Optimizing Test Coverage With Automation
- June 8, 2020
- Hiba Sulaiman
When it comes to testing for software quality assurance, organizations and QA managers often choose automation testing to speed up the release cycles. Automated tests allow QA teams to get rid of tedious and repetitive tasks and enhance software quality simultaneously. It is important to consider a number of strategies for measuring test coverage for each cycle so that it can be maximized for a long time period. However, all test automation projects do not deliver the expected success and ROI. One of the biggest reasons for failure can be an inappropriate choice of testing practices. Too often, QA teams working for an automation testing company are not aware of the right procedure after implementing a test automation tool that affects the effectiveness of test automation efforts.
In order to measure the test quality of an application that is being tested, QA teams use test coverage. Test coverage helps in defining different chunks of an application in order to cover them with multiple tests. It also helps QA teams in measuring if they have tested sufficiently and provides them with ideas of what else to test. It is a great tool to measure test quality, but 100% test coverage still does not guarantee that an application is bug-free.
Test Coverage and Code Coverage
Test coverage and code coverage are two different things. Coder coverage is all about unit testing practices that target all areas of the code and is done by the developers. Whereas test coverage is the process of testing every requirement at least once and is performed by QA testers. Each team interprets what qualifies to be covered under requirements.
There are different ways to measure test coverage, of which a few techniques are explained below:
It is one of the most popular metrics for measuring test coverage that covers test cases, reporting the total number of lines in a code, and the number of lines executed by tests. Test coverage is the degree to which the source code of an app is executed when tester runs a test suite. By ensuring more code coverage, QA teams minimize the chances of bugs into production. This can also be broken down into different levels.
In data-oriented coverage, testers have input and output parameters and each parameter has its own domain. Testers can choose as many combinations as they want to, which means that they choose each value at least once. It provides all sets of combinations and works as the best mix between different values.
Other Kinds of Test Coverage
There are different ways to cover an application that is being tested like state-machines, boundary values, decision tables, decision trees, equivalence partition, etc. Each technique is support by an error theory that considers typical errors that developers tend to commit. In addition, there are other types of test coverage that are not related to lines of code or inputting test data. It also includes mobile fragmentation, including the main mobile devices, operating systems, and screen sizes. Testers should also consider how a web system will behave under a combination of operating systems and browsers and how many combinations testers should test. They should also consider the test environment, context, etc.
Optimizing Test Coverage
What should QA testers do when they do not have enough time to reach certain criteria for their test cycles? They can use a certain method to improve test coverage over multiple test cycles.
Let’s assume that an application has different features that need to be tested on different browsers and testers have organized different test cases with various test suites, with their own priorities. Here, testers need to execute the most critical against all browsers, but they can decide to execute on a different browser. They can exchange all pairs of suites ad browsers in their test cycles in such a manner that they do not have the perfect coverage, but after multiple test cycles, they can improve it. Testers cannot be sure that they have made their best efforts but when they are short of time, they can use this technique wisely and make the most of it.
Automation is the Right Choice
An automation testing company offers automated testing solutions to cover cumbersome and repetitive testing processes effectively and efficiently. Firstly, testers need to decide on what to automate, or QA teams may fail at achieving the desired output from their automation projects. They can get started by focusing on the following:
- Repetitive tasks
- features/functions that remain stable during the application lifecycle
- Tasks that require complicated calculations and are difficult to perform manually
- Tasks that have more bugs/errors
The next step is to prioritize and divide the tests. Testers can identify the outcomes they have wished to achieve through test automation and plan the next test actions accordingly. They can sort out the complicated tasks according to the set priorities. It is also important for QA managers to realize that not all team members have the same skillset and experience. Thus, it is important to ensure that they make a plan, which can help them identify which tests are the best for automation. Test automation ensures maximum test coverage, reduces the risk of errors/bugs, and ensures maximum software quality.
Automation testing is said to help organizations in getting maximum ROI and most of their investment in automation projects. It helps in testing faster, testing more, and enhancing the effectiveness of test automation programs.