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TTC’s Senior Consultant Thomas D’Silva recently attended SauceCon 19. He shares with us what he thought and learned. 

True to its purpose of bringing together the global community of SauceLabs users and automated testing experts, the SauceCon 19 conference had relevant content and knowledgeable attendees who were smart and complemented by their advanced automation skills and experience. It wasn’t just the wide variety of content, but the organization of sessions and discussions that made the interactions seamless and provided good returns on every moment of time invested. A few key takeaways I took were great automation strategies and examples to create and follow best practices.

Your automation test evolution

Applications aren’t static and challenged by time you are limited to what can be automated. Application evolution over time will require analysis to ensure adequacy of test coverage when making modifications. One of the factors while selecting a candidate for automation is the amount of manual time and error cost comparison. Test scripts should be able to withstand changes to the UI as it is the part of the application that is likely to change the fastest. To shorten the amount of time taken to test each build, ignore the flaky tests in advance and retire the obsolete tests, which should save the debugging time on a tight schedule.

Test quality and why it matters

A test failure should lead to high confidence that an application is broken. The goal is to consider a build green if every test passes. Identify tests in advance that would break due to application changes and ensure that the test fix rate is always greater than the test break rate. High ambient levels of test failure due to flaky tests or an increasing number of quarantined tests decrease the functional coverage and reduce confidence in the automation testing process.

Test efficiency in the automation world

Designing and running tests is what every tester has been trained for in the industry. Providing the results with continuous communication is the need of the hour in the world of DevOps and CI/CD. This can only be achieved with testing metrics shared across the team targeted at testers, developers and admins having to contribute to the application quality. The emphasis on software testing communication strategy, test acceptance criteria that included performance goals and test results data communication will be a key to focus on awareness. This will, in turn, help to visualize how the team performs from a quality standpoint and effective communication of test results leads to a continuous improvement culture.

 Headless testing

One of the biggest challenges the teams in shift left are facing is resource optimization and finding ways to improve test coverage with existing infra. Headless testing enables running more tests without requiring greater investment of time or hosts. This is accomplished by testing components without rendering the GUI, thus skipping the time and resource consuming process of rendering the visual display. Headless doesn’t mean replacing other forms of testing but makes a better fit to tasks that require faster feedback and early pipeline testing.

Mobile automation

Mobile automation was one of the focus areas given the rate at which mobile updates are flooding the markets. The emergence of AI testing for mobile test automation will be one of the key functions to watch over the next few years. AI testing will be an enabler for daily application change deployments during the dev phases instead of weekly or fortnightly builds, shortening the product launch cycles. By assimilating machines that can meticulously mimic human behavior, the team of testers can move beyond the traditional route of manual testing models and progressively move forward towards an automated and precision-based continuous testing process. The benefit of using AI testing is that the system will be able to learn from exploratory testing by observing users/testers/customers perform operations on applications and fully automate the process of regression.