Category

Agile

Category

By: Sofía Palamarchuk for Abstracta

If you work in the software industry, you’ve most likely heard about the popular term, “shift-left testing.” With Agile practices like TDD, BDD, CI and DevOps becoming mainstream, “shift-left” is the answer to how testing fits in, and must be done in order for them to become a reality. Instead of taking a backseat during the development process, testing is planned in advance and begins earlier in the SDLC (therefore “shifts left”). It could even start before a single line of code is written! Making this shift changes the view of testing instead of traditional QA, it transforms into QE: Quality Engineering.

What Does Shift-Left Testing Look Like?

Thanks to the rise of automation, and the aid of tools that use AI and machine learning, testers have more time to dedicate to being more strategic about their work, instead of having their hands tied, running tests manually every day.

For testers to be successful today, they have to not only be great at testing, but also be engineers of the Agile testing process by collaborating with development and operations while analyzing quality during every stage of development:

Shift Left Testing

Shift-left testing activities include:

  • Testers helping developers implement unit testing
  • Planning, creating, and automating integration test cases
  • Planning, creating, and employing virtualized services at every stage and component level
  • Gathering, prioritizing, and processing feedback

Several process changes occur when teams shift left. Instead of a developer waiting weeks to add his or her code to the rest of the team’s code, it can be done every day, or even several times a day. Instead of manually performing all the tests, most are automated and run every day, or even several times a day. And, instead of detecting problems at the end, the team as a whole analyzes quality as the development progresses.

Not sure if it’s the right move for your organization? Here are some of the pros and cons of shift left testing.

PROS

LOWER THE COST OF TESTING & DEVELOPMENT

It’s well known that the sooner a bug is found, the cheaper it is to fix. One of the aims of Agile testing is detecting errors as soon as possible. With shift-left testing it’s possible to detect in real time, the exact moment in which an error was inserted into the system in order to resolve it in a timely manner. When testing is done with each build (especially during unit testing), the errors that are found are smaller, easier to detect and locate, and subsequently, less costly to fix.

INCREASE EFFICIENCY & QUALITY

With the increased levels of automation when shifting left, teams can benefit from:

  • Increased test coverage since more tests can be run in the same amount of time
  • More time for testers to focus on more challenging and rewarding tasks
  • Reduced human error rate
  • Monitoring performance over time
  • Code quality checks
  • Built-in security checks
  • Reducing issues in production that users may encounter

Beyond these benefits, being able to start testing sooner invariably results in a higher quality product, as testers are less rushed to find all the errors at the end, when there’s little time left to fix them.

COMPETE MORE FIERCELY

In today’s competitive technological landscape, the barriers to compete are minimal, so the best way to survive is to be able to move fast and defend one’s stature by innovating in iterations, which is possible thanks to Agile. As everyone can agree that it’s important to deliver software more quickly, it also mustn’t be rushed out the door (causing a possible backfire). Shift-left testing answers the problem of accelerating development without sacrificing quality.

Anotheryet less obviousbenefit of shifting left is that it can help businesses position themselves as an attractive employer to top talent. Because it is becoming more mainstream, with about two thirds of IT workers reportedly using Agile or leaning towards agile (according to a recent study by HP), it’s what the most forward thinking software professionals expect from their teams. Therefore, if you want to be an attractive employer or at least on-par with the rest, it is important to adopt the modern practices that both testers and developers want to master in order to stay relevant in today’s labor market.

Cons

EASIER SAID THAN DONE

For shift-left testing to be a success, an often drastic change in culture must occur first, which requires a team effort. Teams are usually set in their traditional ways of working, and when they consider shifting, they must consider how the methods, processes, skills, tooling, etc. will need to change. Even more important, what will need to happen to get all the roles within the organization to align properly?

