Getting Started With Test Automation Pyramid

OVERVIEW

The test pyramid is a widely recognized software testing strategy that emphasizes the distribution of different types of tests across multiple levels or layers. It is a concept commonly used in agile development methodologies to ensure efficient and effective testing practices. The test pyramid consists of three main layers or levels: unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests. A testing pyramid is an essential part of a software tester's strategy. The app needs thorough testing to be released into the world and to test an app successfully. It needs a solid testing strategy. By mapping out your testing efforts in a test pyramid, you can automate some tests more than others and concentrate your efforts on specific platforms for certain types of testing.

The testing pyramid has been helping developers plan automated software tests for over a decade.

In this post, we'll explain what exactly the test pyramid is, why it’s an important part of overall quality assurance, and how LambdaTest agile testing cloud can optimize the time spent on the activities planned at each layer of the Agile Automation Pyramid i.e. UI testing, Service layer testing, and Unit testing.

What is Test Automation?

Software testing comes in two forms—manual and automated. Manual testing is helpful in its way, but automated testing is often more effective. Some kinds of manual testing—such as discovery and usability testing —can be invaluable to your process. Other types of tests—like regression tests and functional tests —are best done with automation.

Test automation is a practice used by software developers to ensure that a web application meets predefined quality standards. Test automation is also used to execute manual and repetitive testing tasks to provide fast, accurate reporting.

Test automation improves software quality by ensuring that all of your tests are run automatically, with their results analyzed and used to improve future development cycles. It requires business analysts to define clear test cases, developers to write code that responds to these inputs, and DevOps engineers to manage test data and interpret results.

Test automation is an essential component of the test pyramid, as it allows teams to quickly and efficiently execute a large number of tests. The automation test pyramid is a widely accepted method for organizing and prioritizing the types of tests in a software development project.

What is Testing Pyramid?

Testing Pyramid is a software development framework that can reduce the time required for developers to determine if changes affect existing code. Reducing this time can help foster high-quality code by minimizing development time and fostering a more robust test suite.

The testing pyramid is a model that provides a structure for assessing the types of tests to be performed in an automated test suite. It also defines the order and frequency of such assessments so that rapid feedback can be provided to ensure that code changes do not impact existing functionality.

Testing Pyramid

Test automation pyramid consists of three levels:

  • Unit Tests
  • Integration Tests
  • End to end Tests

Unit Tests:

Unit tests form the foundation of the test automation pyramid. The unit test layer is where much of the testing will take place and is normally written by the developer to verify the code they have written. As developers are most familiar with their code and applications, they can quickly come up with good numbers of unit test cases in a short time.

Unlike other tests, unit tests help to reveal bugs (at a unit or block level). The information that developers can derive from unit tests is more extensive than that from other types of tests because the developer can get information about a patch's side effects on different features (that are dependent on the fix) and about the origin of the issue or details about 'where in the code' an error occurred. Hence, unit-test turnaround time is very fast—since developers can verify their fixes and detect any problems during unit testing.

Testers tend to focus on testing the complete product in other types of functional testing, such as integration, system testing, sanity testing, and much more. Hence, it can take a while to validate the fix and report problems, assign issues to developers, and resolve those issues. On the other hand, with unit testing, testing is limited to a feature or requirement and might not be able to locate the system-level problems.

The development of automated unit tests is considered one of the best practices in software development because it can help to ensure a program's quality. Some of the most commonly used tools for unit-testing are 'xUnit variants' that are available for development languages such as JUnit for cross-browser testing using Selenium automation, xUnit.net for .Net, etc.

This layer contributes as much as 50~60% to the performance of a team's Agile Test Pyramid. It is therefore recommended that teams spend sufficient time developing quality unit tests.

Integration Tests:

Integration tests are crucial to ensuring that software performs as expected. Unit tests check small portions of code, while integration tests ensure that the software communicates efficiently with external components such as APIs and databases. Integration tests can ensure that data is retrieved on time and that your software communicates efficiently with these external components.

