Why test automation is mandatory now?

In the new era of software development, automation has become an essential aspect. Agile do not work smoothly if automation is not taken care of. Under DevOps topic, process automation has been addressed but testing is still a gray area and has not got the deserved attention. This is another important topic which has to be automated to respect agile and get benefited with its true advantages. Even the babies get annoyed if it is not the case 🙂

While checking a system manually one can do mistakes, especially when an application contains thousands of lines of code and has inter dependencies.

Automation helps the team to avoid these application testing mistakes and execute the checks in a much faster time frame than human could do. With the power of DevOps, the responsibility of detailing all steps becomes important. Let’s take an example of code check-in in DevOps driven environment to highlight it.

As it can be observed in the flow above, a developer made a little change in a micro service API. To Test it faster, he/she blocked the authorization code. After finishing the work, the developer accidentally checked in the blocked authorization along with the required code change. DevOps as per the configuration gets triggered and deploys the code change to the server. Since the new build now has authorization disabled so the application is compromised now and everybody who has access to the system can see the data they are not supposed to see. It’s big security threat! The solution was quite simple, with test automation in the delivery pipeline for regression testing, this issue would be been caught easily and could have been fixed quickly but due to this missing important step, the application became a victim of security threat due to a small silly mistake. The chances of catching the issue with manual QA is also low because QA may test the change and some touching functionalities without noticing that there could be a change in the authorization side as well. It becomes even more difficult in API testing scenario.

It is clear now that test automation should be considered very seriously as a step in the release process pipeline to avoid mistake which are hard to catch with manual execution. The cost of such mistakes are very high in scenarios related to security and performance. Having said that, let’s quickly look at the advantages of test automation to draw a clearer picture:

  • Early stage detection of defects.
  • API Testing which is mostly overlooked. Emphasis on “Services Testing” before the front-end gets ready for testing.
  • Catch performance bottleneck and security threats which are missed by developer.
  • Higher volume of Production requirement becomes less risky.
  • Cross Browsers with different OS combinations scenario verification is faster.
  • Enforce accountability.
  • Speed up development cycle.
  • Minimize cost due to manual errors.
  • Instant communication for remote worker also.
  • Real-time data for decision-support.

With the help of advantages and scenario explained above, it should be quite evident that test automation is an integral part of DevOps pipeline and must be considered as mandatory step to avoid the cost of the damage it could do due to the potential misses.