Software testing is a very complex exercise, and a lot depends on the specific situation and on the application being tested. It’s an art more than a science, and usually comprises of a variety of areas, including functional testing, compatibility testing, performance testing, regression testing, unit testing, etc.
But in general, there are high level assessments you can do to see whether your testing tool is holding you back rather than propelling you forward. The following are a few tell-tale warning signs that it’s time to start evaluating other testing solutions.
1. Testing cycles are too long.
If your testing cycles end up being long ordeals, and if your testing cycle becomes the long pole in your development pipeline, it might be your testing tool that is to blame. If your team is skipping testing phases to make push deadlines, and as a result you have a constant problem with roll backs, it’s probably time to evolve.
2. Costs too much.
Old style testing suites were really expensive, and perhaps those initial license fees are sunk costs which don’t impact your current budget. However, if you start considering the cost of maintenance and support, the cost for upgrades and add-on features, and the cost of adding new licenses as your team is growing, it quickly adds up. Plus, some tools charge for ‘overages’ if your team usage exceeds your contracted amount, so you can be in for some surprises. And that can become really costly.
3. Takes too long to ramp a new hire.
Do you know those teams where there is a lot of tribal knowledge as it relates to their test automation and testing tools? Where it’s really hard for a new person to pick up and know the intricacies of the testing framework? Where there is a ton of legacy scripts that nobody understands? If any of this sounds all-too-familiar, it’s probably about time you re-evaluate your situation. As an example, one of our customers had a super-duper, highly complex testing framework. When asked whether they were actively using it, they said ‘There is nobody left in the group that knows how to use it.’ Time to move on.
4. Your stand-alone tool doesn’t integrate with the rest of your tool stack.
Your testing tool might have been originally part of a ‘suite’. But with time, your dev team has evolved all the other tools, and adopted best-in-class cloud services. For example, you find your team has moved to Github for source version control, New Relic for app monitoring, Jenkins for continuous integration, Jira for bugs, Slack for team communication, PaperTrail for logging. Your testing tool is the last remnant of the original ‘suite’, and now is stand-alone and can’t integrate with the rest of your tools stack. If all the other areas of development have evolved to best-in-class cloud services, it’s time to evolve and find a API-centric testing tool that integrates well with the rest of your stack.
5. It doesn’t help you identify and remediate a problem.
If troubleshooting a problem takes too long, and your team is spending lots of time parsing through logs, and it’s very hard to connect the dots and correlate different logs, it might be your testing tool is not a good fit given how your application has evolved. The industry has quickly moved from monolithic applications running on a single server on-prem, to microservices architectures running on distributed multi-cloud environments, with a number of 3rd party services in the mix. Modern architectures have millions of possible failure points, and getting test results in the form of raw data or logs is not enough any longer. You need integrated, pre-configured, built-in analysis that correlates different data sets and provide information that is immediately actionable and enables your team to iterate quickly.
Testing has been left behind and has not evolved at the speed of light, as with other segments. If you have evolved many of your other tools, it’s not too late to take a look at your testing solutions as well. You’ll find many new innovative solutions that are rapidly adopted by companies across multiple verticals, which are natively cloud-based, simple and elegant, turnkey and self-service, and API-centric, aimed at making the process of software testing faster and more efficient.