RISK OF BOTTLENECKS

Yes, agile and shift-left aim to eliminate testing as a bottleneck, but it is true that agile teams can find themselves stuck waiting in a queue once all of the pieces come together in the performance and user acceptance testing phases, due to the complexity of environments and composite applications. One way to overcome this is to to utilize service virtualization. Service virtualization emulates the behavior of essential components that will be present in production, enabling integration tests to take place much earlier in development. This is how you can eliminate that key bottleneck, while also benefiting from eliminating errors earlier on. Along with service virtualization, there are several tools to setup automated systems and CI such as Jenkins.

A Worthwhile Undertaking

In the end, shift left testing is certain to have pros that outweigh its cons. Testers will find themselves delegating some of their work to developers and assigning them more testing activities. In mature teams, the testers become “coaches,” training developers on how to write better code, avoid bugs, and own unit testing. The advantage of this is that the tester who used to be busy, bogged down by writing test cases, now has time to delve deeper into the product, working on business cases, penetration testing, performance testing, implementing smarter testing solutions that use artificial intelligence like Testim.io, and so on. This sharing of the responsibility over testing leads to a higher level of achieved quality, as more of the bases get covered, quicker!

What do you think? Still not on-board to shift left testing? Or have you managed to do so already?

About the Author: Sofía Palamarchuk

Sofia Palamarchuk

Sofía is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Product Officer of software testing services company, Abstracta. With a B.S. in Computer Engineering, Sofía started working in application performance optimization, system monitoring and load testing for the corporate sector for many years. With a solid background in performance tuning and automation, Sofía has become a business development leader and is responsible for managing all aspects of Abstracta’s US operations as well as its mobile testing tool, Monkop.

Introduction

We work hard to improve the functionality and usability of our autonomous testing platform to support your software quality initiatives. This month we’re thrilled to release a few of your most requested features; Updated Exports Parameters, New Groups Tab. Check them out and let us know what you think.

Updated Exports Parameters

What is it?

Flexible Exports Parameters allow to pass variables within a group, test or collection of tests. Learn more

testim exports_parameters

Why should I care?  

When we use different exports parameters across tests for dynamic data validation, it often gets difficult to keep track of which user defined variables can be used in which groups or tests . For better user experience and control of variables, we now have 3 exports parameters-

  • Local export: Allows you to pass variables between steps in the same group.
  • Test export : Allows you to pass variables between steps and groups in the same test.
  • Global export: Allows you to pass variables between tests in the same test plan or test suite.

Each one has a clearly defined scope and it makes it a lot easier for user to understand the scope of different variables used within groups and tests.

Improved Toolbar Navigation Navigation

What is it?

A new Groups Tab has been added to the “+” menu. Learn more

Testim Groups Tab

Why should I care?

You now have  the ability to switch back and forth between test and the test runs via the tabs.

Customers have access to these new features now. Check it out and let us know what you think. If you’re not a customer, sign up for a free trial to experience autonomous testing. We’d love to hear what you think of the new features. Please share your thoughts on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Introduction

We work hard to improve the functionality and usability of our autonomous testing platform to support your software quality initiatives. This month we’re thrilled to release a few of your most requested features; Result Labels, Test Run Navigation Icon, Grid Management. Check them out and let us know what you think.

Result Labels

What is it?

The “Result Labels” allows you to name each remote run. On the “Suite Runs” and “Test runs” pages, you can easily filter your runs by choosing a result label.

Testim Result Labels

Why should I care?  

You now have the ability to label your runs. This is especially useful when you need to drill down into specific runs based on environment, application version, sprint numbers etc. For example you can label your runs as “nightly-scheduler”, “v1.42.34”, “Jenkins”, “Troubleshooting”, “Staging”.

Result labels can be added to the CLI using the parameter –result-label “<user defined name of the run>”. Learn more

Test Run Navigation Icon

What is it?

The new navigation icon opens the results of a test in a new tab.

Testim test run navigation

Why should I care?

You now have  the ability to switch back and forth between test and the test runs via the tabs.

Grid Management

What is it?

To run your tests remotely, you need to integrate either with Testim grid, your own local grid or other 3rd party grids like Sauce Labs and Browserstack. Learn more

testim grid management

Why should I care?  

