Codeless Automation – Quality Enabler

אורן וייזר, מנהל בדיקות QA

Testing is a must and crucial step in any project, SW or HW, a step all stakeholders and key position personnel in a project must take into account and give it high importance at least the same as giving the design and development phases. Low quality product is a NO-deal product. Under the testing umbrella there are various testing methods and testing phases. Each one holds its own importance, constraints, weaknesses and strengths. In this article I would like to bring the next step of testing, the future testing – Codeless Automation

Codeless automation – what does it mean? What kind of codeless? Does it mean effortless? Does it mean man-less? Is it truly automated from start to end? It is really with no code? How much time consuming is it? What is the right phase in the project to begin? What test scenarios are the correct ones to codeless automation? Will it really be a strategic tool in any project

In order to answer all those questions, we must think in work effort, time and cost effectiveness. Basically, the goal is to reduce all these and deliver a high quality product at the same time, making the project profitable. Manual UI testing, for example, have these three parameters in high level. Making the testing step in the delivery process a bit painful for everybody, the project manager, the development team, the product owner and more. But, we all know, we can't skip this one. Therefore, the way is to minimize its impact and in addition, allowing the QA persons put more effort in high complexity business affecting scenarios. In addition, in order for the project CI process to be more thorough, effective and quick, automated tests are required to run in a fast and simple way, also to maintain

We have several automated testing options along the way. Unit test – done on the development level by the developer. Not codeless and usually not so effective for integration tests since testing a single module, nevertheless, it helps find very basic SW problems at a very preliminary phase, for sure to become bugs, almost no time consuming and the most cost effective of all

The next very effective method is API testing. This is a truly codeless automation testing. APIs are relatively simple to automated. They are in charge of the communication between the different modules. The strongly define the rules – what is the input, what is the output. This is very simple to automate with low work effort, time and cost. Like unit test, this is another step for reassuring the quality of the internals of the system, but not yet the system itself as a whole. But, if you want to test a complex, multiple APIs involved in parallel where response time has a role, this is something else and will demand higher level of effort, maybe some code and may be limited as this is still not the end point of the product

More advanced step is the codeless automation for UI. Either recording actions and playing it again and again or creating a scenario from scratch, using built in components. The QA person is not required to be familiarize with any code language or coding tool. The tool allows him to perform his testing scenarios whilst saving it for future use. There are several tools or methods to use, but the concept is clear – QA person is not required to be familiarize with coding language and creates automated testing scenarios without code

Is this the ultimate solution? No. A lot of work is involved in creating these recordings of automated scenarios. Add to this the need to investigate it in case of a failure, just like a developer debugs his code. But, as I wrote earlier, it's a must and it is the simplest of all options. The existing resources are being used with the need of specific knowledge persons. The same QA person can create codeless scenarios for automation and continue manual testing in parallel. It is not effortless, it is some time consuming and with no major additional cost to the project. It brings all the advantages of automation without the code constraint it

To conclude, and also present my personal opinion, codeless automation is the future but only part of it. To truly turn it into a game changer, it must be matched with AI algorithms. If we can give the machine the ability to know the business flow and learn what in it can be changed or what set of decisions it can take during the process, it will be a true codeless SMART automated testing. Till then, Manual UI testing can't be really replaced but can only be supported aby automation and even after, manual testers will always have their place, supervising the quality aspects of the project

The author of this is an experienced manual tester with some coded and codeless automation*

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