9 Easy Steps to Start Automating Software Testing

May 1st, 2018 by inflectra

Innovations in technology have become synonymous with business growth and development. Regardless of whether a company specializes in software or application development, all businesses now have some interaction with software or application testing.


Software or application testing involves the process of executing a program or app with the intention of finding bugs or glitches. Whether it is creating a new responsive website, building a new mobile application, or developing a new software component, the system has to be tested. The rate of software development in general and testing in particular is rising for many enterprises, which has increased the need for more automated software testing. Those pre-scripted software tests can come in handy when a large number of software or applications need testing. Here are nine ways businesses can start automating software testing.

Find out which tests need automation

Engineers have a busy schedule, one that may require them to put their attention elsewhere when manual tests are necessary. This makes it essential for business leaders to work with IT to decide which tests can be automated. Is some analysis repetitive for multiple builds? Is some software impossible to manually test? Is there a test that requires various datasets? This may be where engineers want to begin when deciding where they can automate.

Set up an automation plan

It is an understatement to say that software or application testing can be tedious and overwhelming. However, a well-thought-out plan and strategy can make things run smoothly. Business leaders and IT managers can take the list of software that would benefit from automated testing and create a detailed automation plan for each one. This step can address software that may need to be broken down into smaller automation test cycles, notes about plans to handle more complex software, and schedules for testing.

Get management on board

Everyone on leadership needs to see the necessity for automated testing. The IT department may agree, but if senior leadership is not on board, then the push for automatic testing will not go far. Leaders or managers should approach development managers with a flexible but detailed plan. What is the cost-benefit analysis for doing automated versus manual tests? What are the drawbacks of manual testing? How much time can automated tests save the company? What tools are out there and how much do they cost? These are all questions managers should address when approaching senior leadership.


Start small

Again, this process can be daunting, so one way to make it easier to break into is to start with small and straightforward automated tests. This allows engineers to have an easier time fixing hiccups in the system if a problem arises. This step can also enable engineers to have the opportunity to create a testing tree, so they can map all smaller automated steps into a larger one that can be turned into permanent automation.

Grab some experts

This may be new territory for everyone in the company, so having some experienced engineers on hand to help with planning and implementing automation is not a bad idea. These individuals are known as automation architects, professionals who have experience creating automation frameworks and strategies. These people may be hard to find, but the best place to begin looking is within the company. Engineers on staff may have experience in automation and can jump in to help.

Research the correct tools

Having some experts on staff can certainly help with selecting the best automation testing tool for the company. Leaders have to acquire the best tool that fits in with the budget, is easy to navigate for those still new to automated testing, has excellent technical support, and allows for detailed reporting so that departments can be aware of how efficient testing has been for detecting bugs in software or applications. Finding the right tool is one of the most critical steps in creating a framework for automation testing.

Train everyone

In a company filled with manual testers, moving to automation can be challenging. Therefore, it makes sense for business leaders to work with IT to develop a training program to help manual testers learn automation testing techniques. This group will need time to become comfortable with this new process so having multiple training resources with these individuals is essential. Automation architects will be critical to the procedure to help manual testers get used to automated software testing.

Know where manual testing still makes sense

This action is almost the opposite of the first step, but it is another way to backtrack and make sure teams have an idea of what still needs to be manually tested. Everything may not work well with automation; therefore, there should be a group of manual testers who are always dedicated to conducting manual tests for software and applications that still need it.

Make reporting a priority

Many tools produce automated testing reports that are excellent! However, engineers can also create custom tests to check the viability of the results further and even email the results or use business intelligence software to provide reporting to management. Engineers should always monitor metrics to make sure all processes are going according to plan and that business goals are met.


In the U.S. in 2017, smartphone owners had an average of 100 apps downloaded onto their phones. With millions of apps on the Apple and Google Play store, businesses are feeling the burn to produce mobile apps and software to satisfy customers. This fact makes the need for engineers experienced with automated testing essential. In the past, manual testing was the only option for many businesses, but with increased automation tools and professionals with experience, companies who need to produce bugless software and apps have lifted.


However, automated software testing is not just about identifying bugs; it is also used to ensure software meets technical requirements, aligns with business goals, and can be implemented across varying programs or operating systems. Transferring from manual testing to automated can be a complicated process, but if all steps are well-planned, and smaller automated tests are utilized, then this new procedure can help companies produce responsive and well-designed software that meets customer needs.


Chanell Alexander is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. She has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit field, and enjoys blending innovative technology solutions with communications. When she is not writing, Chanell enjoys traveling, contributing to video game blogs, and embracing her inner foodie. See what else Chanell has been up to on her LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.


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