TL;DR: QA automation does wonders in improving software life cycles and team productivity. From enhancing processes to suiting the perfect technology in the best use possible, QA automation engineers set out to make happier working environments that consistently improve a product’s quality and its subsequent fit in a given market.

Quality Assurance (QA) automation is a pillar in a software’s life cycle. That’s especially the case if you’re working with Agile. One of the reasons why I became a QA automation engineer is how much a product’s quality can be improved with it. We definitely make a positive impact in the market due to the product’s quality. 

The goal in QA automation is for QA engineers to thrive in a happier environment while being able to focus on more specific tasks. They should be able to devote their time to more complex details than what QA automation can cover. Let’s unveil what specific tasks QA automation covers in general. 

QA automation testing: Covered areas

Automation can be applied in any area of any industry. In my experience, I’ve seen it adapted from solar panels in the solar industry to content production companies, TV ads, computers, AppleTV, or any device with a screen! I also worked in cybersecurity for 4 years and there are tons of situations in which QA automation applies in those scenarios.  

Yet, theoretically speaking, QA automation testing is more commonly a part of processes that include performance, database, and API testing, UI/Visual testing, and user-friendly accessibility. It’s all about improving a site’s look and feel. We work to make environments politically acceptable. Moreover, we seek to make structures pleasant and enjoyable. 

Yet, there are also many areas that can’t be optimized. In terms of security, for example, we can face many product restrictions. There can be company policies that block some processes, for which QA is done at a lower scale. In those scenarios, we focus on specific functions or interact with much less information; especially when we’re working around sensitive data. Banks or clouds are perfect examples of scenarios that can’t quite always be reproduced.

With good practices, however, every software project should have managers, developers and a QA team. Automation runs parallel to QA. We execute daily tests to determine how stable changes were, so that QA engineers know that the new version is viable for them to start their own testing. 

How companies can save time

There’s nothing more frustrating than to want to test something out and for it not to work. What we do saves time. 

By the time testing comes around, a QA engineer has already certified that the initial development was done correctly. We take that product and automate it so that, when a full regression needs to be done (meaning you run all tests on a software at once), QA can focus only on details. QA engineers can focus on very specific validations we couldn’t reach or which required certain technological limitations that kept us from working on them. 

By then, these QA engineers will also be sure that all the tests we run in the back are trustworthy, and that they’re working with good quality. 

QA Automation includes processes

We also have process automation running alongside the above to work on a product’s impact. That can mean integrations, getting reports via a certain email, notifications on a certain execution, for a test result to be sent via a TIMS chat, a tool’s improvement…all of that! 

If someone needs a specific tool for visual testing, for instance, we can provide it. If DevOps needs to create a specific structure in AWS, we can define a script that makes it easier to do. A Senior QA doesn’t need to spend 5 days of their life testing URLs out of a spreadsheet with 1000 proofs. A single script can validate all that within 15 minutes. 

In doing all of this, we need to be able to prioritize correctly with good judgment. We constantly monitor what the latest tech is and which benefits those can provide a certain product. We also need to consistently monitor our product and see what else we can provide that could have a positive impact. That’s also so QA can specialize more and more. 

QA automation and/or process optimization

As you can see, we can either improve a product’s quality and/or use tools for automation in this field. Our work is all about giving companies or clients ideal tools and mediums or resources along with process optimization. We’re set out to make everything easier. While we’re doing so, we get to spot problems with the products, and we try to optimize them. That’s what allows us to suggest tools. 

If a manager can’t tell what a product’s daily quality is, we can come up with a dashboard that shows them different trends. Such data can be filtered by their interests. 

Costs also make projections possible. So, say 20 clients reported all of their costs. What we can do is come up with trends, diagrams, and other information for our users to make projections that allow strategic decisions. 

The ideal is for our target users to say what they need, so we can generate reports that are as friendly as possible for them. Doing so should let them make better-informed decisions. 

Adaptability is a big word in this field

We can’t stick to a single technology all the time. Adaptability is something we give with the diverse technologies we handle. We only need to think about finding the perfect match according to client needs! 

If a client works on Azure, we can integrate Visual Studio or Cypress. If they’re on AWS, we can use Python, for example. 

Every tech solution right now will require QA processes, which means it will forcefully also require QA automation. And we come in to choose which tools make a perfect match for a given solution and get to work!

The true luxury is to exist without QA Automation 

Once automation is brought into a company, agility can come at greater speed as time moves forward. After a certain pace, we can run testing more often and every delivery can assure more and more quality. That impacts a company’s image, their market, their client base… That’s one of the reasons why automation exists; to make everything more agile while taking a big load off QA teams. It’s about better product quality throughout. 

Traditional companies might consider QA automation to be a luxury. Yet, the field has proven to be necessary since approximately 2013 to 2015. The paradigm shifted back then. And it did so once we realized many tools allow agility. Automation simply peeked after that point. Solutions became so complex that the real luxury was to have 15 senior QAs checking spreadsheets or testing click by click. A senior QA should focus on more complex validations. QA automation engineers can automate what’s easiest to do.

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