Integration tests can be slower and more complex than unit tests because they require interaction with external sources. Along with this, a pre-production environment is necessary to run these types of tests, as is a balance of virtual and real devices.

Software applications rely on the proper functioning their databases, so it's crucial to test that an application interacts with its databases as needed. Before you begin testing this type of integration, you must ensure that the test database is similar to the production database.

Integration testing is not limited only to testing the code's behavior within the application itself. It also includes testing the application's integration with external services, including APIs. You must create a preproduction environment that is as close to the production environment as possible for integration testing with an external web service. But it can be challenging to test every scenario from an integration point of view because it is impossible to control the response from the external dependency, for example, when the external service generates an error case.

End to End Testing:

End to end testing takes the longest to complete and is the most expensive to maintain. It simulates real-world functionality by using a test environment and data, so it has the slowest operating pace. Because end-to-end testing checks assembled applications, it's also the most difficult to identify issues with.

End-to-end tests are the most complete form of testing and can provide a good idea of how a system behaves over time. They can be slower to run than other test types because they rely on external dependencies like integration tests, but they're usually faster to set up.

Complex modern applications are composed of hundreds of components and thousands of dependencies, all deployed on an ecosystem of infrastructure layer which is itself composed of multiple parts working together. All this complexity creates massive avenues of unpredictable failures. A single isolated system could be working smoothly and perfectly.

End-to-end tests rely on user behavior and enable the detection of issues prior to delivering the product to end-users. Because they are performed as part of usability testing, end-to-end tests make it easier to prioritize development activities in the backlog by determining which processes are most significant to users in real life.

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Unit Tests

Unit tests are the foundation of your test suite. They ensure that each unit of code in your codebase works as intended, which helps ensure that all the pieces work together correctly. Unit tests have the narrowest scope of any test type and comprise most of your test suite's total number of tests.

Sociable and Solitary

Some argue that collaborators of your subject under test should be replaced with mocks or stubs. In contrast, others argue that slow collaborators with more prominent side effects (e.g., classes that access databases or make network calls) should not be stubbed or mocked.

Occasionally, people label these two types of unit tests as solitary unit tests, which stub all collaborators, and sociable unit tests, which allow talking to real collaborators. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of each school of thought, you can go down the rabbit hole.

Mocks and Stubs

Mocking and Stubbing are test doubles used to isolate the code under test from its dependencies and control its behavior while running a unit test. Test doubles are objects that can be used to replace other objects. They are not specific to unit testing, but they play an important role in it. In unit testing, you will encounter a lot of mocks and stubs because they make it easy to create test doubles.

Whether you choose to use a standard library or a third-party library, there are plenty of ways to set up mocks. And even writing your mocks from scratch is only a matter of writing a fake class/module/function with the same signature as the real one and setting up the fake in your test.

What To Test?

Unit tests are a great way to ensure that the code you write is free of bugs. You can write unit tests for all your production code classes regardless of their functionality or which layer in your internal structure they belong to. Just stick to the one test class per production class rule of thumb, and you're off to a good start.

A unit test class should test the public interface of the class. It is impossible to test private methods, as you cannot call them from a different test class. Protected or package-private methods can be tested, but testing these methods could already go too far.

When writing unit tests, ensuring that all your non-trivial code paths are tested is crucial. At the same time, however, you don't want to be so specific when it comes to implementation details that your tests start to feel like they're part of the production code.

Test Structure Of Unit Tests

The best way to structure all your tests (not just unit tests) is this:

  • Set up the test data.
  • Call your method under the test.
  • Assert that the expected results are returned.

This structure can be applied to other, more high-level tests as well. In every case, they ensure that your tests remain easy and consistent to read. The structure also helps make your tests shorter and more expressive.

Integration Tests

Integration tests play a crucial role in the Test Pyramid methodology, serving as an essential component for ensuring the overall quality and reliability of software systems. Unlike unit tests, which focus on verifying the functionality of individual code units in isolation, integration tests validate the interaction and integration between various components, modules, or services within an application.

