3 Reasons to Use Automation Outside of Test Steps

When most developers think about test automation, they're thinking about automating the actual steps involved with a test. Their main consideration is automating actions like:

  • Type John Smith into the name field
  • Select NY from a list of states
  • Click the OK button

The problem is, there's still manual setup and teardown tasks associated with this sort of automation. For example, before you run the test you need to preload your database with a list of states that you can select, and you may need to delete John Smith from the database after the test has run.

While those tasks may be as tedious and time consuming as the test steps themselves, they are great candidates for automation. Here's why:

3 Reasons to Automate Outside of Your Test Steps

1. They're repeatable - Any repeatable, mundane task is something you should consider automating. Make the computer do the boring stuff for you!

2. They offer easy time savings - I once implemented a test that took 45 minutes to set up, and only 5 minutes to run. By automating the "prep" tasks, I saved a whole lot more time than if I'd only automated the test itself. 

3. It gives you a more complete workflow - Imagine clicking a button and executing your entire end-to-end workflow from application installment, to regression testing, to uninstallment. Then, imagine showing that to your boss. They'll be thrilled that you've created such a complete test.

So by automating more than just your test steps, you'll save yourself time and tedium, and you'll look good too!

Happy Automating!

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