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Tips to Automate Software Testing

GIGO. Everyone knows what it is: "Garbage in, Garbage out." What most people don't realize is the time and economic impact GIGO has on companies focusing on the bottom line. And in these times of economic uncertainty, isn't that everyone? The good news is that software testing automation tools can make an important difference in time and resource savings, but the pros and cons should be carefully considered. What follows are the most important pros and cons.


The first major advantage is greater efficiency & productivity. Automated testing makes the process more efficient. Practically everything done manually is more time consuming, especially when compared with the benefits of automated testing. Automated testing software takes less time and enables employees to get more done. Because automated software testing takes less time, productivity is increased, and resource hours are decreased. The latter is especially important because labor costs are not cheap. The end result is more profit for the company.

The second major advantage is more accurate tests. People make mistakes. That's a fact of life, and by using appropriate software testing tools the chances of manual errors causing problems is reduced or eliminated altogether. Although it is true that software is only as good as the people who wrote the code, in the final analysis, automating the process of software testing creates fewer errors, resulting in better products.


One of the main disadvantages is that automated software testing tools can be costly to deploy. And the cost increases with the complexity of the deployment. For example, large organizations typically have many enterprise systems and interfaces in place, the sum of which increases the level of complexity associated with implementing any new tool. But although they are not cheap, in the final analysis the additional cost of testing and installing the equipment is typically offset by the longer term benefits of saved time and labor costs.

Another downside is that there is usually a fairly substantial learning curve. "Plug and play" software testing tools haven't been created yet. As a result, automated software testing tools take time to learn how to use. Therefore, whether it is because of current personnel capabilities or other factors, automated software testing tools might not be appropriate for every company.

Another potential downside is the risk that the automated tool will become obsolete down the road. This is never known at the time of initial deployment, but whenever an automated tool becomes outdated and needs to be replaced, the company is forced to go through the entire implementation process all over again. Thus, any tool that ultimately proves to have a short shelf life represents wasted cost and effort.

Just as is the case with many tools that can be used to operate a company more efficiently, there are pluses and minuses involved in implementing a new automated software testing tool. Therefore, before any such tool is implemented for use, both the pros and the cons should be thoroughly investigated. The decision to deploy a tool should only be approved after exhaustive analysis of all sides of the equation.

About Author David L Fox : provides cost-effective self-study training packages for the ISEB Foundation, <a href="" target="_blank">ISEB Intermediate</a>, ISTQB Foundation, and <a href="" target="_blank">ISTQB Advanced</a> certification exams. Packages have a 100% pass guarantee and include study guides, practice exams, diagrams, audio tutorials, flashcards, worksheets, revision papers, forum access, and more.

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Article Added on Monday, July 18, 2011
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