Integration tests simulate real-world scenarios by combining multiple units of code and examining how they work together as a cohesive system. These tests identify issues arising from the interaction between components, such as incompatible interfaces, data mismatches, communication problems, or integration failures. By exercising the integration points and pathways, these tests help uncover defects that may remain hidden during unit testing.

Regarding the Test Pyramid, integration tests typically occupy the middle layer. They sit above unit tests at the pyramid's base and below end-to-end (E2E) or system tests at the top. This distribution optimizes testing efforts by extensively targeting the most granular and isolated parts of the system while still validating critical integration points. The Test Pyramid emphasizes a more significant number of unit tests than integration tests.

However, integration tests can be more complex and time-consuming to set up and execute than unit tests. They often require additional setup steps, such as configuring test environments, deploying services, and managing dependencies. Due to their broader scope, integration tests may also be more brittle and sensitive to changes, making test maintenance challenging.

Database Integration

As integration tests aim to validate the interaction between various components, it is crucial to include tests that verify the integration of an application with the underlying database.

Database integration tests ensure that the application's code interacts correctly with the database, validating data persistence, retrieval, and manipulation operations. These tests are essential for verifying that the data layer of the system functions as expected and that the application can properly read from and write to the database.

In the Test Pyramid, database integration tests typically reside in the integration testing layer, which sits above the unit testing layer and below the end-to-end or system testing layer. This placement acknowledges the importance of testing the integration between the application code and the database while prioritizing a more significant number of unit tests.

When conducting database integration tests, it is crucial to establish a controlled and reproducible test environment. This involves creating a separate database instance or leveraging techniques such as test data seeding or transactional rollbacks to isolate the test data and prevent interference with the production database.

Integration With Separate Services

In modern software architectures, applications often rely on external services or APIs to perform specific functions or access necessary resources. Integration tests that validate the interaction and integration of an application with these separate services are vital for ensuring the overall functionality and reliability of the system.

When an application communicates with external services, integration tests verify that the integration points between the application and the external services work as expected. These tests cover scenarios such as making API requests, processing responses, handling errors, and validating the correct data flow between the application and the external services.

In the Test Pyramid framework, integration with separate services typically falls within the integration testing layer, sitting above unit tests and below end-to-end or system tests. This placement recognizes the importance of testing the integration between the application and external services while prioritizing a more significant number of unit tests for more granular and isolated testing.

To effectively perform integration tests with separate services, setting up appropriate test environments is essential. This involves creating test instances of the external services or using techniques like mocking or stubbing to simulate their behavior. Mocking or stubbing allows for controlled responses and avoids dependencies on the actual benefits, making the tests more deterministic and reliable.

Integration tests with separate services should cover various scenarios and edge cases that the application may encounter during its interactions with those services. These tests validate the correct handling of different API endpoints, authentication mechanisms, data serialization formats, error handling, and the proper flow of information between the application and the services.

Contract Tests

To scale their development efforts, organizations have found ways such as spreading the development of a system across different teams. Splitting the system into small services indicates that these services require certain interfaces to communicate.

Some common interfaces are:

  • REST and JSON via HTTPS.
  • RPC using gRPC.
  • Using queues to build event-driven architecture.

Each interface involves two parties: The provider (serves data to consumers) and the consumer (processes the obtained data).

As teams often consume and provide services to each other, a specific interface is formed called a Contract. Modern-day developers use automated contract tests to ensure the consumer and provider side implementations align with the contract. This helps identify deviations from the contract early as it serves as a good regression test suite.

Consumer-driven contract tests (CDC tests) allow consumers to drive the implementation of a contract. With the help of the CDC, consumers can write and run tests that can check the interface for all data they need from that interface. The consuming team publishes these tests to allow the publishing team to fetch and execute these tests easily. By running these CDC tests, the providing team can develop their API. The passing of all tests indicates that they have implemented everything that was required by the consuming team.

