With the introduction of test automation tools such as CrossBrowserTesting, it’s easier than ever for teams to meet the demands of Agile, CI/CD, and DevOps. However, while testing used to be a job strictly for QA, software teams are finding that this no longer applies to their development process. As organizations continue to shift left, the lines continue to blur between different roles, and testers aren’t the only ones testing anymore.
If your entire team is ready to take on more testing, here’s a few ways each member can best leverage a test automation tool.
Digital Marketers – Think that your marketers have no use for testing? Think again. Anyone on your team that cares about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will likely be aware that mobile responsiveness is a factor when it comes to domain authority. In fact, Google has stated that responsive design is the recommended design pattern, which means that web applications that are optimized for mobile will actually show up higher in peoples’ search results. Your marketers may want to take advantage of a visual testing tool so that they can evaluate priority pages on different devices and screen sizes to determine whether or not they’re responsive. Ensuring mobile-friendliness will also benefit SEO by accelerating site speed, decreasing bounce rate, and boosting social sharing, making testing a marketer’s secret weapon.
Product Managers – Testing doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) wait until the end of the SDLC. In fact, it can take place as soon as the planning stage, especially when shifting left. Product Managers can expertly use the data of past test results to influence the direction of the product, but they can also perform their own testing to make immediate improvements and determine what changes should be made in the application next. By focusing on the usability of the application, product managers can perform exploratory tests to better understand what forms could be more intuitive or determine if the site is optimized for accessibility, for example. Additionally, product managers might find value in testing newer features recently implemented by the development team that impact usability (home page layout, checkout process, etc.) to make sure it fits into the buyer journey they way they intended.
Designers – If your designers have been manually testing your website to make sure it looks good across browsers and devices, that’s a good first step, but they shouldn’t stop there. Visual testing allows them to automatically capture screenshots of a URL on tens of browsers and compare them side-by-side. By picking a base browser, they can see where there are differences in each layout and decide which are acceptable and which need to be fixed. Whether an app is off by one pixel or a hundred, your designers can determine for themselves whether everything looks the way they want it to across configurations. It’s also important to make sure everything works in addition to looking exceptional, which is why Record & Replay helps test across the same browsers to make sure things like buttons, navigation, and link are all working as expected.
Developers – While we believe that every software development team should have it’s own dedicated QA team, that’s not to say that there are not certain times where developers should test their own code. It goes without saying that when a new feature is added, change is made, or bug is fixed the developer should ensure basic functionality of that new implementation after the code is adjusted by testing it. For longer test cases or more elaborate projects that restructure large areas of the application and require more extensive, end-to-end testing (such as you might see with a website rebrand), developers might want to also run one-off tests without taking up too much time. By leveraging prior programming knowledge to learn Selenium commands, developers can ensure functionality without spending hours on testing. Instead of manually executing a basic test case, they could write an automation script in a fraction of the time and still cover large areas of code to check whether it passes or fails.
Manual Testers – Manual testing will always be a crucial part of QA because it depends on the curiosity, observation, and skill of the individual to execute tests that will provide insight to the rest of the test. However, while exploratory tests can be the best part of the job, manual regression tests can be the bane of their existence. Despite the name of the role, manual testers no longer have to be confined to strictly manual testing. With test automation tools like Record & Replay, manual testers can automate the tedious, boring, and repetitive testing that they’ve come to dread without having to learn a programming language or getting up to speed with complex testing frameworks.
Automation Engineers – For the tester that’s mastered Selenium and has too many UI tests to count, how can they speed up testing to take it from days to hours? Parallel testing is the key to making your automation time even faster. By simultaneously testing in multiple browser configurations at once instead of one after another, parallel testing allows you to take your suite and divide the time spent running tests. Just by running a test in two browsers at once, you’re already cutting your automation time in half because you’d be testing them all at the same point in time. You can see where this would really pay off as you continue to add more tests, create longer suites, and run them on more browsers.
When everyone in the SDLC is moving fast to implement and deliver new features, testing is no longer a one-man job. In order for other team members to meet their deadlines, they must also be held accountable for some of their own testing.
While we can never replace the important work of our QA teams, there are tools that can help ensure that everyone plays a part in ensuring speed and quality from planning to deployment.