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Buying any enterprise software is often a lengthy process as buyers and vendors deliberate over features, support, costs, and product roadmaps. But the usual challenges of purchasing new tools are compounded when teams need solutions that will help them undertake major transformations like quality engineering. Software testing teams looking for support on their journey to quality engineering need to understand not only how a test automation solution will support their immediate quality challenges, but also how it will help them expand testing and improve collaboration in the long term.

Establishing A Test Automation Partnership for Quality Engineering

Quality engineering, on a broad level, is when continuous testing is practiced within a culture of quality. This means that software testing is an integral part of the software development life cycle and that everyone plays a role in ensuring product quality, from engineers running unit tests at the code stage to customer support running tests in production to assist in troubleshooting. When quality is a shared commitment for the entire software development team, quality assurance is able to focus on expanding their software testing strategy to better reflect the customer experience. A critical component of embracing quality engineering: automated testing. A test automation solution designed for quality engineering should make it easier for everyone to participate in an organization’s automated testing strategy, enable better collaboration between teams, and support non-functional testing. Even if a QA team is just starting their quality engineering journey, there are a few telltale questions that can help them determine if a test automation solution is a good investment. 

Who can use the test automation solution? 

A key part of quality engineering is enabling the entire software development organization to contribute to software quality. But many test automation tools make that difficult with code-heavy user interfaces that require coding expertise to create and manage tests. Buying a test automation tool that can only be used by developers or QA engineers is likely to result in testing bottlenecks down the road. Instead, teams looking to adopt quality engineering should look for software testing tools that can be used by a broad range of people, regardless of their coding experience. This allows quality engineering organizations to upskill manual testers, simplify testing for developers, and encourage product owners to contribute to their testing efforts. When everyone can participate in automated testing, shift-left and continuous testing are much easier to implement. 

What kind of support/training is offered? 

Support plays a critical role in reducing the hidden costs of new test automation software, as it smoothes the transition and ensures that lost short-term productivity is minimized. Too often, support is considered an afterthought in the software buying process, which results in QA teams being surprised by training fees. In the best of circumstances, this undermines the trust between the vendor and the buyer. But when the buyer is transitioning to quality engineering, a lack of reliable support from their new test automation solution can be a critical setback. In the short term, QA teams will struggle to maximize their investment in test automation. In the long term, support from a test automation vendor can help QA teams build a thorough testing strategy, establish best practices, and stay up-to-date on new features. 

Is the solution SaaS-native?

Gartner predicts that 51% of IT spending will be dedicated to cloud by 2025 as more organizations embrace the flexibility of cloud computing. In order to succeed in a cloud-based world, quality engineering teams need test automation solutions built for it. 

82% of software development professionals say that process changes, not technological limitations, are their biggest DevOps challenge. With a SaaS-native test automation solution, quality engineering teams can quickly integrate testing with the rest of their tech stack, including popular cloud-based tools like Jira, Bitbucket, and Slack. This makes it much easier to build a culture of quality by engaging developers, product owners, and more in software testing. If the testing platform is SaaS-native, it can accommodate the growing number of users without any issues. 

Does the solution’s capabilities reflect the customer experience?

Quality engineering harnesses data-driven testing and non-functional testing to better reflect the user experience. When QE is successfully implemented, quality teams shift from a test pass/fail mindset to asking bigger questions about if the product provides a delightful experience. The right test automation partner will understand this shift and provide the testing capabilities to achieve it. This can range from API testing to cross browser testing, and is extending to performance and accessibility testing.  

Understanding a potential test automation platform’s roadmap is also a crucial part of finding the right partner. As the definition of quality software evolves, quality engineering teams will need solutions that can introduce new features to help them respond. Establishing a shared vision for software testing and quality is a critical step in buying a testing automation solution. 

Partner with Solutions, Not Tools

Ultimately, a test automation solution should make life easier for manual testers, QA engineers, SDETs, and the rest of the quality team. QA leaders should look for a partner that understands how the world of software development is changing, and is actively invested in helping quality teams navigate that transformation. These questions should help QA leaders identify a true test automation partner that will help their team transform their testing strategy, embrace quality engineering, and improve the overall customer experience. 

See what test automation designed for quality engineering looks like with mabl’s  2 week free trial. Whether you’re an experienced quality engineer, just starting the transition, or somewhere in between, our low-code automated testing platform will help your team achieve their quality goals.