When it comes to creating a successful, bug-free web application, thorough testing is essential. Every developer tests their products and attempts to catch software defects before the product is released.

However, owing to time or cost constraints, manual testing is sometimes neglected or overlooked, leading to lower product quality and customer dissatisfaction.

Enter automated software testing – the most effective way to increase product efficiency and overall testing quality.

The primary objective of automated testing is to simplify as much as possible, the overall testing process with a minimum set of scripts and allow QA teams to run detailed, data-intensive tests with the aim to improve software quality and seamless performance.

What makes automated testing the most preferred choice for developers is the precision involved in the process at every step, and the ability of the process to record detailed results at the end.

If done correctly with proper caution, automated tests can be a beneficial part of your development process.

Let’s take a look at these six tips to help make your automated tests more effective.

1. Know Which Tests to Automate

While it is nearly impossible to automate your entire testing process , such levels of automation aren’t necessary. Hence, the first and most important task is to select which tests to automate.

To do that, determine which tests deal with large amounts of data to perform the same action and are run frequently.

Regression tests, for example, make a good candidate for automation. Writing an automation plan will also come handy in deciding which tests to automate.

2. Develop Test Cases before Automation

In order to avoid ad-hoc tests, it is best to design test cases before beginning automated testing. Once you know which type of tests to automate, create test cases that document the objective of the test, the requirements, the expected and possible results, and the failure conditions. It is crucial to know what specific purpose and results each test should deliver.

3. Begin Early

Don’t wait too long to decide whether to automate a test or not. Begin automation as early in the development cycle as possible. The objective of this practice is to enable your team to spot more bugs from the onset of the development cycle and to be able to run more test as they go.

Bugs that are detected at the earliest stage are much less costly to fix than those discovered at a later stage in the development process.

4. Select the Right Tool

Automation tools are difficult to learn and selecting the right one for testing is crucial to ensure the quality of your end product. Keeping all your requirements in mind, choose the tool that supports your platform and technology the best, and enables you to create reusable and maintainable tests.

Some of the key indicators in the tool selection are its compatibility with the platform and technology, flexibility for testers of all skill levels, number of features it offers, and ability of the tool to create reusable, maintainable, and understandable tests.

5. Minimize Dependencies and Remove Uncertainty

A test should focus only on that aspect of the software functionality that it is intended to verify. One best practice in this aspect is keeping the test as independent of its surroundings as possible.

Dependencies, for this matter, can be of product components, user interface, or third-party add-ons. Compartmentalizing the test to its specific area is key to its ultimate success.

In addition to that, inconsistent and unstable tests only add to the overall analysis time. Discovering inconsistencies at an earlier stage and removing unstable tests from your regression contributes a great deal in minimizing the uncertainty of the outcome.

6. Create Reusable, Maintainable Automated Tests

It is best to create small scripts and then merge them together to create tests that are more complex. Long scripts are usually difficult to test and update, which hampers the reusability and maintenance process of the test.

When creating test scripts, it is important to keep them as reusable, discernable, maintainable, and modular as it is possible.

So do you have a standard operating procedure to automate tests through? Do you have any more tips for our readers? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!