How to scale up your testing effort? | Katalon Studio

Test automation at scale is art. It requires careful thought at each step of planning, designing, implementing, and analyzing. Many organizations come to us simply looking at Katalon Studio record and playback, which is good to start with. However, without careful thoughts on the right strategy at all stages of the testing cycle, the risk of the whole solution no longer working in the long term will get bolder as you scale.

Why do your perfect fit solutions no longer work?

The Facts

Let’s start with some market research based on a World quality report (2019-2020). If you are reading this, you may see yourself here too, struggling with the same challenges.

The report showed that more than half of the tech decision-makers admitted that lack of the right resources, the right approach and the right strategy, and the right environment to test are are biggest challenges.

Thus, if you are planning to go through a major adoption of application tech stack or technologies, or expansion of the automated environment, or simply need to release faster, it may be neccessary to take a step back and go over your test automation strategy to ensure that scales directly & proportionately to the company growth, team growth & application size.

What I mean is utilizing Katalon Studio record & playback is a good first step but as automation matures, it is not so much of a one-step-and-done perspective. It is a growing and increasing conversation. It is where you shall start with automating Test Case Development but from there, don’t forget to take your testing creation effort and introduce quality into other parts of the life cycle. The goal is to build a sustainable and scalable workflow.

The Why?

Before getting into the cure, let’s look at why it happens? Why suddenly are the same team and infrastructure resources unable to keep up with the workload anymore? It is hard to prioritize what to test first and what to test least. Why suddenly is there a need for more expertise in the team? Why suddenly do things start to get messy and overwhelming?

It is all due to the increase in COMPLEXITY.

The constant scale in application size and complexity leads to test complexity. Hence, testing becomes a long leg in the development cycle. As your application contains various dependent services, it is hard to prioritize testing requirements or what tests are relevant. Script maintenance will be hard to keep up with the level of script built-up without thoroughly organizing from the beginning. Exceptionally, running tests that most closely with the recent code changes will be formidable and time-consuming.

On the other side, the quality still needs to be assured. Requirements for test coverage on more platforms and devices will build up. This can be a challenge as the QA team usually does not have complete control over the environment. Dependencies on the IT team and going through multiple red tapes to ensure you got all approvals needed to set it up could be a daunting process.
One of the solutions you will come up with is to come to DevOps tools to complete your continuous deployment. With new tools in place, there is a need to integrate them into your current eco-environment. This adds more and more complexity to orchestrating your workflow.

As scaling up, your development and your QA team will constantly be asked to do more with less and release faster without sacrificing quality or even spending more.

Reduce the complexity of test automation

– Increase software complexity
– Less reliability
– Time-consuming to re-work & re-run 
– Increase maintenance requirements
– Higher cost
– Lack of visibility for decision making
– Avoid script complexity
– Embrace reusability
– Appropriate & flexible environments
– Speed up & isolate test execution
– Enhance collaboration
– Data is key

Our team is putting together a live demo to show some good practices to scale up. The approach will utilize Katalon solutions within standard tools DevOps tools such as the CICD pipeline (Jenkin, Azure Git), test management tools (Jira, TestRail..), and Source Control (Github, Bitbucket..).

The webinar video will be live on the 1st week of June 2022; I will update it within this post once it is ready.

In the meantime, let’s discuss the strategy to minimize the complexity and Scale-up your testing effort efficiently.

Avoid complexity

The solutions you adopt shall be doable for everyone, even with a low-code background. Katalon Studio Record and playback can take care of this step. Furthermore, the best practice is to keep your script simple, concise, organized & achievable for everyone in the team. The team shall be able to amend tests quickly, name & tags & label them in the proper structure that is easy to trace back or even find the suits with the same error logs for a bulk fix. Small steps can help the team grow without dependencies on a particular QA engineer, and the script can scale up without getting messy.

Embrace reusability

Embrace reusability is another critical objective to scale- Taking too long to design tests is one thing but taking too long to re-do tests is another redundant challenge. Changes will be made within the applications, and adjustments need to be made to test whatever those new changes are. You certainly would not want to re-do the whole scenario all over again. Ready to utilize self-healing, reuse test artifacts, and do-away no-longer-used repositories to minimize your test re-work effort. We will show you this in detail in the demo.

Gain complete control of your environment

Many people forget that the environment takes time to set up and maintain. Think about how long it takes the IT team to get back to your request to download a particular device? With that being said, as your demand for quality increases. You would need to ensure your product work in all combination of OS and version. Getting the approval to have a new set of devices will take you months, and getting it up and ready would add another few weeks on top. Virtual VM and devices farm may be an easier option to adopt, but it tends to be overkill, and its cost is still not for everyone. This is why we now have Katalon TestCloud within our product suits that can let you run in our virtual environment within 10 mins to set up with free maintenance. As a result, you can have the most flexibility, and control over your test lap environment is crucial. Reduce as much as possible dependencies on other IT departments.

Speed up & isolate test execution

Setting up the right environment with the most flexibility is the first step to preparing for the next goalSpeed up & isolate test execution. Your workload will never decrease. Thus, you shall also aim to have enough resources to test more & faster. Meanwhile, don’t forget to isolate those executions. So if one test fails in the suits of tests, it can be re-run easily and does not affect the overall execution to avoid as many false positives as possible. To deliver a system that is under control & reliable.

Team collaboration

Team collaboration is frequently forgotten. Teams are made up of different kinds of people with diverse skill sets. These people may include test automation engineers, developers, or SDETs (software developer engineers in test). If you want to start practicing test automation, it’s not just about the skill level of your team; you must also ensure that people have the environment to communicate openly.

The best practice is to standardize. all together using the same tools same solutions suits for better optimization & knowledge sharing. Furthermore, do have an orchestration solution to centralize all of these tools used, and keep everyone’s activities on the same page.  

Data is critical

Finally, data is critical. Manager & stakeholder wants and needs more accessibility and visibility into the testing effort. To ensure testing follows good practices and processes, ensure that the correct testing is being done, use the suitable methods & techniques,s and ensure results align with the team goal. The intention is to quickly gauge the quality, the speed, and the risk at any time during the Dev-Test-Op cycle. So it would help if you had more predefined control inputs & output that could support tests and project decision-making processes.  

Tailored live demo – Testing at Scale with Katalon Studio

Interested in seeing a live demo or talking to our Solution Engineer about embedding scalability tips in your current and future strategy? Book a call here with me to connect with our Katalon or leave a message below: