What you need to know about software testing automation

Last updated:March 2017

Editor's note

If ever there was a time to get serious about software testing automation, it's today. The Agile development methodology got the ball moving, but now DevOps is actually taking it seriously. In order for a company to successfully implement DevOps, much of what used to be manual testing must be automated.

Of course, like many things, that's easier said than done. Although automation can and does speed up the testing process, not everything should be automated, particularly when it comes to the user interface and the user experience. No amount of automation is going to be able to accurately reflect exactly what a user will do to an app in the real world.

But there's an even bigger issue. Who actually does the software testing automation? In some companies, developers are being asked to write the automation test scripts -- something that's not necessarily part of their job description. In other companies, testers are being asked to code, in large part so they can write the test scripts. But a new generation of scriptless automation tools promises to make it possible for nearly anyone to create automated testing, without ever touching a line of code.

At the end of the day, the key to automation seems to be restraint. Automate too much, too quickly and the process will backfire, and big issues can be missed. But the same is true if there is too little automation. It makes sense to automate some areas -- security testing, for example -- because they're concrete and defined. But the jury is still out on other areas.

1Working with software testing automation

As software testing automation is implemented, who is impacted, and how? This section covers the operational implications of automated testing. Learn what software testing experts can expect, how DevOps and executives should work together, and the latest automated testing trends.