CDC tests allow organizations to foster effective team communication, ensuring that the interfaces are working as expected at any point in time. Failing CDC tests is an indicator for teams to discuss any upcoming API changes and how to move forward.

UI Tests

Almost every software application includes a user interface, commonly in the form of a web interface for web-based applications. However, it's important to acknowledge that user interfaces can also take the shape of a REST API or a command line interface, and these should be noticed.

UI tests primarily focus on ensuring the proper functioning of your application's user interface. These tests verify that user interactions trigger the appropriate actions, data is displayed correctly to the user, and the user interface responds as expected to different inputs.

You can validate your user interface without relying solely on end-to-end testing. The approach may vary depending on your technology stack. For instance, you can write unit tests for your frontend JavaScript code, stubbing out the backend, if applicable.

In the case of traditional web applications, tools like Selenium can be used for UI testing. However, if you consider your REST API to be the interface, comprehensive integration tests covering the API would suffice. When it comes to web interfaces, there are several aspects worth testing, such as behavior, layout, usability, and adherence to corporate design guidelines, among others.

End-to-End Tests

When thoroughly testing your deployed application, nothing beats examining its user interface (UI) from end to end. One way to accomplish this is by utilizing UI tests driven by WebDriver, as explained earlier. These tests serve as prime examples of end-to-end testing methodologies.

When it comes to gaining the utmost confidence in the functionality of your software, end-to-end tests (sometimes referred to as broad-stack tests) play a pivotal role. Leveraging Selenium and the WebDriver Protocol, you can automate these tests to simulate user interactions with your deployed services. By driving a browser (which can even be headless) and executing actions like clicks, data input, and UI state checks, you can effectively validate the behavior of your application. Selenium can be used directly, or you can explore tools built on top of it, with Nightwatch.js being one example.

Factors such as browser quirks, timing issues, animations, and unexpected pop-up dialogs can contribute to debugging becoming a substantial portion of your testing efforts. However, it's essential to acknowledge that end-to-end tests come with challenges. They are often known for being unreliable and prone to unexpected failures. False positives can occur frequently, meaning that a failure may not necessarily indicate an actual issue. Particularly, as your user interface becomes more sophisticated, the likelihood of test flakiness tends to increase.

It's essential to be aware of these challenges and allocate sufficient time for debugging and maintaining your end-to-end test suite. By addressing these issues proactively, you can mitigate potential pitfalls and ensure that your end-to-end tests provide reliable and meaningful feedback on the functionality of your software.

User Interface E2E Tests

User Interface (UI) End-to-End (E2E) tests are a vital component for ensuring the overall quality of your software. These tests play a crucial role in validating the behavior and functionality of your application from a user's perspective.

UI end-to-end (E2E) tests aim to replicate real-life user interactions with your software. These tests automate actions like clicking buttons, entering data, and moving across screens, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of your application's UI. Through UI E2E tests, you gain valuable insights into the seamless collaboration between different software components and ensure the user experience aligns with desired expectations.

When developers perform end-to-end tests, they commonly rely on Selenium and the WebDriver protocol as their go-to tools. Selenium provides the flexibility to choose a preferred browser and automate interactions with your website. It empowers you to simulate user actions such as button clicks, data input, and validation of UI changes.

Utilizing Selenium for test automation requires a compatible browser to execute the tests. Fortunately, various "drivers" are available for different browsers that can be employed for this purpose. Select the desired driver(s) and include them in your build.gradle configuration. However, it is essential to ensure that all team developers and your CI server have the appropriate browser version installed to maintain consistency. Keeping these versions synchronized can be a challenging task. Luckily, there is a helpful library called webdrivermanager designed explicitly for Java. This library simplifies the process by automating the download and setup of the correct browser version, making the management of browser dependencies more streamlined.

To integrate these dependencies into your build.gradle file, you can include the following code:

dependencies {
                                                     testCompile('org.seleniumhq.selenium:selenium-chrome-driver:3.141.59')
                                                     testCompile('io.github.bonigarcia:webdrivermanager:4.4.3')
                                                    }

REST API End-to-End Test

REST API End-to-end tests focus on validating the behavior and functionality of the RESTful APIs that form the backbone of modern web applications.

