How to Speed Up Manual Testing with Test Automation

How to Speed Up Scripted Testing with Test Automation
Image © Juja Schneider

This article is not about setting up a sophisticated environment for automated tests since the relevance and importance of test automation is covered elsewhere. I rather want to give you my personal answer on how to speed up scripted testing.

Many of our e-commerce projects contain test scenarios such as the following: search for an item, select some refinements, put the product into the cart, and proceed to checkout where you need to enter your data and test another feature on the receipt page. In fact, this isn’t very complicated but it certainly takes a lot of time – even the more so when you have to go through this procedure not only once but many times a day which, on top of that, might get pretty boring in the long run.

Based on my experiences as a tester, I can honestly say that test automation tremendously facilitates scripted testing. I don’t use it to actually work off test cases assigned to me, but it always turns out to be a convenient tool that saves me from having to repeat the same steps over and over again.

Here are my pros of using test automation for scripted testing:

  • I can center my attention on the most important features in the current test case.
  • I save much time – time that I can well use for additional, exploratory testing.
  • I’m able to stay focused much longer because I don’t have to bother with monotonous and repeating test steps.
  • The minimal effort of test automation. I use XLT Script Developer that works as a Firefox Add-on and lets me record and replay test steps easily. If the project requires testing in Firefox only, I’m almost instantly done. Most projects include testing in multiple browsers, however. See here for a possible solution: WebDrivers in XLT: How to Run Test Cases in Multiple Browsers
  • My helpers can be a nice starter for future test automation.
  • It’s actually not a big deal if the previous point doesn’t apply as the automation tool still served its purpose of making my test life a little easier. ;-)

And here are some tips to take it easy:

  • Don’t be shy to throw away your helper after the project finished.
  • Don’t over engineer your scripts. They are meant to help you right now and not in the long run.
  • Don’t get lost in trying to get it to work. If you cannot get it working, return to manual testing even though it is painful at this point in time.