Scriptless Test Automation: 4 Steps to Get Started
May 13, 2021

Eran Kinsbruner
Perfecto by Perforce

Manual testing is a nuisance to DevOps teams. It's an extremely tedious process that requires time and energy that can be spent on more valuable tasks. While code-based tests are run within the usual workflows, so developers and SDETs receive the feedback within the build process, these type of tests only cover a limited amount of test scenarios. There are on average 25-30% manual test scenarios that are not part of this process (read: time wasted). On top of these challenges, traditional testing — like any human process — is prone to error, which can cause larger issues down the road.

Business testers are a great value add to the testing process because they understand all aspects of the application, however they often lack the required skills to execute and oversee tests, which are 25-30% of the entire test suite.

Enter automation.

These challenges are exactly what scriptless testing solves. This testing option creates a more efficient process by empowering business testers — with no coding experience — to be part of the development cycle, enabling testing teams to automate more and be more productive. With less maintenance requirements that lead to faster test creation, and integration with existing tools, teams can identify bugs in the software faster.

Is scriptless testing for me?

Scriptless automation simplifies the testing process dramatically by allowing anyone to create a test — regardless of coding experience. Once set up correctly, it requires zero maintenance thanks to a self-healing AI algorithm. Empowering manual testers — both non-technical and business testers — to create automation visually will also enable tests to be run more often, which will identify bugs earlier. Faster detection will streamline maintenance when necessary and as a result, teams can dramatically reduce the cost of test creation and execution.

Adopting scriptless automation doesn't need to be as hard as it may look. There are four easy steps that teams can make to easily transition to the no-code software.

1. Get buy-in

If you're on the DevOps team, it's important to reframe your thinking and work through the perspectives of everyone involved — from management to practitioners. For management, focus on the ROI and the cost of downtime. If a new feature breaks, the associated downtime costs can negatively impact your relationship with your client, costing them time and money.

For the daily practitioners, note how eliminating redundant software tests will far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of setting up the software. Scriptless tools will integrate well into existing DevOps processes, easily complementing the workflows already in place. Plus, experience with automated software testing will bring valuable skills to their resume as more companies move in this direction.

2. Decide what to automate

All new processes come with a learning curve. For teams who are new to this space, first break down your priorities and align on your goals. Automating the high-value manual and exploratory testing process should be the highest priority and avoiding test duplication between scriptless and code-based test scenarios is the key for success and productivity.

3. Pick the right tool

Like everything in the software world, picking the right tool is essential to ensuring compatibility. Make sure that the option you select fulfills your team's current needs and can be scaled for future projects as well. Some good questions to ask before finalizing your selection are:

Does it work in all browsers?

Does it integrate with existing CI/CD tools?

Does it have good customer support?

Can it scale to run in parallel and reduce the overall execution time?

How good is the reporting platform of the tool?

Does it meet enterprise and network security requirements?

4. Start small, fail small, learn fast

Starting small is sound advice for all new business initiatives and scriptless automation is no different. Testing automation opens a new world of possibilities, but don't try to plan too much too soon. Start out by automating one test case and working through any kinks before deploying it to the rest of your programs. It's much easier to replicate and scale small successes than it is to isolate exactly what broke in a larger roll-out. Consider building modular tests, so that you can save time by reusing components.

Testing automation is inevitable and organizations that don't adapt will be left behind. Following these four steps will help companies understand where the need in their organization's lie and how scriptless adoption can fuel productivity and collaboration across teams.

The future of intelligent test automation relies on scriptless tools to become even more smart and autonomous. Integrating the software into existing DevOps processes will attract more practitioners — not only business testers — to adopt the technology in order to significantly decrease the costs of test automation maintenance and reliability.

Eran Kinsbruner is Chief Evangelist of Test Automation at Perfecto by Perforce
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