Crunch time comes often in software development. Speeding up the process can require hiring more help or paying temp workers to help lighten the load. Even when you aren't in a crunch, time is money. Experience automation and synthetic testing can significantly speed up your development process, making things easier for your developers and helping to ensure a better quality experience for your customers.
Finding the best testing solution is vital to making sure that your operation runs at peak efficiency. The testing software you choose will have a large impact on your development workflow. How long does it take to set up? What skills are required? The answers to these questions play a critical factor in determining how much the software will save you in development time.
Time-Saving Processes Reduce Labour Costs
Labour costs are one of the biggest expenses that your company has. Making efficient use of that labour is always a balancing act. Automated testing is beneficial because it can save time on detecting and testing issues with the software during development.
Finding a problem later in the development cycle makes it harder to track down and fix. If you have some idea of when the problem was introduced, then you have a much better chance of finding the offending code and fixing it. Automated testing will help ensure that your team does not miss a problem. This will free up your developers from spending extra time tracking down bugs, and give your testing team more time to perform other mission-critical tasks.
Most testing automation requires a qualified programmer to spend time writing a program to perform each test that you'd like to run. Assuming you already have an experienced programmer on hand, this still means spending at least a couple of hours for each test. Because of this, your highly paid programmer could easily spend a work week just implementing a handful of tests. When it comes to labour costs, time is money. Paying an expensive employee a week's salary is not a small sum.
All automated testing has the potential to save you time and money, but you must be sure to also calculate the time it takes to use that software. If you are just choosing testing software for the first time, then the learning curve required from your team to get proficient in it must also be considered. If the team needs too much time to learn the new software, then its benefits could be erased for the initial project that it is used on.
Speed is perhaps at its most important when dealing with customer problems. If a customer reports a problem, you want to get it fixed as quickly as possible. Not only to keep the customer who reported it happy with your service, but to prevent any other customers from having to deal with the same problem. Being able to set up an automated test that replicates what the customer did when the problem occurred will speed up the fix so you can get the updated version out faster.
New Product Launches
Developing and launching a new product can be a stressful experience. This is especially true if you are developing an update or replacement for an existing product. Your customers will be comparing the new software to its predecessor. Your team must be careful that they don't release a product that has more bugs or significantly slower performance than the product it is replacing.
As you are developing such a product, your developers will make many changes to the code and add many new features. It would be beneficial if you could see how these changes affect the performance of your product. If you add a fancy new feature, but the performance degradation is too much, then customers might not see the value in the update.
Without a good system in place, these types of issues can compound and cause delays. A good testing solution can help catch these type of delay-causing problems while they are still easily manageable. This is crucial if you are on a deadline, but even if you aren't, the ability to bring a product to market faster helps keep your bottom line where you want it.
How 2 Steps Can Help
Think of how much money you could save if you could cut that whole work week that your programmer spent setting up tests down to just a few minutes. Now imagine the process was so simple that you didn't need the highly paid employee to do it. That is the goal of 2 Steps. With 2 Steps there is no programming involved at all. By running your application in a virtual machine that is monitored by 2 Steps, all you have to do is perform the operation that you want to monitor and let 2 Steps record what you did. It will then be able to play back that exact sequence right away.
Speed Up Problem Replication
When a customer calls in and explains a problem to your support staff, you need to replicate the problem. As the support team member is doing that, they can be setting up a test in 2 Steps. Since 2 Steps works by having your staff simply interact with your application, this will require no extra time than replicating the problem normally would. This means that if you are experiencing the same problem that the customer is, then your developers will have a test already set up that will aid in debugging and fixing the issue.
It is also possible that after setting up the test to replicate what the customer experienced that you discover that the problem is not on your end. Having instant tests to confirm that will allow you to communicate that information more quickly to your customer and potentially save you time spent on trying to debug an issue that doesn't actually exist.
Benchmark New Product Versions
By using 2 Steps to track the performance of the various iterations of your software you can see right away how your performance and user experience are affected by the changes that you've made. As a result, you'll minimize the chances that your launch will do poorly and save the time you would have spent fixing the issues.
With 2 Steps experience automation, your team will be able to more efficiently locate and tackle problems. The speed gains that your team will see from this workflow will translate into a much better end product for your customers, and a better financial situation for your company.
If you would like to learn more about how 2 Steps works, please visit our 2steps.io and have a look around. From there you can schedule a demo or request a free trial. You can also learn more about experience automation with 2 Steps by downloading and reading our Experience Automation eBook. If you have any questions about how 2 Steps can help improve your software development workflow, please feel free to contact us.