Strategies to Optimize Automated Tests Execution Time


In these times of global lockdowns and changing work cultures, companies are still trying to ship quality software while maintaining the expected deadline. So, the efficiency of the test cases has become more vital than ever. In this article, we were going to discuss multiple ways in which you can optimize test execution time. These checkpoints will also have a significant role in performing the test faster on the cloud, making them less flaky and overall, more efficient. We will also use multiple examples throughout the article to improve our understanding of these key parameters. We will begin the discussion with a basic understanding of automated testing.

The Basics of Automated Testing

As the name suggests, it is the process of automatically conducting several test cases involved in the application development life cycle. Automation Testing eliminates the hassle of manually conducting repetitive test cases. Since it is completely run by a computer, there is no possibility of human error or dependency on human work schedules. It also plays a vital role in dramatically reducing the overall testing period for the application.  For example, a recent market study shows that Automation Testing can bring down the development time to under 3 days. This form of testing also allows the developers to concentrate on other critical areas for the development project. So, we can say that Automation Testing has an indirect role in improving the quality of the application. 

Best Ways to Optimize Automated Tests Execution Time

  1. Aim for a Reasonable Tests Execution Time

One of the initial goals in the Optimization process should be to check the number of tests and their execution time. The developers should repeat this process for different checkpoints present in the application testing pipeline. Many well-known Application development Industries split up their testing processes for even distribution throughout the pipeline. This concept helps to release applications daily with confidence. It also plays a vital role in improving the quality of the application. 

  1. Try to Test on Every Pull Request

As a developer, you should aim to present all the testing bottlenecks during the final days of the release cycle. One of the effective ways to achieve this goal is to isolate the bugs in the earlier phases of the testing cycle. You should also perform functional testing after every commit.  In case it is not possible, you should at least ensure to perform this testing on every pull request. This process eliminates the hassle of dealing with a truckload of bugs just before the production phase. 

  1. Configure the CI Setup for the Highest Efficiency

The developers should try to use a master-slave configuration in the CI. This process will help the master machine handle all the dispatching and monitoring jobs. It will also help the machine to report the final results without any chances of overloading or slowing down. The developers can consult multiple online tutorials to get a proper understanding of a step-by-step Walkthrough for building an efficient and well-integrated CI pipeline. This pipeline will also help the developing companies to maintain a proper work synchronization between the development and the testing team. 

  1. Try to Keep the Tests Short and Simple

Short and simple tests are often referred to as atomic tests in the industry. This form of testing plays a critical role in improving the efficiency and testing period of a company. It is also a good idea to reduce the use of Selenium requests to minimize the number of network calls. Another major advantage of a short test script is that it removes the possibility of any error being present in the script itself. This process further improves the usability of the test cases in future development projects.

  1. Try to Initiate Parallel Testing on your Tests

Parallel testing is one of the most beneficial and advanced features of automation testing. Using this process, the developers can initiate multiple test instances simultaneously. For instance, while testing a web app, the developers can use parallel testing to perform the test cases on different combinations of browsers and operating systems at the same time. Experts believe that with the proper use of parallel testing the developers can conduct all the test cases in under 3 days. There are various tools and platforms available in the market that help developers to perform parallel testing on their apps. 

  1. Use Blending to Prevent Queuing

Cloud testing platforms have a special feature to limit the maximum number of parallel tests that you can run at a time. The primary goal of this feature is to limit DDoS attacks and abuses. This means after you’ve reached the limit, all the remaining test cases will be queued until the completion of the previous ones. So, you must find this limit and distribute the tests accordingly among different Browsers and devices to speed up the testing period. You can also use multiple systems during the testing period to avoid this limit. 

  1. Utilise the Debugging Options that are Build-in

The build-in debugging tools have a great role in helping the developers to isolate the critical bugs in the application. They also help to remove the effect of those bugs from the core framework of the application. The developers should avoid the practice of building their logic and saving it locally. Instead, they should focus on using the debugging tools and the REST API that is present in the cloud platform. This process will also play a vital role in improving the simplicity of the testing process. 

  1. Choose the Right Browsers for the Testing Purposes

The choice of browsers plays a vital role in improving the efficiency of the test cases. This is because you will waste a lot of time while testing your application on certain browsers that none of your audience uses. So, one of the vital steps in the application testing process is to conduct thorough market research to get a proper understanding of the preferences of your end-users. In case, you are new to the application Development Industry and trying to build an audience, you can begin with the most popular browsers in the market. For instance, Google Chrome is currently the most popular browser in the desktop segment. It is then followed by Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. 

  1. Try to Choose the Correct Screen Sizes

The screen size plays a vital role in how the application will look on the device. It is one of those physical parameters that a developer cannot afford to overlook. However, you must remember that in the present industry, there are thousands of different devices available. Most of these devices have different screen sizes and unique resolutions. The developers should make a list of all the devices that are commonly used by the audience and include it in the testing framework. This process will save a lot of time as the developers will not have to conduct the test cases on unnecessary devices. Just for reference, almost a thousand new android devices come to the market every year. This data is enough to get an idea about the diversity of available devices. 

  1. Implement your Tests on Real Devices

In the modern industry, almost half of the internet traffic is controlled by mobile users. This data issues the importance of mobile testing while developing a new application. However, most application development Industries use virtual machines and emulators to perform mobile testing. In reality, a virtual machine can never replicate the physical specifications of a mobile device. This is because it can never show how a real device behaves according to the input of a user or physical conditions. So, the developers must use real devices in the testing process to improve the dependency of the final test results.  It is also a good idea to use site analytics for shortlisting the mobile devices that are most popular in their audience. 

Another reasonable decision is to use cloud platforms that enable you to test on real devices. A good example of one such platform is Lamdatest. We will discuss more on the role of different tools in the little part of this article. 

Role of Tools in Optimizing the Test Execution Time

Tools play a vital role in simplifying the automated testing process, especially for beginners. Currently, there are thousands of such tools available in the market. As a developer, you must have a clear understanding of all the factors that can ensure a tool is suitable for the testing needs. Some of the important parameters are your testing preferences, development time and budget along with the knowledge of multiple programming languages. We can use the example of Lamdatest to further elaborate our knowledge of how a tool can affect your testing time:

Lambdatest is a cloud-based platform that can help you to ensure that your web app is cross-browser compatible. Using this platform, the developers can run all the test cases on a secure Selenium cloud grid. While testing with Selenium, Lambdatest allows developers to verify the functioning of the application on more than 3000 different browsers. Lambdatest also allows conducting the test cases on certain browser versions that are no longer available in the market. It also helps to reduce the automated test execution time by implementing parallel testing. Lamdatest allows the developers to conduct the test cases on real devices along with virtual machines and emulators. This process helps to dramatically improve the accuracy and dependency of the test results. Lamdatest also helps the developers to test the functioning of the local web applications. 

As a developer, you can also get a proper understanding of the dependency of an application by checking online reviews on user forums. This is because these forums are filled with the honest life experiences of developers who are engaged with that particular tool. 

The Conclusion 

So, we can conclude that in this modern application Development Industry, your primary goal is to quickly provide high-quality applications to your end-users. Automation Testing is one of those few advanced Technologies that will help you to achieve both of these goals. The developing companies should also conduct proper awareness campaigns to emphasize the importance of this technology. On the other hand, application testers should consider automation testing as one of those techniques that can help them to improve their portfolio. Experts believe that in the coming years as the complexities of applications begin to rise, Automation Testing will be the only way to verify the proper functioning of an application. 

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