These tests simulate real-world scenarios by interacting with the application's APIs, covering the complete flow from the client to the server and back. They verify the integration and collaboration between various components and layers of the application, including the user interface, business logic, and data storage. By executing requests and examining responses, these tests ensure that the APIs function correctly, handle different input scenarios, and provide the expected results.

To enhance the stability of your tests and achieve extensive coverage across your application's stack, it can be advantageous to avoid relying solely on graphical user interfaces. By adopting a test pyramid approach, you can create more robust tests than relying strictly on end-to-end testing. This strategy proves especially valuable when testing your application through a web interface poses significant challenges. If your application primarily utilizes a REST API rather than a web UI, this approach becomes even more fitting. By focusing on lower-level tests and complementing them with targeted API testing, you can establish a reliable testing foundation for your application.

Acceptance Tests

Acceptance testing plays a significant role within the framework of the test pyramid, offering a means to verify that the features of an application perform as expected from a user's standpoint. These tests serve as a crucial link between the higher-level, end-to-end tests, and the lower-level unit and integration tests.

However, it's worth noting that acceptance tests need not be exclusively confined to the highest level of the test pyramid. Depending on the application design and the specific scenario being tested, it can be advantageous to write acceptance tests at lower levels as well. This flexibility allows for a more comprehensive testing approach, ensuring that critical user-facing features are thoroughly examined across different layers of the application stack.

The primary objective of acceptance tests remains unchanged, regardless of their placement within the test pyramid. They serve as a means to demonstrate that the application's features function correctly from the user's standpoint. This focus on validating the desired behavior and user experience is orthogonal to the hierarchical structure of the test pyramid itself.

As you ascend the levels of the test pyramid, you increasingly delve into the realm of assessing whether the functionalities you're developing function as intended from a user's standpoint. Acceptance tests can vary in granularity, often focusing on high-level evaluations through the user interface. Suppose your application's architecture and the specific scenario permit writing lower-level acceptance tests are beneficial. Opting for a lower-level acceptance test is preferable over a higher-level one. It's crucial to understand that the essence of acceptance tests, which validates the correctness of features from the user's perspective, stands independent of the test pyramid framework.

Exploratory Testing

Despite the dedicated efforts put into test automation, achieving flawless coverage is an ongoing challenge. It is not uncommon to overlook certain edge cases or encounter bugs that are difficult to capture through unit tests. Additionally, automated tests may fail to reveal quality issues related to design or usability, as they lack the human perspective. Thus, incorporating manual testing remains a valuable practice within the test pyramid.

Exploratory testing, in particular, proves invaluable as it allows testers to uncover problems that might have evaded detection during automated testing. Rather than being disheartened by such findings, they should be seen as constructive feedback on the maturity of the build pipeline. Treat this feedback as an opportunity to take action and improve future testing endeavors.

Consider assessing whether there are specific sets of automated tests that need to be added to your current test suite. It may also be necessary to enhance the thoroughness of testing in subsequent iterations, addressing any potential shortcomings in previous automated tests.

Furthermore, explore the possibility of incorporating new tools or approaches into your pipeline to mitigate similar issues in the future. By acting upon this feedback, your pipeline and overall software delivery process will steadily mature.

Embracing the test pyramid framework encourages a continuous improvement mindset, enabling you to respond effectively to feedback received during manual testing. As you implement the necessary adjustments, your pipeline will become more robust and capable of delivering higher-quality software.

Why Use Test Pyramid?

The complexity of applications has increased with each passing year. Looking at any typical modern application, you’ll notice that it has multiple features, API usage, and more. This increase in complexity means that the complexity of testing applications has also increased. On top of that, you need the entire testing process to run quickly so you can deploy your application as soon as possible.

