The Test To Automate First

So you’re ready to go. The company is convinced that it needs to work on some type of automated testing.

You’re probably wondering what’s next?

If you’re not sure what to start automating first. This post should help you out.

There’s a big world out there. All the options can feel over whelming.

The most common question for new automation teams is where to start? What should the team work on first?

Most competent automation engineers will have suggestions for you.
If your team is junior or the startup doesn’t have “dedicated tester” at all, then looking for suggestion internally might not be a good option.

When eating an elephant take one bit at a time -Creighton Abrams

Ever application is different, and because of this there will be different key areas that you might want to target first.
Even for similar apps in the same industry, this is true.

The good new is, you’ll have a pretty good idea what functionality it most important for your product.
However before jumping into the deep end there’s path you should consider.

Start with smoke test.

Yes, I know you probably have to some other testing challenges. There’s some stability issues with the application. The straw that broke the camels back so to speak. But lets slow down for a bit.

Start with smoke test.

There’s going to be some ramp up time. Building an automation framework is just like building an application.

In fact I would argue that by starting to work on automation your company is adding another “product”. An automation framework is going to take time to development and maintained just like your other applications.

Start with smoke test.

Just write some basic tests. These tests will then help drive the development of your framework. Which helps gain quick ROI.

Start with smoke test. (Ok you get the idea)

So What’s A Smoke Test?

Smoke test help testers answer the question – “do I even need to look at this?”.

Smoke testing is preliminary test on major functions of your application to find simple failures. This is done before carrying out more testing.

Wikipedia has some good examples:

A smoke test may ask basic questions like “Does the program run?”, “Does it open a window?”, or “Does clicking the main button do anything?” The process aims to determine whether the application is so badly broken as to make further immediate testing unnecessary.

Smoke test can be very cost effective. It also is a good way to verify if a build is working properly, when new code is checked in.

Automating your smoke test should ensure that you get a fairly even distribution of the framework code written as the smoke tests should cover many different areas of your software. Which makes it a really good place to start.

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