It’s quite hard to create efficient test scripts. Unclear, slow, and unstable tests are useless and their usage has more negative sides than positive ones.To understand whether the tests you are using are efficient, try to make your tests meet the following 7 principles of test efficiency.
Further, we’ll talk about them in detail.
Rule 1: tests must be clear
From a technical point of view, a test is a certain set of steps to test certain software.
Tests are initially aimed at executing certain actions and checking actual results.
It’s, in some way, live specification — a test divides feature into parts, showing how it should actually work.
A user should understand the way a certain test works.
If you are a QA Engineer, try to use such patterns as configure-do-test and also if-when-else.
Your tests must be brief and easy to understand.
Rule 2: tests must be unique
Every test in a test suite must show unique behavior. Try to not repeat them.
Duplicate tests that are slightly different can be quite expensive to support but not very useful.
If the X test can cover several types of input, try to focus on one variation of tests.
Rule 3: tests must be technically distinctive
Test only one software part in one go.
When all software parts have the corresponding number of tests, tests are not only easily developed but automated too. This will make them clear and easy to maintain even after some time.
Every time you wish to add several expected results to one test, you should analyze a possibility to split these results into several tests.
Rule 4: autonomous tests
One test mustn’t depend on another one. In other words, your tests should be developed in such a way that you will be able to run each of them separately.
Each new test must contain its own resource.
All automated tests must contain dependency injection only, not global variables. If one test fails, the rest must pass validation.
You should create tests in such a way that each of them can start separately, and a launch order can constantly change.
Rule 5: repeatability
Testing is an activity of executing constantly repeated actions.
Each test suite must be run properly and also provide feedback during the development and testing of software.
Unfortunately, manual tests can be hardly repeated, not affecting its efficiency.
It takes a lot of time to run them and users can’t repeat them each time in the same way.
Only test automation makes them really repeatable.
They can be easily automated multiple times and be run in one way.
Automation scripts also work in the same way.
Rule 6: test reliability
A test should run properly from the beginning to the end. If a test is not reliable, how can we trust its results?
And why does a project group spend so much time to run them if they are hardly run?
To get good results, a user shouldn’t rerun test suites.
If they constantly fail, you should find out why this happens.
Try to analyze all automation errors. Set time-outs. Perform sufficient scaling of your test infrastructure.
You should better make tests stable than fast.
Rule 7: tests must be efficient
The main task of testing is to provide instant feedback.
Feedback helps a project group to rapidly localize bugs and continue safe testing.
Slow testing provides slow feedback and makes a project team simply reduce test coverage.
You should create atomic tests that can cover certain user behavior and system behavior.
For example, use API instead of UI to prepare data.
Try to perform parallel tests. Run them in terms of continuous integration, to instantly receive expected results.
All the above-mentioned principles can help to make your tests more efficient but, of course, this list is not complete.