When you perform manual tests, it’s not just the application you need to test, you also need to consider the environment in which you are doing so. Doing so is time-consuming and less accurate than automated testing. You also need to keep testing the application after every update. And you might have to test the same feature multiple times. It’s easy to get bored of repetitive tasks, which can lead to carelessness or negligence and ultimately mistakes on your part.

To deal with the bottlenecks of our software development process, we can use the test pyramid as a guide for creating efficient tests and increasing their quality. You need to use an efficient process to deal with all the bottlenecks. The test pyramid is an excellent way to get more out of your testing efforts. It does this by helping you automate your testing and get better results from it. As a result, the test pyramid lets you improve your testing process tremendously.

Why should Agile Teams use the Testing Pyramid?

Agile processes prioritize speed and efficiency. The agile testing pyramid streamlines the testing process by giving testers a logical progression and advancement in which to test. Since the test pyramid is designed to run the simplest tests first, testers can manage their time better, achieve better results, and deliver faster than traditional methods.

The testing pyramid offers the QA team a means of establishing priorities. Suppose test scripts are created with a stronger emphasis on testing the user interface, core business logic, and back-end operations. In that case, the QA team can more adequately test product quality and increase overall test coverage. Furthermore, high TAT (turnaround time) for UI testing can be reduced by adopting this strategy.

Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, often make use of the testing pyramid to guide the development and testing process. Additionally, the testing pyramid helps teams to balance the time and resources they spend on testing, ensuring that they are not spending too much time on unnecessary or redundant tests.

Benefits of Testing Pyramid

Now that you know the blocks that make up the Pyramid model let's explore some high-impact benefits.

  • The Agile approach to testing gives testers a complete view of the product, providing them with opportunities to interact with other key stakeholders of the project. Team bonding is more significant because automation test cases are implemented in collaboration with the development team. Better automation code quality and code coverage are better than with traditional approaches.
  • The key performance indicator 'code coverage' is crucial for any developer working on test code. If you put more emphasis on the user-interface layer of your product, there is less probability of verifying the product's core business logic or back-end functionality. As turn-around times (TAT) for testing via UI are longer, you can expect lesser 'coverage even via automation. The agile test pyramid model can help you achieve better coverage faster with less effort.
  • Changes to a project’s requirements are normal, even in the latter stages of development. With traditional software development, code maintenance costs can be significantly higher than with Agile. In Agile, user stories are broken down into test cases, and “complete/over” is defined as working test cases. Overall maintenance costs are lower, and there is a greater return on investment for an Agile approach.

Tools and Libraries

At the base of the pyramid, where unit tests reside, developers rely on tools and libraries that facilitate the testing of individual components in isolation. Frameworks such as JUnit, NUnit, or PyTest offer features and functionalities to simplify the writing and execution of unit tests. Additionally, libraries like Mockito or Sinon.js help create test doubles, such as mocks or stubs, to isolate code units during testing.

Moving up the pyramid to the integration and API testing layers, tools such as Postman, RestAssured, or Supertest prove invaluable. These tools provide functionalities to simulate and interact with APIs, enabling developers to validate the integration and communication between different system components. They often include features for making HTTP requests, asserting responses, and managing test data.

As we ascend further to the UI and acceptance testing levels, tools like Selenium, Cypress, or Appium become essential. These frameworks offer capabilities for automating browser and mobile application testing, allowing testers to validate the behavior and functionality of the user interfaces. They provide methods to interact with UI elements, perform actions, and make assertions on the displayed content.

Moreover, tools and libraries related to test data management, reporting, and continuous integration are also integral to the test pyramid. Tools like TestNG, NUnit, or Jest offer reporting features that provide clear visibility into test results and facilitate defect identification. Continuous integration platforms like Jenkins, CircleCI, or GitLab CI/CD integrate seamlessly with test frameworks, enabling the execution of tests in a continuous delivery pipeline.

The key is to choose tools and libraries that align with your application's specific needs and technologies. These resources should enhance productivity, support maintainability, and foster collaboration within the testing team.

