What is QA in automation?

Automation in QA uses software tools, frameworks, and techniques to automate testing tasks that QA testers might otherwise perform manually. The benefits of QA automation include faster testing, improved accuracy, greater test coverage, test script reusability, and long-term cost savings.

Breakneck technological advancements and available DevOps workflows place increasing pressure on software development teams. As a result, they must deliver high-quality products faster than ever. Quality Assurance (QA) automation provides a competitive advantage for shipping quality features on tight deadlines.

Even if the benefits are apparent, you might still need support regarding automation in QA. For example, detractors might cite time constraints, a lack of QE resources, a difficult learning curve, or overly complex integration requirements. 

Some QA testers may believe that automation in QA may not catch all the issues that manual testing would, or even harbor fears of automating themselves out of a job.

Creating a culture of automation

If you dive headfirst into automation, you’ll likely fail. You want to encourage experimentation by ensuring your product and infrastructure stay stable.

Create excellent manual tests before automation; otherwise, you may automate bugs into your automated test suite. Hastily writing scripts to automate test cycles and returning to development is tempting, but automating bugs is a significant issue.

Weigh opportunities for automation based on a cost-benefit analysis. For example, automated testing ensures consistency and immediate test execution, while manual testing offers flexibility and actionable insights. 

Tasks often repeated or areas where cost reductions are most significant will rank highest. 

Those who fear automation or dislike the idea of reduced control over the testing process change their tune when they see successful instances. Moreover, those who embrace automation QA will offer insight, be a part of the team, and remain encouraged.

Ease into automation with manual fallback

Why not leverage the best of both testing worlds by combining automated testing with manual QA? 

Engineering teams can optimize their software testing with intelligent integrations with software testing tools like Applitools, BrowserStack, Mabl, SauceLabs, Testlio, and more.

Top tech talent is attracted to automation and experimentation

Attracting and retaining top tech talent is a challenge. Your all-star employees want innovation, creativity, change, and to work with new technologies. They also see that automation takes on the remedial parts of their jobs, leaving more room for creativity and experimentation. 

Creating a culture of automation is crucial to attracting and retaining top tech talent. Encourage your team to embrace automation to stay cutting-edge and commit to providing education, learning, development, and freedom to experiment with new technologies.

The future of automation in QA

image that shows a robot hand touching a human hand to convey the concept of automated QA
Fusing Automated and Manual QA

Automation is rapidly changing the QA landscape in the tech industry. As consumer expectations for high-quality web and mobile apps continue to rise, companies must adapt to the new paradigms in QA to stay competitive. Automation plays a critical role in QA but will not replace the need for skilled manual testers. Instead, it will free human testers to focus on more complex testing tasks requiring expertise and sophisticated skill sets.

As the automated testing market grows, companies must learn to balance building solid and competent teams and using automation to help those teams work faster. With matured QA strategies comes the need for mature QA talent that can take quality to a new level. The role of a manual software tester will evolve to mean a higher level of skill in test automation development, strategy, and management.

COVID has changed the game for traditional staffing, making remote work and flexible work requirements the norm. Companies new to automation may hire full-time QA teams and automated solutions in-house. Others may outsource testing partners or rely on burstable manual testers to fulfill the human side of the equation.

The future of QA also lies in low-code test automation platforms that remove complex technical aspects and make it easier for workers to learn within the framework. However, experts warn against the fallacy of the zero-sum game, emphasizing that a well-architected and total automation solution with real people behind it makes for the ideal QA testing scenario.

The future of QA is about striking a balance between automation and human testing, creating the best possible situation for robust, efficient QA. Companies must adapt to new paradigms and plan to invest in long-haul QA strategies to stay competitive in the tech industry.

Tim Ryan serves as the Director of Marketing for Testlio and spends his time between Austin, TX and New Orleans, LA.