Reason for Topic
As the worlds of both software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure become increasingly ubiquitous, we see two diometric trends emerge: the rise of “everything as code” and low-code solutions to everything from resource provisioning to CRM, app design to testing, planning to deployment, and more. Low-code and no-code automation enables team members without an engineering background to create and execute tests, both expanding the number of team members that can create tests and speeding up test development.
Introduction / Definition
Low-code test automation is a software development approach that allows users to create test cases and automation scripts using visual interfaces and drag-and-drop components. With low-code testing, teams can create test scripts without writing complex code, resulting in faster test creation and execution times. Similarly, no-code test automation, doesn’t require any programming knowledge or expertise. Instead, it relies on a visual interface that lets users build test cases using pre-built components and actions. With no-code testing, even non-technical users can create test cases and execute them with ease.
Benefits & Examples
Low and no code test automation can greatly reduce the time required for manual testing, increase testing coverage, and improve the accuracy of test results. With automation, you can run tests more frequently and catch issues earlier in the development process, which ultimately saves time and money when approached wisely. Automation itself doesn’t lead to optimal conditions, but rather, should accelerate work patterns including the demand for prioritization of that work. Knowing which tests to create, run, and report on is still a human decision process, thought with proper automation can significantly reduce the toil and false-positives in testing across the lifecycle.
One of the most significant advantages of low-code and no-code test automation is the reduced learning curve for new testers. The visual nature of the interface makes it easy for new users to quickly get up to speed on the tool and start creating test cases. This means that even junior testers can contribute to the testing effort and help ensure that the software meets quality standards. Another benefit of low-code and no-code test automation is that it enables testers to focus on higher-level tasks such as analyzing test results and identifying trends. With automation handling the repetitive tasks, testers can concentrate on more critical tasks that require their expertise and judgment.
Low-code and no-code test automation also provide greater flexibility and agility for software teams, not just ‘testers’ or QA subject-matter experts (SMEs). With the ability to quickly create and modify test cases, teams can adapt to changing requirements and catch issues that might otherwise be missed. Subject-matter experts can then focus on procedural improvements, better coverage, and earlier requirements-related work.
There is no ‘silver bullet’ to the process of software delivery, nor is there for software testing. When used wisely and a proper balance maintained relative to the systems to be tested and the skills of the teams testing them, both low-code and code-rich automated testing approaches have their place.
Drawbacks / Gotchas
Low-code testing tools are designed to simplify the testing process, but they may not be suitable for complex testing scenarios or more advanced testing techniques. While drag-and-drop interfaces make it easy to create test cases quickly, it may be more challenging to modify or tweak them to meet specific testing needs. This can be frustrating for experienced testers who prefer more control over the testing process.
Another potential issue with low-code testing is integration challenges. Depending on the tool used, it may be difficult to integrate with other testing tools or platforms, which can lead to additional workarounds and inefficiencies. While low-code testing tools provide flexibility in the creation of test cases, they may not be as flexible as tools with these specific secondary challenges in mind.
Unless trained in the use of specific tools and their capabilities, low-code testing tools may also require additional maintenance efforts, particularly when it comes to keeping test cases up-to-date with changes in the application under test. It is important to train teams and learn how to use test automation tools optimally to avoid this pitfall.
Overall, low-code and no-code test automation provide a significant advantage to software development teams. By reducing the time and effort required for testing, teams can improve the quality of software and speed up delivery times. With their ease of use, low-code and no-code testing tools are accessible to all testers, regardless of their technical skills.