitable test automation tool or framework for their organization. Here are some tips for making this decision.

Itemize features that need to be tested

First and foremost, you have to determine which kind of tests you’ll be running before choosing test automation tools or frameworks. To do so, itemize all the main features and functionalities of the app. From then, determine what type of tests will be needed. The most common features and tests that need to be run on a software development project include:

  • Application Programming Interface (API) testing
  • Integration tests
  • Unit test processes
  • User Interface (UI) tests
  • System test

There are so many other tests that could be necessary for your software development project. Itemize all the necessary features that should be tested and include the type of test that should be used to test each feature.

Clarify test outcomes

After itemizing all features that need to be tested, clarify the outcomes you expect from each test. Clarifying outcomes contributes to writing functional test scripts using the most relevant tools and frameworks. Take into consideration the tests that will be run manually and do not include them in your test automation project. 

Solely clarifying test outcomes for automated testing processes will make the project leaner and more efficient. Looking at the project at its entire scope complicates the process. Instead of clarifying holistic test outcomes, individually detail the expected results from the test process. Software testers can gradually add more test outcomes until the entire scope of the project is covered in detail.

Determine programming languages

Test automation uses programming languages just like the development process. Languages like JavaScript, Python, and PHP can be used to write test case scripts. Depending on your coding experience, choosing a language you already understand is the best bet. At the same time, take into consideration the programming language used for the development phase of that project. 

Using a framework most compatible with your code units is a general rule of thumb. For example, if you are programming using JavaScript’s React framework, the best testing processes to implement are from Jest. This testing framework is the best for React and Angular unit tests. Understanding which programming language to use will help decide test automation frameworks.

Choose an automation test framework

Other key considerations should be made before choosing a test automation framework. For example, if the development team implements a unit test framework, it is beneficial to ask which tools and frameworks they are using. This could help determine if there is any continuous integration pipeline that could be continued from those unit tests. 

Continuing a test automation pipeline from an existing framework within the organization is much easier than implementing your own preferred framework. Also, gaining insight into frameworks and tools other professionals use provides clarity on the available options. From these insights, you can make an informed decision when automating test processes.

Shortlist frameworks and tools

Based on the itemized feature list and potential frameworks you have explored, create a shortlist. This shortlist should compare different test automation frameworks and tools against each other. After clarifying the outcomes of each test, software testers can easily recognize whether a framework will help them reach those expectations. 

The shortlist could be a table with features that need to be tested on the x-axis. The different frameworks can be added to the y-axis. All the pros and cons can then be detailed in the respective features columns. Frameworks with the most pros can be implemented based on functionality and efficacy. The shortlist is the second to last step of choosing a framework or test automation tool. 

Implement automation strategy

After shortlisting frameworks and tools, you will have a general sense of direction in making the final decision. Once you have chosen frameworks and tools to implement for your testing process, document a proof of concept. When documenting the proof of concept, software testers will realize if the testing framework or tool can help them reach their automation objectives. 

Additionally, the proof of concept details how their test automation objective will be reached when implementing the chosen framework or tool. If the proof of concept justifies the chosen test automation frameworks and tools, get to work by programming test scripts. Alternatively, you can implement the chosen test automation tools validated by a proof of concept.