Quality professionals have always punched above their weight. By the numbers, they’re often much smaller compared to engineering teams, yet carry the responsibility of ensuring every piece of code upholds high standards and works within the product at large. Not only that, quality teams are a key voice for the customer, the value of the product, and how organizations can continue to innovate. But unfortunately, the demands of manual testing and siloed workflows limit the time and energy quality professionals can dedicate to broader strategy and planning during the product lifecycle.
Intelligent test automation addresses both issues by reducing the amount of manual testing and making it easier to engage developers in quality strategy. Deployed fully, intelligent test automation unlocks quality engineering, where testing is integrated throughout the product lifecycle, quality professionals are advocates for the customer, and quality is quantifiably contributing to organizational growth.
Whether you’re just starting out on your quality engineering journey or in the midst of it, there are best practices that lay the groundwork for success. mabl in particular is a fundamentally adaptable platform that’s designed to integrate quality across a variety of development frameworks, methodologies, and team setups. Setting out a clear strategy, agreeing to milestones, and creating common ground across QE, development, and customer support are essential to a successful deployment and embracing quality engineering.
Set a clear strategy
Setting a clear strategy from the onset allows your team and the broader software development organization to identify critical pain points as well as achievable solutions. It establishes common alignment and creates the foundation for clear communication, breaking down silos and ensuring that different groups have the means to collaborate moving forward.
A high-level quality engineering strategy with mabl also highlights steps that may not be apparent in standards goals. For example, if your QE team wants to catch more bugs in the coding stage of development, you’ll need a plan to train and coach developers on creating automated end-to-end tests that are triggered every time they save their work. Testers leading the mabl adoption process also know they need to learn code stage testing early to be successful in deploying mabl at scale.
It’s critical to note that this strategy doesn’t need to be carved in stone. As more team members become familiar with mabl and the value of quality engineering, it’s very likely that plans will change. This is normal, even recommended, but establishing a strategy from the onset ensures that everyone engaged in quality has a shared purpose.
Agree on test automation milestones
As a complement to your overall strategy, milestones create a structure to evaluate and mark success. Ultimately, milestones should align your testing strategy and priorities. To use the previous example of testing in coding stage, which is a goal in your strategy, milestones to achieve that goal could be:
- Familiarizing a core group of testing champions with the processes needed to automate headless UI tests, API, and integration tests in mabl with 30 days
- Begin training software developers to create workflows that run end-to-end tests in the background using CLI and the local runner every time code is saved within 60 days
- Have the entire software development team trained with six months
- Require a certain number of tests prior to a PR within one year
Milestones allow you to dig into the nitty-gritty of transitioning from quality assurance to quality engineering. When conceptualizing your strategy, it's important to ensure that each step includes the necessary triggers, stages, and environments you're testing, as well as how those relate. Specific mabl requirements, such as what data needs to be collected, what authorizations will be required, and the number concurrent users need to be considered to create effective milestones. This way you can have a concrete, measurable roadmap to accomplishing your quality engineering strategy.
Create common ground
A key benefit of mabl is its low-code interface, which dramatically expands the range of people who can participate in testing. Non-coding team members from customer success and QA can participate in automated testing as easily as quality engineers and software engineers. On the other side of the coin, coding testers and developers can create and run tests quickly in a low-code UI, lowering the barrier to testing throughout the development cycle. But bringing such a wide range of roles can quickly create confusion if no one is speaking the same language. To make adoption of intelligent test automation as simple as possible, team leads should establish shared naming conventions, terminology, and labelling.
Having a system for naming applications, modules or features is a good place to start. You should also consider a convention for labels, which are the foundation for testing based on certain deployments, such as a search based on functionality or a smoke regression based on a specific test suite. For test names, you might find that naming conventions that reflect sub-features instead of larger features and modules is more effective. Particularly for mabl features like reusable flows, which can be saved and used to recreate common tests across your organization, developing effective naming standards reduces time spent finding the right feature and the likelihood that team members will repeat each others’ work. Starting out with the necessary naming conventions that quickly and easily convey what applications, features, and tests do is essential to building an integrated workflow that runs smoothly for all teams.
Doing the groundwork
With a strategy, milestones, and a common language established, you’re prepared to maximize the impact of mabl and quality engineering across your organization. As more team members engage in testing and spend less time focused on repetitive tests, QE professionals can fulfill their ultimate mission: leading the charge to a better product that continues to provide value to the customer and uphold the standards of every user. Moving from quality assurance to quality engineering won’t happen overnight, but the end results will elevate quality while supporting faster deployments for new features and products.