Although ideas leading to efficiency in software development receive lots of attention, innovations in software testing are often ignored. This is ironic given the fact that about 50% of software development schedules and resources are devoted to testing.

The development of test procedures can be slow, expensive, and labor-intensive. However, technological advances based on Automated Software Testing offer an opportunity for substantial savings.

Cost and time are significant concerns throughout a software project’s overall schedule. Increased efficiencies in testing via automation can have a measurable effect on software development in these two areas. To assess their impact, several factors should be considered, including:

  • What portions of the test program will be automated?
  • How much time will be saved?

Regarding which tests should be automated, the obvious candidates for automation are those tests that are repeated most often. Automating tests that are highly labor-intensive also makes sense. One-time tests would not be as cost-effective.  Additionally, return on investment (ROI) calculations are important in determining which tests to automate. Before choosing tests for automation, an evaluation based on these and other factors should take place.

Lest we gloss over the time commitment, it is important to note that during the initial stages of automation, especially if conducted solely in-house, there will be a time increase to allow for development. Automated testing requires its own mini-development lifecycle done in parallel with the application. However, the time required for test automation is amortized throughout the implementation phase each time a test is repeated.

Once tests are automated, time reduction is most evident in the test execution phase. Typical test activities during this stage include: test execution, test result analysis, error correction and test reporting.

Using an Automated Software Testing product will facilitate the test automation process. Finding a reliable Automated Software Testing team is another approach. Working with a proven partner, like IDT, will minimize internal software testing development efforts, maximize efficiency and lead to a reduction in cost and time.

Some information taken from:  Dustin, Elfriede, Thom Garrett, and Bernie Gauf. Implementing Automated Software Testing: How to save Time and Lower Costs While Raising Quality. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley, 2009. This book was authored by three current IDT employees and is a comprehensive resource on AST.  Blog content may also reflect interviews with the authors.