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Making Agile more successful with automated testing tools

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Guest Post

Guest Post

December 04, 2023

Did you know that over 70 percent of American businesses use Agile approaches regularly? One of the biggest reasons for its popularity is that it helps software developers build programs faster and more efficiently with its focus on collaboration, testing, and incremental delivery.

A key component of this efficiency is automated testing during each stage of development. Let’s explore what automated testing is, how it can help your Agile processes, and what to consider when choosing a tool to complete this important job.

What is automated testing?

Automated testing is a software testing technique that employs specialized tools and scripts to execute pre-defined test cases on a software application. Unlike manual testing, which relies on human intervention to perform tests, automated testing involves the use of automated scripts to verify whether a system functions as intended. This approach is integral to Agile development methodologies and is employed across various stages of the software development lifecycle.

Key components of automated testing

  1. Test Scripts: Automated tests are composed of scripts that define a series of actions to be performed on the software application.
  2. Test Data: Automated tests require predefined sets of data to simulate various scenarios and ensure comprehensive coverage.
  3. Testing Tools: Specialized tools are utilized to execute test scripts, analyze results, and report any discrepancies.

Automated testing vs. manual testing

Automated testing involves the use of specialized tools and scripts to perform predefined actions on a software application. These scripts simulate user interactions and verify whether the application behaves as expected. The entire testing process is automated, from test case execution to result analysis.

Manual testing involves human testers executing test cases without the aid of automation tools. Testers interact with the software application as end-users would, exploring various features and functionalities to identify defects.

The choice between automated and manual testing is not binary. It often depends on the nature of the testing requirements and the project context. Many successful testing strategies involve a combination of both approaches, leveraging the strengths of each.

In summary, the choice between automated and manual testing is not about one being better than the other; rather, it’s about leveraging the strengths of each to create a comprehensive testing strategy that meets the unique requirements of the software development lifecycle.

Benefits of automated testing in Agile

For most software development teams, increasing the quality of their product is the driving force behind their adoption of Agile. Developers understand that Agile allows them to strategically organize small jobs that add up to the best piece of completed software. Automated testing is the cornerstone of any successful Agile-based project, and here are some of the reasons why.

Execution speed

Testing occurs during every step of the Agile development process. This means that developers are able to find and fix any bugs or glitches that may be present early on. It also means business owners can reduce the cost of fixing them, which is always a plus.

By using automated testing at the code unit level, your development team can get a better product to market faster. Plus, your developers can focus on making your program more innovative and unique since they don’t have to worry about manually testing the software every step of the way.


If you’re looking for a way to make the lives of your software development team easier, automated testing is imperative. Usually, you can reuse the automated test cases your team develops on a variety of different projects, which can significantly speed up the development process. For example, you can reuse the environments created in Python log management systems with templates.

Automation will also allow you to reduce the chance of human error throughout the development and testing of a new program.


Being competitive in the software or mobile app space is much easier said than done. Modern consumers demand perfection when it comes to the programs and apps they invest in. This is why using automated testing during the development process is crucial.

As the development process unfolds, and you test your new program at every stage, your team will always know exactly what to fix.

How to overcome the disadvantages

As you can see, there are a number of advantages that come with using automated testing tools during your Agile software and app development process. However, there are some disadvantages you should know about so you can address them.

The illusion of quality

One of the biggest mistakes most developers make when using automated testing is taking the results at face value. You need to keep in mind that automated tests only check what they are programmed to check. This means that your test may overlook certain parts, which can give you a false sense of quality.

Solution: The only way to avoid this problem is to ensure you design all of your rest scenarios properly. You should also manually check certain parts of the program after an automated test to ensure nothing was missed.


Another issue you may have with your automated tests is false alarms. If you keep getting failing results from these tests, you need to make the appropriate UI changes. Network outages and problems can also cause these false alarms. Failing to realize just how common these false alarms are can make you make changes to your program that aren’t necessary.

Solution: Using stubs during the testing process can help you reduce the chance of false alarms. The stubs help you overcome issues with connectivity by using third-party systems. This means downstream failures will not affect your automated testing.

3 tips for choosing automated test tools

Now that you understand the benefits of automated testing, you will need to choose the right tools to help you accomplish this important task. Before you make a decision, be sure to consider the following factors.

1. Know your testing requirements

The first bit of information you need to figure out before choosing Agile testing tools is your actual testing requirements. Think of it like this: Business owners choose an applicant tracking system based on the type of industry they operate in. Automated testing tools are just as specific as these tracking systems.

Tip: Be sure to read this guide to find out more about the intricacies of applicant tracking systems.

Figuring out how complex your testing environment needs to be and how much you can afford to invest is helpful. With this information, you can start to narrow down the selection of automated tools at your disposal.

2. Experiment with different tools

One of the best ways to figure out which testing program is right for your needs is to try out a few. Most suppliers of these testing tools will provide trial versions of their products.

By getting a firsthand look at what the tool in question does, you can figure out what it truly has to offer. While this testing process will be time-consuming, it is well worth the effort in the long run.

3. Consider open-source vs. licensing options

As you make your way through the endless array of automated testing tools, you will need to figure out whether you want open-source or licensed tools. Most open-source programs will be free, but they may not be as powerful or as complete as a licensed tool. If you are going to be using these tools continuously, then a licensed program may be your best fit. And keep in mind that with a licensed program, you can take advantage of things like tech support.

4. Take your time

The biggest mistake you can make when choosing an automated Agile testing tool is getting impatient and choosing the wrong tool for your team. You will need to weigh every option, try out your options, and pick the best fit for your team based on a lot of considerations. Rush this process, and your team can get stuck with a solution that’s ineffective and hard to change. Automated testing tools should always be chosen wisely.

Getting started with automated testing

In summary, automated testing is a powerful technique that enhances the efficiency, repeatability, and reliability of the software testing process. Its integration into agile workflows empowers development teams to deliver high-quality software products with increased speed and confidence.

Automated testing is not just a tool; it’s a strategic asset that elevates the effectiveness of Agile development teams. The synergy between automated testing and Agile methodologies ensures a rapid, reliable, and collaborative development process. Backlog, with its tailored project management features, further empowers teams to embrace Agile principles and deliver high-quality software with efficiency and adaptability. By combining these elements, development teams can navigate the complexities of modern software development with confidence, meeting the demands of an ever-evolving landscape.

Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.

This post was originally published on August 14, 2019, and updated most recently on December 4, 2023.



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