How Automation Can Impact Testing ROI in 2019

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The most obvious benefits of automation for any industry include increased efficiency and decreased reliance on human employees. But for telcos, automation, and particularly automated testing, offers multiple other sources of ROI, from reduced time to market, to better implementation of the Continuous Delivery model.

Shorter Time to Market

Decreasing time to market has always been critical for telcos to remain competitive; releasing new products faster than competitors has always offered an advantage. Meanwhile, upgrade cycles have gotten progressively shorter in recent years, placing even more pressure on testing teams to keep up. Automated testing contributes to shorter time to market both directly and indirectly:

  • Automated testing simply takes less time than manual testing, immediately facilitating shorter time to market. 
  • Automation streamlines daily regression testing, which provides a strong foundation for future development initiatives and ongoing service verification. Thus issues with existing service can be diagnosed and addressed sooner, before they crop up as problems with new offerings.
  • Automated testing actually helps you create more testable products, so you can test in more ways, with less chance of missing use cases. These both contribute to shorter time to market. 

Fewer Resources Required for Testing

In a manual testing environment, one testing engineer can handle about six use cases per day. That number skyrockets with the addition of automation–in some cases, one engineer can oversee hundreds of tests per day. In many cases, the introduction of automation helps significantly reduce the human resources necessary to complete testing.

Furthermore, the testing team can use their time for more revenue generating activities. For example, they will have more time to test new products, or to address glitches that impact customer service. Thus the ROI here is twofold: fewer employees are required, and those employees can do more meaningful work.

One caveat when determining ROI: Time will still be required for manual testing. Not everything will be automated, and the testing team will also have to address the issues uncovered by manual testing. It’s important to accurately, honestly estimate what percentage of testing will be automated and the corresponding time savings.

Decreased Defect Costs

The costs associated with identifying and correcting defects can be difficult to track, especially because there are often delays between development and testing. Manual testing is often the source of the bottleneck–due to backlogs in testing, the engineering team often cannot start testing as soon as development is complete. Thus engineers frequently spend additional time “relearning” code they wrote weeks or months before so that they can fix newly discovered bugs.

Automated testing protocols can be executed as soon as development is complete, effectively shortening the feedback loop. Engineers can get almost immediate feedback on new products. They don’t have to waste time reacquainting themselves with code long ago written.

A lag between development and testing can also mean that engineers don’t learn about flawed code soon enough to refrain from reusing that code in subsequently developed products. Thus more time is spent detecting and fixing the same issues multiple times. Automated testing significantly reduces the time required to remove the same bug from multiple products.

Support of the Continuous Delivery Model

The software industry has long used test automation to enable agile development and the Continuous Delivery model. Leading telcos have also adopted this approach for product development because automated testing offers repeatable checks for acceptance, performance, and regression scenarios.

These checks not only reduce bugs and support faster delivery of new applications, but they also contribute to improved customer service.

At the strategic level, automated testing provides consistent, accurate information about high-value features and associated risks, so that business leaders can make better choices. For example, the results of automated testing can help define the necessary development and processing environment, or determine when new updates should be released.

How to Maximize the ROI of Automated Testing

Automation is often considered a “silver bullet” for operational inefficiencies. It’s important to remember that introducing automation requires an investment in both time and money. These best practices can help ensure the success of testing automation and maximize the ROI of automation.

  • Determine the project scope.The most successful automated tests are those that are extremely repetitive or require frequent human intervention. That’s why regression testing is often automated. These tests are ideal candidates for automation. But other factors, such as hardware dependencies, can impact the success of automation. Limit the list of tests to automate to those that fit your criteria.
  • Don’t neglect test design. The purpose of test automation is to maximize test coverage with the fewest number of tests, and in the shortest time frame possible. Before the first automation script is ever written, perform a comprehensive review of all functional and non-functional requirements. This step can actually help identify previously overlooked workflows or test scenarios that could be automated. 
  • Pay attention to data quality. Quality test data is the foundation for successful automation. You’ll need comprehensive, accurate data on an ongoing basis, so review data regularly to ensure that it is still valid.
  • Remember that products evolve. Conventional monolithic testing architecture doesn’t support the frequent product updates that today’s telco environment requires. Strive to build automated test suites that facilitate frequent change and include reusable test cases. 
  • Implement a robust automation framework. Simply put, a framework is a set of predefined testing standards and protocols that reduce risk and maximize test speed and accuracy, while also decreasing costs associated with test maintenance. A proper framework also supports Continuous Delivery. 

