When Is It Worth Automating System Integration Testing?

If you have a software or software/hardware product or tool that you are rolling out to employees or customers, system integration testing will normally be manual. At the same time, it doesn’t always have to be a completely manual process.

Most development teams at larger firms run unit tests against the individuals systems that they are working with while the product is being built. Many unit tests are automated to the extent that they are a script that runs against each build.

Yet when it comes to putting all of the pieces together for a round of software testing when you have full functionality, the same companies normally use software testers that can get in and take the software product through its paces in terms of features. In order to be successful with an automation effort at the system integration testing level, it is necessary to validate that the automation effort will be cost-effective for the coverage that it provides.

Here are some reasons to consider automating system integration testing:

Application quality assurance:

Sometimes people get confused between what the difference between quality assurance and quality control. It is easy to automate software quality control. You are merely testing the features that you are planning to release. It can be a little more discreet to test with quality assurance overtones. Your focus would shift and you would primarily be looking for trends that show that the application is not faring well as development work progresses. In essence, it may be getting buggier as the project moves forward. Having scripts ready that can check an application and validate the human testing work can give managers the control that they need to make decisions as the project moves forward.

ROI:

10 years ago, the bulk of system integration testing was still done by people that worked onsite at the place where the software was being released. Today, mobile lifestyles have created a sort of two-tier system where people work offsite through aggregators that pay by the defect instead of the hour. The other group of system integration people continues to work onsite at companies, providing services that add value in a way that other workers may not be able to. The reason that automation has crept into both areas is that it can be justified by using ROI as a measure of whether or not a specific automation effort should go forward or not. ROI, or return on investment is simply a formula that can help you show whether a new process is more cost-effective than the previous process.

Canadians involved with system integration testing can expect to work more with automation as time goes on. The positive news is that the opportunity to develop as an automation specialist is a gateway to being a full-fledged software developer. More information can be found at QA Consultants.

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