Software tests are essential in improving quality, but most developers aren't automating them

Although a robust mobile strategy is critical to most organizations, 76% of developers are automating fewer than half of their tests, according to a new survey.

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Image: Aleksandra Abramova, Getty Images/iStockphoto

The operation of a software system is key to the success of any organization––yet somehow, it is often overlooked. Software testing can ensure that the launch of a new system can roll out smoothly, however, and is a necessary tool for project managers.

SEE: Developer code reviews: 4 mistakes to avoid (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Software test-automation, which streamlines the process, is a rapidly growing market, and a critical tool for the enterprise. As TechRepublic previously reported, "traditional ways of manually testing the software don't always go far enough to really test if the new application is going to be able to work with the other applications and systems it must interface with," said Ajay Kaul, managing partner at AgreeYa, which offers software automation testing-as-a-service tools for application testing.

But according to a survey out on Thursday, enterprises have been slow to get on board. The survey, conducted by Kobiton, which offers software testing for mobile performance, looked at how more than 350 software testers and mobile developers from midsize and large organizations handle software testing, and how many have begun to automate the process.

SEE: Why automation doesn't necessarily remove the need for QA (TechRepublic)

The main takeaway? Organizations have fallen behind the curve. Just over half of respondents (51%) are making some effort by putting out software updates daily or weekly. But while the majority (55%) of respondents admitted that automation of testing could be an asset to software quality, most aren't doing it. More than three-quarters of respondents (76%) have a majority of their testing conducted manually, and 73% are running at least 100 tests prior to each software release manually, not automatically. 

For those who are automating software testing, 58% of respondents are using programs that are either new or less than six months old. 
 
"70% of survey respondents said mobile is either critical or strategic to their business," said Kevin Lee, CEO of Kobiton. "For these companies, delivering high-quality apps fast and cost-effectively isn't an option—it's a requirement. Test automation is central to making this happen, as evidenced by our survey results and customer feedback."

One of the main obstacles for bringing automated software testing is tool selection and engineering resources—a quarter (26%) of respondents had difficulty selecting the right tool, and 17% struggled with getting automation engineers on board.

These are problems CXOs will need to address to remain successful—a whopping 85% of respondents intend to automate at least 25% of their test cases in the future. 

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