The Importance of Automated Testing

How Automated Testing Saves You Time, Money and Headaches 

Part of each Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) project is the cumbersome task of testing. Software developers know that comprehensive and fully robust testing is key to a reliable product; however, all too often, SDLC projects cut testing for a myriad of reasons. 

Projects are budget-driven and frequently, the first cost cutting measure is decreased testing. In other cases, testing is sacrificed to add additional time for development. These measures are understandable, as testing isn’t often seen as vital as functionality, integration, features or “time to market” deadlines.

Furthermore, testing is not the most important part of “why” a product sells. Today, customers purchase products because of features, functionality, integrations, simplicity, etc. However, in a roundabout way, they are in fact actually buying testing. If a product doesn’t work because it is riddled with “bugs” or “glitches”, it will not be successful once word gets out. This is why testing is one of the most crucial parts of the SDLC process and, ultimately, product success. 

To complicate matters, every time a new feature is released, the product needs to be tested from “A to Z” (i.e. regression testing). In addition, as the product grows in size due to added functionalities, integrations or other enhancements, the number of test cases required grows in relation. This means each time a SDLC project budgets for a new release, the amount set aside for testing must increase as well. This can wreak havoc with “time to market” deadlines and budget restraints.

Regrettably, as a result, testing is all too often seen as a burden with a high cost, whether measured in time, effort or resources.

What would you say if someone told you that you can greatly reduce the time and cost it takes to execute regression tests? Would you do it? 

The obvious answer is “yes”, and it can be done by using automated testing. Many are deterred because this requires methodical planning and an initial upfront cost; however, in the end, you walk away with a higher quality product. 

As an example, Hub City Media recently focused on automating test cases for one of our products. We assigned six team members to automate 112 test cases. Although the overall number sounds small, these test cases take two full-time team members roughly two weeks to complete if no “bugs” are found.

Those six team members were not only able to convert all 112 test cases to automated test scripts, they were also able to cover each test case from the front-end and back-end - essentially doubling the coverage to 224. Most importantly, it only took them two and a half weeks.

Right now, you are probably wondering why we are proud that six team members spent two and a half weeks (600 hours) automating test cases that take only 160 hours to test manually. The “cost structure” doesn’t make sense at first glance.

However, the end result is that our team is now able to run the entire test suite in under two hours with a few simple commands - something that used to take 160 hours when performed manually. After the fourth run of the entire suite, each subsequent run will be a cost saving of 158 hours.

On top of these cost savings, automated testing brings other benefits:

  • Significant reduction in human error
  • Allows the testing team to focus on more strategic testing scenarios
  • In case of “bugs”, it is easy to replicate any of the testing steps

What is even more exciting is that this is just the beginning!

Now that the foundation has been laid, expanding coverage takes minimal effort and is part of an ongoing process. Each new automated test case written saves cost in time, effort and resources - key areas crucial to any SDLC project success.

ABOUT OUR BLOGGER

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Manny has over five years of product management experience. He has worked at Hub City Media in various capacities, including Systems Engineer II, Project Manager and Technical Lead. Currently, he serves as Manager of Product Development.


For more information on Automated Testing, and how you can implement it for your business, contact us.