Grid management now offers the ability to easily manage multiple grids providing an abstraction layer for your devops. The grid information is automatically added to the CLI based on the already configured grids and will appear in this format –grid “<grid name>”.

Customers have access to these new features now. Check it out and let us know what you think. If you’re not a customer, sign up for a free trial to experience autonomous testing. We’d love to hear what you think of the new features. Please share your thoughts on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Introduction

We work hard to improve the functionality and usability of our autonomous testing platform to support your software quality initiatives. This month we’re thrilled to release a few of your most requested features; Hidden Parameters, Data Driven testing  via config files and Element Text condition. Check them out and let us know what you think.

Hidden Parameters

What is it?

When you use parameters in your tests, the values that are passed in during run time are saved and shown in the UI. Sometimes this information is sensitive and you may want the value to be hidden. This is now possible using the hidden parameters option available in the project settings page of the Testim editor. Learn more

Why should I care?  

You no longer have to worry about revealing sensitive information in your tests. This is especially true if your application is related to banking, security, insurance or any other domain that handles a large amount of sensitive data.

Data Driven testing now supports CSV, database and other external sources

What is it?

Now users have the ability to pass data sets at run time via config files. The newly added “overrideTestData” parameter in the beforeSuite hook will allow users to pass in multiple parameters to multiple tests at the same time. The same parameter can also be used to extract data from external sources such as CSV, Databases etc.

Why should I care?  

Data Driven testing is no longer just restricted to passing a json file within the tests. Now, you have the flexibility to pass this data at run time through a single config file. Also, you can extract data from external sources and use it within your tests. Everything happens automatically for you during run time. This makes test data setup much more extensible and reusable. Learn more

Talking about working with excel;  we already have detailed documentation of an alternate way to import excel data into Testim. You can learn more about here.

Element Text condition

What is it?

Testim provides several predefined conditions (“if statements”) to be used with steps.  For example, whether an element is visible or not. We just introduced a new condition which checks whether an element has a specific text. Just pass in a string, regex, or a js statement (you can use variables too!).

Why should I care?
Now you have the flexibility to add conditions based on element text instead of just checking for element being visible on the screen. Learn more

 

Customers have access to these new features now. Check it out and let us know what you think. If you’re not a customer, sign up for a free trial to experience autonomous testing. We’d love to hear what you think of the new features. Please share your thoughts on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

 

One of the most important factors related to automated tests is Maintenance. A lot of effort is spent on maintaining the tests than writing actual tests.  A recent study suggested about 30% of testers time is spent on maintenance.This leads to wastage of valuable time and effort by the resources, which they could have rather spent on testing the actual application.

Imagine a world where the software can maintain tests without human interaction? This world has become a reality with Testim.io. We use Artificial Intelligence (AI) underneath the hood, which provides self-healing maintenance i.e problems are detected by the AI and automatically fixed without human intervention.

Testim.io also help to speed up the maintenance of tests by providing the follow features within our platform-

  1. Version Control

At any given time, it is important to have logs of what changes were made to a particular test. This way we can always revert back to an older version of test as and when required. Our platform provides this functionality by showing all the version history by going to the Properties panel of the setup step and clicking on “See old revisions”

  1. Branching

At Testim.io, we firmly believe in the “Shift Left Paradigm” where Development and Testing must start in parallel as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. Keeping this in mind, we provide the functionality to teams to create separate branches for each team member and work on the same projects and tests. This way, no one can overwrite the changes of the other team members and teams can work on the same code base at any instant of time

In our platform, we just need to select “Fork” to create a new branch and we can also switch between existing branches


        3.  Scheduler

Users have the option of scheduling their tests. This helps to run the tests automatically at a certain day and time without any manual intervention. We can also get notified via email in case of any errors

 

Troubleshooting

As testers, we spend considerable amount of time troubleshooting issues. To help in troubleshooting, our platform offers different options to the user to narrow down the scope of the problem. These options  are as follows-

  1. Screenshots

The screenshot feature explained in the “Authoring and Execution” section helps users to know what was the baseline image and what was the actual image found.

