All companies making the transition to digital share one common goal: release high-quality mobile apps more quickly. Whether they’re introducing new app functionality, fixing a production issue or supporting a new operating system, time (or the lack of it) is always a factor. If you’re relying on manual testing over test automation, get ready to lose the race against time.
The consequences can be rough if you don’t deliver a good working app in a timely manner. Think: disgruntled users complaining about your buggy app on app stores and social media. Upper management viewing developer and QA teams as incompetent or, worse, expendable.
It’s no secret that manual testing is a major factor in slow releases. Teams that are still testing their mobile apps manually are faced with the following limitations:
1) Less test coverage
2) Less platform coverage
3) An error-prone process
4) Inefficient releases due to slow feedback
All of the above slow down the time it takes app delivery teams to respond to market changes.
With that in mind, it’s important to note that even though test automation is a critical component of any mobile app SDLC, there will still be tests that should not be automated. Such tests are related to the unique user experience (validating the colors, look and feel of an app), usability tests or corner case tests (tests for relevant but infrequently-used features).
There are many advantages of test automation, but let’s focus on three that will most benefit the organizations implementing them.
Fast feedback loop and quicker time to market
When you consider that many organizations are moving to an Agile workflow, you can see how test automation allows teams to work more closely and efficiently. When test teams can execute many functional tests on multiple devices in just hours, the feedback to developers flows fast. Developers can then fix bugs and return code quickly to the testing team.
Test automation done right will be integrated into a CI (continuous integration) workflow that can be triggered upon each code commit. The alternative is a developer making a code change, building the mobile app and sending it to the testing team. They then do manual testing on multiple devices. This takes “ages” in today’s agile world.
Lastly, manual testers may interpret a test flow differently or fail to understand the test’s setup or dependencies. This will result in the wrong test execution and false positives.