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TECHNICAL PROJECT MANAGER

You will be a part of the SEGRON Project Team. This will be an amazing opportunity for someone to be part of a team working in next generation cutting edge technologies such as 5G, IOT, DevOps, CI/CD and test automation.

As technical project manager, you will be responsible for understanding the different customer requirements and latest technologies around 5G, VoLTE use cases and you have to setup and align related project activities together with our customers.
You should have a strong knowledge and background in the telco environment paired with project management skills to align projects, track the related KPI’s further having a strong view also on the financial performance.

Soft Skills:
Problem Solving skills:
• Analytical & technical mindset
• Good in abstraction i.e. seeing the “big picture”
• Self-Motivated & Responsible
Team player:
• collaborates with others
• teach new skills to others and write tutorials
Others:
• Good Communication Skills
• Flexible/Entrepreneurial

Hard Skills:
• Several years of experience in Telecom Domain.
• Good expertise on 5G/4G/3G technologies and should be familiar with the network call flows
• IMS/SDM/EPC domain knowledge
• Wireshark packet analysis
• Experience in Protocol testing including HTTP2, SIP, MAP, Diameter.
• Sound understanding of Telco Cloud technologies such as VNFI, Open Stack.
• Sound knowledge in Linux/CentOS, TCP/IP stack
• DevOps knowledge.

Nice to have skills:
• Understanding of 5G network elements and interfaces is plus.
• Robot Framework / Python

Specific additional information:
• You have a Telecommunications/Electronics/SW/Computer master’s degree or equivalent through experience
• PM Certification or equivalent through experience
• Very high English proficient

Others:
• Full time job
• Variety of financial and non-financial benefits
• Offered salary: from 2500 EUR (depends on experience)

DEVELOPER TEST AUTOMATION

You will be a part of the SEGRON Test Automation Development Team. This will be an amazing opportunity for someone to be part of a team working in next generation cutting edge technologies such as 5G, IOT, DevOps, CI/CD and test automation using Python, Robot.

As test automation developer, you will be responsible for understanding the different customer requirements and latest technologies around 5G, VoLTE use cases, building automation tools, framework, creating reusable python libraries for test automation.
You should have a strong knowledge and hands-on experience in test automation framework (Robot) and Python scripting language. Further you must continuously renew the automation & review guidelines set within the team. Ensure developed reusable keywords & test scripts meet the automation guideline.

Soft Skills:
Problem Solving skills:
• Analytical & technical mindset
• Good in abstraction i.e. seeing the “big picture”
• Self-Motivated & Responsible 


Team player:
• collaborates with others
• teach new skills to others and write tutorials


Others:
• Good Communication Skills
• Flexible/Entrepreneurial

Hard Skills:
• Experience in developing reusable test automation scripts using Python and Robot Framework
• Several years of experience in Telecom Domain
• Good expertise on 5G/4G/3G technologies and should be familiar with the network call flows
• Test Case development
• Mobile development
• Design Patterns
• Web development/testing
• IMS/SDM/EPC domain knowledge
• Hand-on experience in Docker containers and Kubernetes.
• Sound understanding of Telco Cloud technologies such as VNFI, Open Stack
• Sound knowledge in Linux/CentOS, TCP/IP stack
• DevOps knowledge

Nice to have skills:
• Understanding of 5G network elements and interfaces is plus
• Wireshark packet analysis
• Experience in Protocol testing including HTTP2, SIP, MAP, Diameter

Specific additional information:
• You have a Telecommunications/Electronics/SW/Computer master’s degree or equivalent through experience
• Very high English proficient

Others:
• Full time job
• Variety of financial and non-financial benefits
• Offered salary: from 2000 EUR (depends on experience)