Mastering the art of web development takes time, patience and of course the right tools. But even with this perfect concoction, it is still possible for experienced developers to make mistakes.
Imperfections are easier to root out if you test your projects thoroughly. And while testing methodologies may have been tedious and resource-intensive in the past, the rise of automation has alleviated a lot of the strain.
Here is a look at what steps you can take to embrace automated testing in your own web development endeavors, as well as an examination of the benefits this will bring.
Programming Know-how is Helpful
One of the first things to consider when you learn automation testing is that for optimal and comprehensive control over the processes you put into place, being familiar with key coding languages will give you a head start.
Of course you do not necessarily have to develop such in-depth technical know-how in this context; if you would prefer, you can always hire specialists to do the heavy lifting, or outsource the testing entirely. You just have to get used to being less directly responsible for the specifics of the processes.
The Tools of the Trade Will Come to Your Aid
Manual testing processes can be automated impressively with the help of various commercially available tools, many of which are open source and thus provide flexibility and adaptability in the hands of the right developer.
One of the best-known solutions is Selenium, which focuses on automating browser-based testing in order to see how well your site or app functions in the browsers you are targeting.
Spin-offs from this solution which operate in the same general ecosystem can even automate tests that work with a variety of browsers in one fell swoop, further driving down the time it takes to pinpoint problem pieces of code.
A Regular Testing Schedule Will Improve Performance
Whenever you implement a new feature, launch a new app or do any other kind of tinkering behind the scenes of your site, testing comes into play.
With automation on your side, you can more easily organize a schedule for tests which will not take too much of your attention away from your other responsibilities, and will continue to reap dividends in the long run.
How this schedule is plotted out is up to you. Think of it as a preventative measure to ensure site stability and compatibility. If your testing is more sporadic, problems may go unnoticed for longer, and this will be reflected in poor site performance across a multitude of metrics.
Manual Testing is Still a Piece of the Puzzle
The last thing to remember when embracing test automation in a web development scenario is that you do not need to completely remove manual testing from the equation.
Part of the reason for this is that there are still some things which test automation frameworks cannot adequately analyze, such as the more nebulous and human aspects that make up the overall user experience.
As such, test automation should be conceived of as a way to catalyze and streamline your existing manual testing processes, rather than as a direct replacement for them.
For both client-side and server-side testing, automation can be a game-changing ally. You just need to be willing to put in the hard work up front to adapt to its possibilities, and the rest will come easily.