  1.   Properties Panel

The properties panel helps to capture the error messages and display it to the user. The user also has the option of interacting with DOM and see what objects were extracted during the run

  1. Test Logs

Logs are a rich source of information on what happened underneath the UI. We provide test logs when the user runs the tests on our grid or a 3rd party grid. The option can be found in the in top section of editor

  1. Bug Reporting

One of the most time consuming aspects of testing is after finding a bug, we need to report it to the developer with relevant information, to speed up the troubleshooting and fixing of issues.

With Testim.io you can do this with a single click with the help of our chrome extension. All the details related to the bug are automatically generated for you.

  1. Documentation

We put in a lot of effort to document most of the features of the tool in our User Documentation found under the “Educate” tab.

We also have detailed videos on how to troubleshoot your tests quickly

Troubleshooting Part 1- Element is not visible

Troubleshooting Part 2 – Element not found

Troubleshooting Part 3 – Timing issues

Troubleshooting Part 4 – Issues related to mouse hover

With the above features, Testim.io helps to create stable tests that are highly maintainable.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are advancing at a rapid pace. Companies like Apple, Tesla, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others have started investing more into AI to solve different technological problems in the areas of healthcare, autonomous cars, search engines, predictive modeling and much more. Applying AI is real. It’s coming fast. It’s going to affect every business, no matter how big or small. This being the case how are we as Testers going to adapt to this change and embrace AI? Here is the summary of different things you need to know about using AI in software testing.

Let’s summarize how the testing practice has evolved over the last 4 decades

  • In the 1980’s majority of software development was waterfall and testing was manual
  • In the 1990’s, we had bulky automation tools which were super expensive, unstable and had really primitive functionality. During the same time, there were different development approaches being experimented like Scrum, XP, RAD (Rapid Application Development)
  • From 2000, the era of open source frameworks began
    • People wanted to share their knowledge with the community
    • Started encouraging innovation and asking community of like minded people to help out in improving testing
    • Agile became a big thing, XP, Scrum, Kanban became a standard process in the SDLC
    • There were need for faster release cycles as people wanted more software features delivered faster
  • In the 2010’s, it was all about scale, how to write tests fast and find bugs faster
    • Crowdtesting started
      • Encouraging other people to give feedback on the application. Free and Paid services
    • Cloud testing started
      • People started realizing they need more
        • Server space
        • Faster processing
      • Started to realize the problem of maintenance. How expensive it is to buy hardware and software for maintaining your tests
      • Then we have
        • DevOps
        • Continuous Testing
        • CI/CD integration
  • I believe the Future will be about Autonomous Testing using Machine Learning and AI

 

Basics of AI

Let’s start by de-mystifying some of the terminologies related to AI

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans
  • Machine Learning (ML) evolved from the study of pattern recognition and computational learning theory (studying design and analysis of ML algorithms) in AI. It is a field of study that gives computers ability to learn without being explicitly programmed
  • Deep Learning(DL) is one of the many approaches to ML. Other approaches include decision tree learning, inductive logic programming, clustering and Bayesian networks. It is based on neural networks in the human body. Each neuron keeps learning and interconnects with other neurons to perform different actions based on different responses

 

There are 3 types of widely used ML algorithms

  • Supervised Learning – We are giving the right training data (input/output combinations) for the algorithm to learn
    • Examples
      • Give bunch of e-mails and identify spam e-mails
      • Extracting text from audio
      • Fill out a loan application and find the probability of the user repaying the loan
      • How to make user click on ads by learning their behavior
      • Recommendation engines on Amazon, Netflix where customer is recommended products and movies
      • Amazon uses AI for logistics
      • Car Optimization
      • Autonomous cars
  • Un-supervised learning – We give a bunch of data and see what we can find
    • Examples
      • Taking a single image and creating a 3D model
      • Market Segmentation
  • Reinforced learning – Based on concept of reward function. Rewarding Good/Bad behavior and making the algorithm learn from it. E.g. Training a Dog

 

Real life AI applications to visually see how it works

  • Quick Draw from Google
  • Weka is an open source project where they are using ML algorithms for data mining

 

What challenges can AI solve?

