Software testing is an integral part of the software development process. After all, it ensures that software systems are reliable, safe, and perform as per expectations. Over the years, testing has significantly evolved by constantly adapting new technologies. Starting from the crude form of manual testing to the advanced technique of automated testing, software testing has progressed vividly.
So what do we have now? What is the next thing in QA testing? According to technologists, codeless testing is the next thing in QA. In the 1980s, software testing became more structured and resulted in the development of unit testing frameworks.
The point is that software complexity has always played a pivotal role in the evolution of testing tools. Codeless testing is the result of the increasing complexity of software development, and also a result of the bottlenecks of manual testing.
Codeless testing can prove a significant tool in overcoming the limitations of its predecessors and also dealing with new development technologies like DevOps and cloud computing. This article gives you an insight into codeless testing including its features, benefits, and the challenges it faces.
But before we begin to understand this testing method, it’s essential to know the testing bottlenecks that led to its evolution.
– Testing Bottlenecks
As pivotal as it is for the determination of software quality, software testing comes with its own set of blockages, especially manual testing. These bottlenecks are the key reasons that led to the emergence of codeless testing. Here are the major ones.
Testing is a time-consuming process and it can significantly delay the market time of your system. Setting up a testing environment, managing test data, writing test scripts, and executing the same – the whole ordeal can be tedious. If the software in question involves complex features, then the testers need to double their efforts and time as well.
– Manual Errors
To err is human and no matter how proficient your testers are, there are good enough chances of slip-ups. There are so many tasks to perform and most of them are repetitive. This is the biggest reason that makes manual testing prone to errors like mission out on a few features, making mistakes during execution, or missing the edge cases.
– Limited Coverage
There’s only so much a man can think and do. The number of test cases that could be covered gets limited in manual testing. This is due to time and resource constraints.
Testing means working with a variety of combinations including variables, user actions, inputs, and requests. This makes it almost impossible to try out every single thing on the routine.
Owing to the several tasks that need to be done at a time, manual software testing can lead to inconsistency, especially across different testing cycles. This in turn can lead to variations in the test results.
Codeless testing evolved as a means to address these bottlenecks. Let’s move ahead and learn more about it.
What is Codeless Testing?
In the simplest words, codeless testing refers to the software testing approach in which testers do not need to write a single line of code for automated tests. Codeless testing tools allow users to create test cases with the help of a visual interface and drag-and-drop functionality, thus making it easy even for non-technical users to build and run automated tests.
Codeless testing often features pre-built test cases that can be modified to suit the requirements of any app/system. The best part of this testing approach is that it enables users to focus more on the app quality rather than the technical nitty-gritty of generating test scripts.
When it comes to the features of codeless testing, they may vary from one testing tool to another, but some elements are exclusive and are common to all. Let’s have a look.
🡪 Visual Interface – Most codeless testing tools provide testers with a visual interface that enables them to build, modify and run test cases with simple drag-and-drop, or point-and-click functions. Due to this, it becomes easy for non-technical users to create and run automated tests.
🡪 Record and Playback – Several codeless testing tools have this feature that allows testers to record user actions on the app or website. Testers can then generate automated tests based on those actions leading to more refined results.
🡪 Cross-platform Testing – Some competent codeless testing tools offer support for multiple platforms and devices including laptops and tablets. This ensures that apps are tested thoroughly under different scenarios.
🡪 Pre-built Test Cases – Codeless testing tools offer pre-built test cases which can be modified to fit the requirements of a particular system/app. The pre-built test cases save a lot of time as they help testers to get a head start.
🡪 AI and ML – One of the key features of codeless testing tools is the use of AI and ML algorithms. This makes testing more efficient as it improves test coverage and also detects common syntactical errors.
How does it Work?
The codeless testing approach typically utilizes a GUI (graphical user interface) that facilitates the interaction of testers with SUT (system under test). This is done with the help of pre-built components.
Since most of the codeless testing tools incorporate AI and ML algorithms, they can identify UI elements and automatically generate test scripts. Testers only need to review the results and take necessary actions.
Also, there are some advanced tools that support NLP (natural language processing) that help testers create test cases using plain English. Some of the names that are making an impression are Katalon Studio, AccelQ, Selenium IDE, and TestCraft.
Why it has a promising future?
The features and working of codeless testing make it obvious that this valuable testing approach can simmer down things for testers, development firms, and stakeholders as well. It has something for everyone.
Firstly, it eliminates the need of writing complex code, which means no coding skills are required to build and run automated tests. This also means that the testing team can now spend more time on ensuring software quality rather than spending valuable time writing test scripts.
For stakeholders, on the other hand, codeless testing means bringing down the market time for their product. As already mentioned above, conventional testing methods consume a lot of time. But since most of the things are already trimmed in this approach, investors get high-quality products within a lesser timeframe.
But that’s not the only reason why testing holds a promising future. Besides removing the bottlenecks of traditional testing methods, codeless testing is a savior of resources. Additionally, codeless testing embraces new technologies and complies with the latest methodologies including DevOps and microservices.
Apart from providing development firms with a more streamlined and seamless testing process, codeless testing facilitates easy integration with other testing tools like CI/CD pipelines (continuous integration and delivery). So the sum total of the testing technologies is a more comprehensive ecosystem.
All in all, codeless testing is indeed the next thing in QA because of the many advantages it holds over its traditional counterparts, including improved collaboration between team members, a broader range of participation, and a simplified testing process.
Challenges in Codeless Testing
The thing with any technology is that no matter how promising it looks, it also presents its own challenges, which also apply to codeless testing. Despite its many benefits, it still has some cons and the key ones are:
– limited flexibility as they are meant to handle common testing scenarios and might not be suitable for complex scenarios
– not-so-easy learning curve because while the tools are designed to be easy, testers still need to grasp the underlying working structure to generate effective scripts
– limited control over modifications as not all parts of the tools are open to customization meaning testers might not be able to fine-tune the process
The silver lining is that these challenges can be mitigated by testers with careful evaluation of testing tools and proper alignment with testing needs. A robust testing strategy can also prove effective in handling the risks.
The evolution of software testing tools was driven by the need to improve the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of testing methods. Codeless testing emerged as an outcome to improvise on those traits.
While it still has some hiccups, its effectiveness in simplifying the complications and a broader range of utilities is definitely going to keep it in the limelight, at least for a while.