Companies engaged in software development are facing a growing pressure to speed up – to shorten release cycles, to introduce new features at a breakneck pace and to generally have their fingers on the market pulse, able to respond swiftly to changing trends in technology. Codeless.
Development teams have adopted work methodologies that cater to this growing pressure. The Agile/DevOps process, specifically, integrates QA testing into development and can be executed almost simultaneously to development itself.
Still, due to the laborious nature of testing – relying on manual work on one hand, and code-based, time-consuming automation on the other – testing remains the bottleneck of the development process.
The way to solve this is by transforming testing – Taking the traditionally tedious, manual work of testers and complementing it with codeless automation testing. Following the general path of recent years of using codeless technology to automate simple, repetitive tasks will ease up the testing bottleneck and streamline the entire development process.
From Coal to Code
For the last twenty-some years, code has been instrumental in fundamentally changing how the world operates and how we interact with each other. According to the latest Global Developer Population and Demographic Study by Evans Data Corp. there are about 18.2 million software engineers worldwide. That’s a lot of code being written.
Code is the building blocks of computing. Just as coal (steam power!) ignited the industrial revolution, code set the computing revolution on fire.
What’s happening with coal these days? Coal production has seen its biggest decline ever in 2016, dropping 6.2% worldwide (19% drop in the U.S.), which has been the trend in the last decade. Goldman Sachs declared this trend as “irreversible”.
Is code facing a similar faith? Well, it is and it isn’t. As coal is being replaced by cleaner, more efficient and cheaper forms of energy, code stands to be replaced by smarter, more efficient and cheaper forms of… code.
The Codeless Website Revolution
If we look at the early days of the web, putting up a website was a big deal.
In 1994, when Yahoo launched, there were only 2,738 websites online. When WordPress launched in 2003, this number had reached a staggering 40,912,332. In 2016 the number of websites passed the one billion mark.
This incredible surge in the number of websites could not have been achieved if every single website had to be written in code, from scratch. Market demand, the spread of wireless and landline coverage, and of course the rise of the smartphone have all contributed to the incredible growth of the internet.
Platforms such as WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace (apologies to the rest for not mentioning them by name) have made website creation a quick and simple task. More importantly, they’ve made it a codeless task.
Of course, not all websites can be created with a drag & drop interface. Banks still need to be hand-coded websites. Social networks do too, but a big chunk of those billion sites out there, such as online shops and simple mobile apps, can easily be (and have been!) created on codeless platforms.
The cool thing about this codeless website revolution? It was enabled by code. These platforms use highly crafty codemanship to generate code automatically, under the hood, giving rise to the codeless mass market.
Software Development Is Gaining Speed
Codeless makes sense. It takes repetitive, technical tasks and automates them. Since speed has become such a crucial differentiator in software development, any task or process along the way that can be automated using codeless technologies are in high demand.
Entire development methodologies now rely on the ability to release new features and versions as quickly as possible. This isn’t for the sake of speed alone but has evolved to satisfy market and user demand and to keep up with rapid competition between the companies that produce such web applications and software.
The website arena has reached a point of codeless saturation; pretty incredible sites and online shops can now be created using codeless platforms aimed at the mass market. Improvements are still to come, but for the most part, they will be incremental as the most significant strides have already been made.
The software arena, on the other hand, is still in its infancy when it comes to codeless, with Open Source paving the way. The availability of complete components of code that can be incorporated into existing projects is indeed saving time and resources, but this isn’t truly codeless, as coding work is needed for ‘stitching’ everything together.
Testing is Ripe for Codeless Automation
The Pièce De Résistance of codeless is how it allows people the ability to perform highly skilled tasks, without acquiring the skill at all. I can now build a web shop, design a website or create a mobile app without knowing how to code. How else can codeless contribute to software development? At the moment, it can simplify your testing.
Testing is an ideal playground for codeless automation. Testing is manual, repetitive, error-prone and time-consuming. It is also very simple in a way, as it always requires performing the same basic action – clicking a button in order to test if the results are as expected. If I click the ‘Add to Cart’ button, is the item added to my cart? If I click the dropdown menu, does it drop down? If I click ‘Forgot My Password’, is a renewal email sent to my mailbox?
Automating the clicking of buttons is a no-brainer, hence the “I’m Not a Robot” captcha epidemic. But every sequence of button clicking is initially put into action by code. So the crux of the matter would be to turn the sequencing itself codeless, allowing for codeless test creation.
It works the same way as website builder platforms – the user creates, and the code is generated automatically. In case of a website, the code is being used only once, to hold the website live online. In testing, the code is being used over and over again, providing a much higher ROI.
Look Up to the Sky
What’s next for codeless automation in testing? Yarin Podoler, Co-Founder of TestCraft, a codeless Selenium testing solution, says it’s “automation of automation. It’s relieving the QA tester from the need to create the test scenarios and having a code that knows how to create those test scenarios automatically by ‘understanding’ the software, human-free.”
It seems that once again, it will be code that enables a major breakthrough for codeless.
By Assaf Dudai