All companies, with more or less urgency, are in the process of transforming our structures to get closer to our Clients. We want to get to know them better, and be more agile. We want to respond faster to your needs and for this SQA automation is key.
In the software world, this transformation means that application development is a process of continuous change, with demanding delivery times, rapid prototyping and multidisciplinary teams collaborating in cellular structures, focused on delivering value to the Customer.
In this scenario, guaranteeing Software Quality is a real challenge, which can only be assumed with a high degree of SQA automation.
Today, automating is possible. We have very powerful tools at our disposal, which make SQA automation more of a cultural or process problem than a technological one.
But where do you start automating? In our previous article, The 5 basic questions about automatic tests, we already gave some clue. The key is to understand SQA automation as an investment: we are interested in adding it to our SQA processes when it is profitable for the business. Or in other words, when it allows us to personalize what the client receives from us.
We can start by automating End-to-End interactions of key business processes, through the deployment of automatic probes. This is very useful in B2C businesses that depend critically on the availability of online systems, and that their functionality is maintained at the highest level on all platforms, devices, operating systems or browsers.
«The probes have helped us to ensure the availability of our Websites in any device and geographic area, during the different functional evolutions of the Front End, allowing the upload of “hot” releases without risks. In this way, we have greatly shortened the time between requests for new requirements from the business units and their launch into production. "
Víctor Herrero, CIO of Air Europa.
SQA automation is also key when we must ensure behavior in agile development, frequent verification, or continuous delivery and deployment frameworks. We will be able to launch our automated functional tests on different environments (such as development, integration, certification, pre-production or production) with a manageable effort, and maximum reliability.
As our partner says José Turégano, head of the Center of Excellence in SQA of Panel Sistemas, "SQA automation is nothing more than software, whose evolution must be synchronized with the functional evolution of our system (DEV), and with the platforms on which said system will be deployed (OPS). We must understand SQA as an integral element of the entire software creation process, and its automation must be supported by a global study, in order to obtain useful and easily interpretable results. "
Another possible starting point in SQA automation is identify test tasks that are repetitive and without much apparent value, but that can generate fault conditions in production systems. Here we use automation for the SQA team to focus on higher value testing, always keeping the focus on ensuring there is no backtracking on the product, that is, making functional testing profitable, with a sustainable investment in effort and costs.
An example of this is Pullmantur Cruises. His SQA team had the need to ensure the functional regressions of their Front End applications, with a high degree of integration and strong dependence on business processes:
By integrating automation into our SQA process, we are able to optimize the development cycles of our fronts, obtaining a clear improvement in the deadlines for putting new functionalities into production, normalizing the uploading process for new releases, and minimizing the risk of outdated software. automation software«.
Javier Gil, IT Director of Pullmantur Cruises.
Ultimately, we will not be able to provide value and personalized experiences to our Clients without ensuring their user experience through an end-to-end SQA process, with broad functional coverage. And, given the volume of work this approach represents, most of it should run automatically.
To do this, we must have very versatile tools, which are easily adapted to our needs, and an SQA process designed to allow the automation of a large part of the testing activities. And once we have this process, we will be able to develop more global SQA process automation strategies, in Continuous Integration or DevOps environments, reducing time to production, even if we increase the complexity of our applications.