January 5, 2013


Timeline crunches are notorious for sacrificing the overall quality of testing for the sake of accelerating time-to-market.  Time-to-market is almost always driven by the need to open new or enhance existing revenue opportunities.

How do I get started with test automation?

Are you new to the software test automation discipline and trying to figure out where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Software test automation can be a daunting task, particularly without the proper guidance.

A test automation framework is a set of assumptions, concepts and tools that provide support for automated software testing. The main advantage of such a framework is the low cost for maintenance. If there is change to any test case then only the test case file needs to be updated and the Driver Script and Start-up script will remain the same. Ideally, there is no need to update the scripts in case of changes to the application.

Choosing the right framework/scripting technique helps in maintaining lower costs. The costs associated with test scripting are due to development and maintenance efforts. The approach of scripting used during test automation has effect on costs.

Various framework/scripting techniques are generally used:

  1. Linear (procedural code, possibly generated by tools like those that use record and playback)
  2. Structured (uses control structures – typically ‘if-else’, ‘switch’, ‘for’, ‘while’ conditions/ statements)
  3. Data-driven (data is persisted outside of tests in a database, spreadsheet, or other mechanism)
  4. Keyword-driven
  5. Hybrid (two or more of the patterns above are used)

Dash IT Solutions Calculator for Return on Investment (ROI):

Total no. of Test Cases # of tests to be executed (manual & automated)
Total no. of Automated Tests # of tests slated for automation
No. of Executions Per Cycle Average # of tests executed in each cycle
No. of Testing Cycles # of cycles during ROI evaluation time. A cycle may be a week, a build, release, etc.)
Tester Hourly Rate The average tester salary
Failure Cost The predicted cost related failures in production application funtionality
Manual Test Execution and Analysis Time The average time it takes to execute a manual test and analyze the results
Tool and License Cost Test tool costs
Tool Training Costs Cost of training resources to use the test tool
Test Machine Cost Cost of machines used for unattended execution of automated tests (separate from machines used for manual test execution)
Test Development/Debugging Time Script development time
Automated Test Execution Time The average time it takes for a single automated test to execute
Automated Test Suite Analysis Time The average time it takes to analyze the results of one full test suite execution
Automated Test Suite Maintenance Time The average time it takes to perform script maintenance following each full test suite execution
Automated Test Suite Analysis Time The average time it takes to analyze the results of one full test suite execution
Overnight Execution? Indicates whether tests are executed during the day, or also overnight
Gain The achieved results of test automation
Investment The cost (money/time) of test automation
Benefit Gain minus the investment
ROI Benefit divided by the investment

We would love to talk with you to understand more about your unique challenges. Please contact us directly.