The market expectation of quality includes better user experience, better integrations, better performance and better security apart from usual functional validation and verification. In today’s digital world, the pace of software releases is exponentially increasing and with each release the quality goals are also increasing. Testing is not restricted and siloed at an application / product level but it is encompassing multiple applications to cover various business processes and end to end workflows. All this is placing an enormous challenge to testing team and test automation becomes imperative to achieve these high expectations.
Across enterprises as part of their agile methodology, testing teams have already embraced test automation and in every sprint both development and testing go hand in hand. In some of the digital enterprises’, Test Driven Development (TDD) methodology is followed. In such organizations, it’s testing and test automation that is paving the way for development unlike traditional ways of the past. Development is considered done, only when all test scripts pass.
Test automation is spanning across various layers and stacks (like web, service, server, backend, etc) to have complete code coverage and align with how development happens. All these paradigm shifts are driving both testing tool providers and test automation engineers to reinvent themselves. To strive in this new norm, we at Blue.cloud based on our experience working with various technology leaders, defined a roadmap that would help test engineers graduate to Full Stack – Test Automation Engineers
Step 1: Basics and Foundation
It is no secret that you need to have your basics right and have good understanding on (a) Agile Development Methodologies (b) Testing and Defect Life Cycle (c) Testing Concepts and Techniques (d) Testing Tools and Technologies.
To be a full stack test automation engineer, you also need to acquire excellent knowledge on
- Cloud and Cloud Services
- Architectural Layers / Technology Stack
- Environments and Deployment Methodologies
- Communication and Integration Protocols
- User Experience Concepts
Step 2: Programming Skills
Step 3: Intra Stack Automation
While performing Intra stack testing, though the major focus will be on functionality, it shouldn’t deter you in focusing on performance, security and user experience. As a full stack – test automation engineer you need to ensure that non-functional aspects are also tested early in the life cycle even when the dependant systems / components are not available.
- Web Automation Testing
Web automation testing focuses on testing tedious and repetitive human tasks across multiple browsers and ensures web-apps are browser-friendly. As a full stack – test automation engineer, you need to have expertise on at least one of the leading Web Automation tools:
- Cucumber (BDD)
You also need to learn & focus on frameworks available in the market like Page Object Model, Data-Driven Framework, Keyword-Driven Framework etc, so that automation becomes easier and maintainable.
When the dependent modules / layers are not available for testing, full stack – test automation engineer should be able to create Stubs & Drivers to ensure test automation works.
Mobile Testing is must for every NexGen application (Digital era) as it has either a mobile interface or built as Progressive Web Application (PWA) compliant. So, expertise on Appium (or any other leading tool for mobile testing) that can be integrated with Selenium (or web automation tool) is must.
- Server Automation Testing
As a full stack – test automation engineer, you need to have expertise on Cloud Environment and Cloud Services. You need to create test automation scripts to test application not only on functional aspects but also on non-functional aspects like security, performance, compatibility, interoperability, disaster recovery, multi-tenancy and integration with various other 3rd party interfaces.
Testing application deployments across cloud environments and checking how the resources are being utilized by deployed application becomes an important aspect of this testing.
- Service Automation Testing
Next important area would be API’s testing / Micro Services testing. Apart from functionality, security and performance testing are critical aspects. Here is the list of most popular tools available in the market and you need to have expertise on any one of the following tools.
- Backend Automation
Backend Automation is a testing method that verifies the server side & database of applications. The purpose of backend testing is to test the application layer & database layer to ensure that the application is free from database defects like deadlock, data corruption or data loss. Here is the list of popular tools available in the market to perform Backend Testing.
- Data Factory
- Data Generator
Step 4: Inter Stack Automation
When it comes to Inter Stack testing, the primary focus will be on End to End and Business Process Testing. You need to rely on third party testing tools or have custom integration built across multiple tools to achieve E2E automation
- End to End Testing
End to End Testing is a testing method that validates entire application from starting to the end including its integration with external interfaces. The purpose of end-to-end testing is testing the whole application for dependencies, data integrity and communication with other systems, interfaces and databases to exercise complete production like scenario.
- Business Process Testing (BPT)
BPT is a process that aligns software testing processes with business goals in order to reduce complexity, time consumption and efforts in a testing lifecycle.
Step 5: Non-Functional Automation (Optional)
For Full Stack – Test Automation Engineers, it is recommended that they have some knowledge on non-functional testing and its tools. Most often non-functional testing is handled by a separate team in a production like environment (to benchmark against the industry standards):
- Performance Testing
- Security Testing
- User Experience Testing
- Cloud Testing (Focusing on Cloud Resources usage)
- Usability Testing
- Form Factor Testing
Step 6: Integration with Pipelines
As a Full Stack – Test Automation Engineer, you need to have a good understanding of DevOps and how CI/CD pipeline works. Test automation scripts that are developed need to be invoked at various steps and phases of CI / CD. You need to know and understand how to hook your test automation scripts into tools like Jenkins, GitLab, TeamCity, etc
At Blue.cloud, we successfully employed above mentioned 6 step roadmap to turn our automation engineers into Full Stack – Test Automation Engineers.