By leveraging appropriate tools and libraries at each level of the test automation pyramid, software development teams can streamline their testing efforts, promote test automation, and ensure comprehensive test coverage across the application stack. These tools and libraries are indispensable assets in implementing an effective testing strategy within the test pyramid framework.

Putting Tests Into Your Deployment Pipeline

When implementing a deployment Pipeline within the test automation pyramid framework, it's essential to consider the placement of different types of tests to ensure fast and valuable feedback. Continuous Integration or Continuous Delivery practices typically involve a multi-stage pipeline that gradually builds confidence in the readiness of the software for production deployment.

To effectively position tests within the deployment pipeline, it's crucial to prioritize the foundational value of Fast Feedback, a principle emphasized in Continuous Delivery, Extreme Programming, and agile software development. Waiting for hours to discover that a recent change broke simple unit tests can be highly inefficient, especially if it leads to delayed feedback. Ideally, such information should be available within seconds or a few minutes to allow for immediate corrective actions. Therefore, placing fast-running tests in the earlier stages of the pipeline is advisable.

Conversely, longer-running tests, often encompassing a broader scope, should be situated in the later stages of the pipeline to avoid deferring feedback from the faster tests. By organizing tests based on their speed and scope rather than their formal type, you can ensure that feedback is provided promptly and continuously throughout the pipeline.

Avoid Test Duplication

Understanding the importance of different test types, it's crucial to avoid a common pitfall, duplicating tests across various layers of the test pyramid. While it might seem tempting to believe that more tests are always better, it's important to recognize that each test carries additional overhead. Writing and maintaining tests require time, and comprehending tests created by others also takes time. Moreover, the execution of tests itself consumes valuable time and resources.

Similar to production code, simplicity and avoiding duplication should be sought in test implementation. When establishing your test pyramid, keep two rules of thumb in mind:

  • When a higher-level test identifies an error without any corresponding lower-level test failing, it indicates the need to create a lower-level test.
  • Push your tests as far down the test pyramid as possible.

The first rule holds significance as lower-level tests facilitate better error localization and isolation. By narrowing down errors to specific components, these tests run faster, avoid unnecessary complexity during debugging, and serve as reliable regression tests.

The second rule is vital to maintaining a fast test suite. Once you have confidently tested all conditions at a lower level, there is no need to retain redundant higher-level tests in the suite. These redundant tests do not contribute additional confidence in the overall system functionality. Instead, they only burden your daily work by slowing down the test suite and requiring more test modifications when code behavior changes.

By adhering to these rules, you can optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of your test suite. Focus on creating comprehensive yet non-duplicative tests, ensuring each test serves a distinct purpose within the test pyramid. This approach will streamline your testing efforts, reduce unnecessary overhead, and enable you to deliver high-quality software with greater ease.

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Best Practices for Testing Pyramid

The Software test pyramid is an effective way to organize your testing efforts, but you can do a lot more to improve testing. Here are some best practices:

  • Determine which test cases to automate and what the scope of your automated tests should be.
  • Choose the right tool depending on your use case.
  • Writing clean test code makes your application easier to maintain and less prone to bugs.
  • Prioritize your tests.
  • Test cases and scenarios should be based on good quality test data.
  • Avoid unnecessary test duplication.
  • Integrate tests into your deployment pipeline.
  • Consider exploratory testing to ensure that there are no unexpected issues.

LambdaTest – Achieving The Best Out Of Agile Test Pyramid

Even though you use an Agile testing methodology, you may want to optimize certain testing jobs to take advantage of your resources. Creating a test infrastructure that works across browsers and operating systems can be expensive; however, if you are building a web product, it is important to ensure your code works in those environments.

LambdaTest offers an intelligent and integrated cloud-based testing solution, revolutionizing the way businesses approach digital experience testing. By significantly reducing time to market through accelerated test execution and ensuring superior quality releases, LambdaTest empowers organizations to stay ahead of the competition.