Let’s discuss the challenges the industry faced while transitioning to agile and what’s still remains a challenge:

How can we use AI to solve testing problems?

There are many companies taking multiple approaches to solve different problems related to software testing and automation. Testim.io is one such company

Testim.io uses Dynamic Locators, The Artificial Intelligence (AI) underneath the platform in real time, analyzes all the DOM objects of a page and extracts the objects and its properties. Finally, the AI decides the best location strategy to locate a particular element based on this analysis. Due to this, even if a developer changes the attribute of an element, the test still continues to run and this leads to more stable tests. As a result, the authoring and execution of automated tests are much faster and more stable.

 

Here is the detailed insight of how our AI works – https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/testim-io-tool-tutorial/

In today’s political climate, automation is a hot topic that is quickly dividing people across the country. While there’s no denying automation is the way of the future, many people are hesitant that this new technology will mean less jobs for the average workers. That being said, automation isn’t all bad!

There are a lot of big changes coming to the workforce thanks to automation, and many of those changes bring with them a new wave of job opportunities. The demand for technology and coding jobs is on the rise! This is big news for the future of industry, and these changes can be a positive thing with the right mentality. Read on to delve deeper into the rise of automation and the future of coding!

software development

Image via Pexels

The rise of automation as we know it today.

It might be hard to think about how automation has changed drastically in the last few years. Nowadays, more and more “human” jobs are being overcome by advances in automotive technology. These changes first occurred in repetitive, labor-intense positions. Factory workers and farmers quickly became replaced by these automated machines which could do the work in faster time.

Humans have been using tools to produce faster results since the dawn of civilization. Cars replaced horses while robots now replace humans in many labor-intensive positions. People began to push back when factor jobs became harder and harder to find, and now it’s not just these factory positions in jeopardy. Today, automation is taking over jobs in more creative fields and thought related tasks. Sales positions, finance positions, and even healthcare positions are slowly being taken over by skilled automotive machines. In just a few years, who knows what automation will be able to do next!

With the rise of automation comes the rise of coding.

There’s no denying that the workforce is changing as automation because more mainstream. The jobs of the past will become more and more obsolete, and today’s workers will need to develop new ways to be competitive as employees. Coding is rising to meet this challenge. As the demand for automation grows, so does the need for skilled coders.

Coding positions are becoming the new factor jobs. As more works are gaining higher education, these coding positions will serve as the new baseline in coming years for a new workforce. This might seem hard to come to grips with, but these changes can be positive! A rising technological workforce allows modern workers more freedom as most of these positions can be performed remotely. Employers can advise your remote workers from anywhere in the world, making a more cooperative international economy.

There will be an need for all types of coders from .NET Core vs .NET Framework to new advanced technologies we haven’t developed yet. Not only does this mean there’s a demand for more workers, but the quality standards are also increasing. Employers are beginning to recognize that quantity and quality and not equal! That means the workers who are able to adapt their skills ambitiously will find greater success. The new rising workforce will rise to meet new challenges, and there’s no limits to the new heights of technology!

machine learning

Image via Pexels

Modern workers are programmers.

Many people today fall into the mindset that these changes to the workforce are negative. This isn’t’ the case! It’s just different. Throughout history, technology improvements have altered the workforce and brought change. These modern changes towards automation might seem strange to our modern eyes, but in a few years they’ll be normal practice. Technology is the only way to move forward to a brighter tomorrow, and our workers will be prepared for any new challenges!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Selenium Testing your Kubernetes apps with Machine Learning and Testim webinar hosted by Codefresh. We had a fantastic turnout with lots of solid questions from the audience. If you missed the live event, don’t worry…

You can watch the recorded session anytime and for code examples, please see Codefresh’s recap post here.

Dan Garfield, VP of Marketing at Codefresh and Oren Rubin, CEO of Testim discussed how machine learning, Kubernetes pipelines, and Testim can make test creation painless and easy to accomplish.

