No-Code Automation: A Deep Dive into Simplified App Testing

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The Rise of No-Code Automation Tools

In recent years, we have seen the rise of several low-code and no-code tooling solutions meant to simplify our work, but also increase our productivity and results delivery towards clients. Testing and test automation is no exception to this. In a fast paced world where releasing fast, but with accuracy, is critical it is not surprising that several dedicated low-code and no-code tools have arisen to make our lives easier. 

Benefits for Clients and Testers

This goes both ways – for clients and for testers. As a QA practice lead I am constantly looking out for ways to improve our testing efficiency, offer meaningful learning opportunities to team members, but also to provide clients with fast, accurate results while staying within the testing budget. 

Client Expectations in the Post-Pandemic World

Having been in touch with several industries over the last years (from finance, to fitness, retail or wellness), and having worked with different size clients (multi-million dollar corporations to start-ups) I have seen clients not being in the least interested in what coding pattern your test automation framework uses or how complex it is. 

The Pandemic has made clients more wary of how they invest and spend their money. So, they are rather interested in why you spent 300 hours building your testing framework and after all that time, why the tests are still flaky and require more hours for stabilising. 

Add to that the constant need to maintain your codebase, and after a while you end up running only a few select tests anyway because of having racked up a considerable backlog of tests needing fixing, updating, etc. So, you spent a lot of time and money on a solution that is not really that robust, has somewhat limited coverage, and does not really provide the results that the client was looking for. And let us not forget about the time spent on training people to code or use the testing framework. The time spent on documentation, and the risks associated with knowledge gaps in case someone from the team leaves – then the cycle repeats itself. 

The Shift to No-Code Automation Solutions

I have personally noticed a trend of clients looking for solutions that offer a faster turnaround time for testing, are easier to maintain, and are capable of offering the same deterministic results each time. Some of them have even started to move away from complex test automation frameworks written with thousands of lines of code towards more simplistic but integrative test automation low-code or no-code solutions.

 And now, you can even find solutions on the market like DataDog which integrates synthetic testing with monitoring capabilities, error reporting, or user heatmaps to provide an all in one solution for all testing and monitoring needs.

The reasoning for the above is that it is more effective to spend the budget on a paid for, stable test automation product that offers support if the need arises, and basically externalising any of the risks and hassle with maintaining an in-house automated testing framework. 

The money spent on building the testing framework from scratch and then maintaining it with only an eventual promise that it will produce the desired results is seen as a risky prospect these days. As I mentioned before, ever since the Pandemic hit, companies are more careful with how they spend their budgets. But that does not mean that they do not expect the same results as they did before. They still want to release with a cadence, they still want testing coverage, and they still expect their applications to have a high degree of quality.

Practical Advantages of No-Code Automation

So, to meet the needs of our clients for fast test results within budget and time constraints I have started looking out towards low-code or no-code solutions that my team can use in order to create a viable set of tests in the least amount of time as possible. Using this approach, the team also has a smaller learning curve associated with understanding and using a test automation tool to do their job. 

This means that we spend less time on training and needing to learn how to code and is especially useful when you have strong QAs with manual experience, but which have had only limited exposure to traditional test automation frameworks. 

Now, I am not implying that a low-code or no-code solution is a silver bullet, that it works for each and every situation, but for the greater majority of projects we have it is a great approach to getting things done fast and reliably. 

Case Study: MagicPod & Synergo Group

One such tool that we have started working with in Synergo Group is MagicPod. 

It is a user-friendly online platform that allows writing web, mobile and native mobile app tests using a simple interface. This translated into faster test development than using traditional coding methods. Users can inspect the UI of their application using an AI powered inspection tool so that they get the optimal locator, and create their test steps using pre-defined templates and the locator extracted. 

In addition, fast development is achieved through the ability to run a certain subset of test steps without needing to run the test from the start or until its end. This allows MagicPod to combine test writing with active running, so that you are able to check that your step works as expected in real time.

Key Features and Advantages of MagicPod

You can also execute your tests in batches or one by one for test isolation and this is all done using a few clicks. This ease of use also extends to when you want to try out a new test flow. So, QAs have the rapid ability to both run tests and add new tests to their list. There is also a test reports feature that offers complete screenshots of every screen and highlights failures.

As MagicPod is an online platform and everything gets saved in the cloud, there is no more need for traditional test repositories or any additional local tools to enable coding and committing changes. The user needs to simply log into the platform and select the test they need to work on. 

This means I can just log in from another computer and continue my work, without needing to do any prior setup on that machine to create the work environment I had on the previous one. This also means that users do not need to worry about needing to make changes in complex code or fighting with dependency versions. As such, MagicPod essentially helps eliminate the need to maintain legacy code and helps with cost savings.

Finally since it’s a dedicated platform, MagicPod offers improved security features that ensures the tests are protected against malicious attacks. 

Explore No-Code Automation with MagicPod

I invite you to explore this innovative platform. It has so many features that this short article could not do it justice, so it’s best to get in touch with them either via Slack or their official contact pages and request a demo. For us, it is a promising tool that integrates a modern way of doing testing with traditional software development tools. In essence we get the best of both worlds without needing to break the bank when it comes to delivering test results to our clients. 

Author: Răzvan Vușcan – Head of QA Practice at Synergo Group

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