With its robust features, the platform enables real-time and automated end-to-end testing across an extensive selection of over 3000 environments and authentic mobile devices. This versatility positions LambdaTest as the leading choice among other cloud testing platforms, providing businesses with the necessary tools to deliver exceptional user experiences.

LambdaTest helps you accelerate the testing activity planned in each user story with the help of Real-time testing, Visual UI testing, and automated cross-browser testing features.

LambdaTest also provides AI-powered HyperExecute for blazing-fast end-to-end testing that is up to 70% faster than any traditional cloud testing grids.

You can also subscribe to the LambdaTest YouTube Channel for tutorials around Selenium testing, Cypress E2E testing, Appium, and more.

Conclusion

To ensure a competitive edge in today's business environment, time to market is critical in any business. Any delay in your project deadlines could result in significant losses to your company. Companies can boost productivity, reduce time-to-market, and improve quality by using agile testing instead of a traditional testing model.

To cut costs and improve quality, using an agile testing approach focusing on unit testing, API testing, and UI testing would be beneficial. You can make the most of this approach by using a cross-browser testing platform like LambdaTest that can speed up visual UI tests and automate other types of tests. When planning your test strategy, it is essential to chart out each user story before you begin implementing agile methods.

Through this extensive Automation Pyramid Testing tutorial, we hope to answer every question you have regarding Test Pyramid.

Happy Testing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a test pyramid?

The testing pyramid is a concept that groups software tests into three categories: unit, end to end, and integration. By understanding how each category differs, developers and QA professionals can build a more robust test suite that identifies bugs more quickly and with greater accuracy.

What is testing automation pyramid?

The Agile Test Automation Pyramid was created to illustrate the most efficient way to implement automated software testing. The pyramid splits types of testing into three layers based on the return on investment (ROI) offered by automating that particular type of test.

What does the test pyramid emphasize?

The test automation pyramid is particularly useful for agile development teams since agile methodologies emphasize speed and efficacy. The test automation pyramid streamlines the testing process by introducing a clear progression and logic to the testing pipeline. As a result, work gets done faster.

Who came up with the testing pyramid?

The test pyramid is a concept developed by Mike Cohn in his book Succeeding with Agile. It illustrates how automated tests should be prioritized when creating a testing strategy for software development.

What is the testing pyramid in agile?

The testing pyramid in agile represents a strategic approach to software testing, emphasizing a balanced distribution of tests across different levels. It consists of three layers: unit tests at the base, followed by integration tests, and finally, a smaller number of UI tests at the top. This pyramid helps optimize test coverage and ensures efficient and effective testing practices.

What is the testing pyramid structure?

The testing pyramid structure is a methodology widely used in software testing. It emphasizes a balanced distribution of tests at different levels: unit tests at the bottom, followed by integration tests, and finally, a smaller number of end-to-end tests at the top.

What is a test pyramid in node JS?

The test pyramid in Node.js is a conceptual model that guides software developers in structuring their test suites. It emphasizes a balanced distribution of different types of tests, such as unit, integration, and end-to-end tests. This pyramid enables comprehensive test coverage while maintaining a faster feedback loop and minimizing maintenance efforts.

What are the test automation pyramid levels?

The test automation pyramid comprises three levels: unit tests at the base, followed by integration tests, and finally, the smallest number of UI tests at the top. This approach optimizes test coverage, reduces maintenance efforts, and provides faster feedback. It promotes a robust and efficient automation strategy for software testing.

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Devansh Bhardwaj

Devansh Bhardwaj works as a Product Marketing Executive at LambdaTest. With a degree in Business Administration and a keen interest in technology, he loves to write about the latest technology trends.

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Harshit Paul

Harshit is currently the Director of Product Marketing at LambdaTest. His professional experience spans over 7 years, with more than 5 years of experience with LambdaTest as a product specialist and 2 years at Wipro Technologies as a certified Salesforce developer. During his career, he has been actively contributing blogs, webinars as a subject expert around Selenium, browser compatibility, automation testing, DevOps, continuous testing, and more.

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