They covered how to:

  • add UI testing to your software delivery pipeline
  • stand up an environment
  • create tests that scale
  • Overcome the challenges of UI/E2E testing

Some of the audience questions they answered during the live event:

  • Why I should prefer Codefresh over Spinnaker?
  • Could you please talk a little bit more about snapshotting production data and bring it into test?
  • How did the AI assign relevance to different parameters from a single run?

Introduction

We work hard to improve the functionality and usability of our autonomous testing platform to support your software quality initiatives. This month we’re thrilled to release a few of your most requested features; Loops, Help Tooltip, and several tutorial videos. Check them out and let us know what you think.

Loops

What is it?
Adding conditions to your test lets you control if some steps will run or not. You can add conditions to any type of step, including a group step. Now, with Loops you can execute a group of steps until a condition returns false.

Want to run a set of steps continuously until a certain condition is met? Now you can. Loops give you the ability to run the same set of actions a predetermined number of times or as long as a condition isn’t met.

Why should I care?  
This allows you to reach a specific result directly from the group’s properties, or you can go over the different iterations from inside the group. If one of the iterations failed, when entering the group, you will be taken directly to the failed iteration. Learn more

loops

Help Tooltip

What is it?
Authoring tests is easy (well at least with Testim) but troubleshooting takes time. To help you troubleshoot faster we’ve added tooltips to steps that fail. These tooltips will guide you through what you should look at and how you might troubleshoot a failed step.  

Why should I care?
Now you can troubleshoot failed steps faster and independently.

Tutorial Videos

What is it?
Need help running Testim tests from IDE? Or how to do data driven testing from an Excel file? These 3 minute or less videos will show you how. Check them out.

Filter Suite Runs by Suite

What is it?
A new filter has been added to our Suite runs view. Now you can filter the list of runs according to the name of your suite.

Why should I care?
This will allow you to easily find a particular run you did and compare different runs of the same suite. Learn more

filter by test suite run

Customers have access to these features and videos now. Check it out and let us know what you think. If you’re not a customer, sign up for a free trial to experience autonomous testing. We’d love to hear what you think of the new features. Please share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.

One of the good practices of writing automated tests is creating reusable components that can be used in different parts of our test suite.

Why is this important?

Creating reusable components is important because it

  • Helps to increase the readability of the automated tests
  • Saves effort by not repeating the same set of steps in different parts of the tests
  • Any changes to the reusable step needs to be done only in one place and it is reflected throughout the tests, across different projects
  • Makes the automated tests more extensible

 

Testim.io helps to ensure Reusability by “Grouping” and “Parameterization”.

  • Grouping

Any number of related steps can be grouped into one reusable component.

For Example – The “Login” scenario is one of the most commonly used steps in any application. The way we can create a reusable “Login” step would be to select the steps we want to group together and clicking on “Add new Group” as shown below

  1. Parameterization

Our platform gives the option of testing application through various input combinations via Parameterization.

This can be achieved in various ways. One way to do this is to give all the input parameters we would need to test the application in the form of a JSON file in the Setup step (The first step of our tests) as shown below

Then add the variable names used in the json file in the appropriate fields of the step as show below

 

Another important aspect of automation is building your tests such that it is extensible.

Why is this important?

As the product and teams grow, there will be need to test more complex functionalities which would require building upon already existing tests. This being the case, the automation suites need to be simple, understandable and should be easy to add more tests to already existing test suites with low coupling and high cohesion.

Testim.io gives the flexibility for organizations to extend the functionalities of our platform using JavaScript and HTML. This way, any functionality our platform does not handle; the user can write their own code to build a robust automation framework

For Example – Say we want to validate the “Select Destination” button from our previous examples. The way to do this would be.

  • Click on “Add custom action”
  • Give a name to the New Step and click on “Confirm”
  • Click on “PARAMS” and Select “HTML” for this example
  • Add Custom Code

The new step with Custom Code gets added to the list of already existing steps

The above features help to make the automation suite more reusable and extensible.

Be smart & save time...
Simply automate.

Get Started Free