Hire Top LatAm Test Automation Engineers With DevEngine 

Ask any random group of software engineers what their least favorite part of software development is. The chances are the majority will mention QA or software testing without even thinking twice. 

And reasonably so — traditional manual software testing can be really nerve-wracking. 

It typically involves spending hours or even days in front of a computer, carefully assessing application screens and testing different input and user combos for potential bugs. The worst part is that even the most conscientious testers cannot catch all the defects at once. So, you have to manually redo the entire process, record observations for each trial, and compare the results with the expected behavior several times before arriving at the final product. 

As you can imagine, the endless back and forth is not only time-consuming but can also be pretty stressful.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go through all this stress!

In this article, we’ll cover the fundamentals of test automation engineering, explain why it’s a perfect alternative to manual testing, and offer a few tips for hiring the best test automation engineers in Latin America.

Understanding Test Automation Engineering

In the nascent stages of computer programming, manual testing was the only method available for validating software functionality. Quality Assurance (QA) professionals were required to meticulously perform test cases by hand, which was not only tedious but also prone to human error. Also, as software systems expanded in complexity, this approach became increasingly inefficient and could not effectively keep up with the demands for speed and top-notch quality in software delivery.

Common issues with manual testing

  • Time-consuming: The human element in manual testing, while invaluable for certain types of tests, introduced variability and limited the speed and frequency of test execution.
  • Error-prone: Human is to error. Therefore, even with extreme caution, human testers cannot achieve the same level of accuracy as automated tests.
  • Scalability: As your business grows and your software needs increase and become more sophisticated, you might need to produce new software updates as frequently as several times a day. Unless you have thousands of dedicated QA personnel, manual testing cannot keep up with this need for continuous scalability.
  • Resource intensive: Manual testing demands significant human resources, which can be expensive and difficult to manage.

The rise of automated testing

To overcome these challenges, the concept of automated testing came up in the early 1990s. As the name suggests, this approach uses specialized software tools to execute pre-scripted tests on a software application before it is released into production, eliminating the need for continuous human oversight. 

Its emergence was driven by the desire to accelerate the testing process, increase accuracy, and reduce the repetitive strain on manual testers. As development methodologies shifted towards Agile and DevOps practices, which emphasize rapid iteration and deployment, the need for automated testing became even more pronounced to keep pace with frequent code changes and tight release schedules.

So, Which Software Tests Can You Automate?

In theory, all software tests can be automated. However, for reasons that we’ll discuss later, some tests are better handled the manual way.

That said, below are some common test categories that are often automated:

Unit TestingThese are the building blocks of automated testing, focussing on individual components of the software. They’re like the healthchecks of the codes, ensuring that each part is functioning correctly on its own.
Integration TestingOnce you’ve confirmed that the individual components work perfectly, integration tests ensure these units work together seamlessly. These tests are crucial when different modules or services that have been unit tested are combined to perform a specific task or workflow. Think of them as making sure that all the gears in a clock mesh well and tick along in perfect harmony.
Functional Testing It verifies that the software operates according to the specified requirements. Automated functional testing can be seen in tools like Selenium, which simulate user interactions with web applications and validate that the UI behaves as expected. These tests are important for confirming that the software’s functionality meets the business needs
Load Testing It assesses the application’s performance under heavy loads to ensure that it can handle high traffic. Tools like Apache JMeter or LoadRunner are used to simulate multiple users accessing the software simultaneously to test the system’s response times, throughput rates, and stability under load.
Performance Testing This is a broader test that includes load testing as well as stress testing, where the system is pushed beyond its normal operational capacity to see how it performs under extreme conditions. It also includes spike testing, endurance testing, and volume testing, each assessing different performance metrics.
Security Testing This test involves assessing an application for vulnerabilities, exploits, and security breaches. It leverages automated security testing tools like OWASP ZAP or Nessus, which can scan for a wide range of security threats, from SQL injection to cross-site scripting, to ensure software security.
Smoke Testing(“Build Verification Testing”)It’s a preliminary test to check whether the major functions of the software work correctly. If a build fails this test, it is considered unstable, and testers do not proceed with further testing. Automating smoke tests can rapidly validate key functionalities after a new build.

Tests That Might Be Challenging To Automate

While everybody is switching to software test automation, you might want to think twice before automating the following tests:

  • User experience (UX) testing
  • Usability testing
  • User acceptance testing
  • Localization testing 
  • Exploratory testing

Here’s why…

For the first four tests, engineers often prefer going manually because of their heavy reliance on human input. While technological advancements like the emergence of generative AI makes it possible to simulate human interactions and create almost accurate synthetic data for such tests, the inputs cannot be compared to real human feedback. For the fourth option (exploratory testing), engineers do not have predefined test cases, making it impossible to write scripts for automated testing.

A Brief Overview Of How To Automate Software Tests

Software test automation is a detailed systematic process that typically involves the following four steps:

  1. Tool selection

Select appropriate automation tools depending on the type of test you want to conduct and your existing team’s expertise. Below are some common examples:

  • Selenium – Web application testing 
  • Appium – Mobile app testing 
  • JUnit – Java applications testing 
  • TestNG – Advanced Java applications testing 
  • Cucumber – Behavior-driven development testing 
  • Apache JMeter – load testing and performance measurement 
  1. Defining the scope of your automation 

Will you be automating the entire test or just specific aspects? Does your team have the requisite expertise to automate the test? Do you have the necessary data? By answering these questions, you’ll define your main testing goals, understand the test’s complexity and technical feasibility, and identify the necessary resources.

  1. Test Planning

In the the third stage, formulate a detailed testing strategy outlining the following factors:

  • Framework design 
  • Timeliness
  • Features and functionalities to be tested
  • Deliverables and KPIs
  1. Test execution 

Once everything is in place, you’re good to proceed to the execution phase. First, deploy API testing to ensure everything integrates seamlessly. Next, feed your pre-written scripts into the automation software, observe and record the results, make the necessary adjustments, and repeat the process until you achieve your desired outcomes.

Save Time & Money: Hire the Best LatAm Test Automation Engineers 

As you must have gathered, software test automation is a pretty comprehensive process. Unless you’re a software engineer or have dedicated in-house testers, it might help to augment your team with experienced test automation engineers.

“But, won’t that overstretch my already overstretched IT budget?”

To be honest, yeah, you’ll need to spend a few more bucks on these professionals and on acquiring the requisite tools. However, once you’ve laid the groundwork, the resulting time and cost savings will be way higher than the initial investment.

Hiring from LatAm helps you save more

As more businesses discover the importance of test automation, the demand for automation engineers has grown tenfold. As a result, it’s increasingly becoming difficult and utterly expensive to hire the best of these professionals locally. And that’s why more Canadian and American organizations are turning to Latin America.

LatAm not only gives you the opportunity to take advantage of a less-tapped (which means low competition for talent) market of high quality test automation engineers but also offers impressive cost saving opportunities. The region enjoys a generally lower cost of living than North America and most parts of Canada, translating to lower rates for top-notch automation engineers. Besides this, it comes with the following bonus advantages:

  • Time-zone alignment to Canada and North America, enabling real-time collaboration 
  • Higher English proficiency level than other offshoring destinations like Eastern Europe and Asia
  • A rich history of supplying neighboring regions with competent tech talent
  • Cultural similarities with surrounding areas, meaning faster onboarding and less culture-related misunderstandings

Don’t know where to start? No worries — DevEngine is here to help. Get in touch with us now to kick-start your hiring process. Whether you want temporary test automation engineers for a short-term project or need help with permanent placements, we have your back.