The Importance of QA Automation: Unlocking Value in the Salesforce Development Cycle

A Look at the Benefits, Challenges, and Opportunities for QA Automation in any Institution

Jose Rodriguez, June 11th, 2024
4 min read

Starting with the Basics

I see many articles talk about how to improve QA automation, but gloss over the importance of it. As someone with over two decades of experience as a QA automation engineer, I’ve seen the value of it firsthand. Yet, the basics are often overlooked in favor of more technical discussions. So, before we dive into the details, let’s address a fundamental question: Why QA Automation? 

Understanding the Imperative of QA Automation

Let’s explore this scenario: An organization uses ad-hoc manual testing because they think they’re looking for speed and cost savings. Once they feel like all the key areas have been tested, they push their code to production. But when they’re alerted to a critical issue post-production, the costs become clear. Users encounter errors, some move their business elsewhere, and developers scramble to pivot from their current work to identify and resolve the issue, causing delays, reputational losses and financial losses. For many companies, this scenario isn’t an isolated incident – it’s a recurring problem. 

In every industry consistency is key. Just like Six Sigma aims to minimize defects, QA testing should strive to prevent scenarios like the one in the earlier example. And automation is the first step. By implementing an automated testing framework, we can create repeatable tests that act as a baseline between working and defective code, creating a more stable environment and experience for users and developers alike. But the benefits of automated testing encompass more than just stability. 

Unlocking Efficiency and Scalability in Salesforce

The first advantage is that automation reduces testing time significantly. What used to take hours can now be completed in minutes! Not only is automated testing faster, but it provides flexibility and efficiency through things like scheduled runs or implementation into a continuous delivery pipeline. In an environment like Salesforce, automated testing allows for a quick and easy way to test your existing code against new releases, allowing issues to be identified more quickly, and resolved before the user base encounters them. Through automation, test execution becomes pro-active, allowing teams to be more aware of the state of the codebase by leveraging a repeatable process that is quick and can continuously be improved and expanded upon.

The second advantage is that automation facilitates scalability. Manual testing is limited by human capacity and to manage capacity, companies are often forced to make a trade-off and either hire more QA testers or sacrifice quality and allow certain parts of the software to remain without test coverage. Automated testing solves this bottleneck and allows institutions to run as many tests as they need to, even bypassing hardware constraints by leveraging cloud computing resources that can be spun up on demand. This scalability not only increases speed of regression runs, but also allows for greater test coverage by reducing resourcing constraints. 

These two advantages just begin to scratch the surface of the benefits of automated testing. But it begs the question: If automated testing solves a lot of issues why don’t more institutions use it? We believe there are two main hurdles currently preventing institutions from adopting automated testing: Technical Expertise and Cost. Many institutions don’t have the skillsets necessary to begin implementing automated testing, while productized automated testing solutions are expensive and often come with hefty licensing fees. 

What if there was another option?

We believe there is! Stay tuned for upcoming articles, where we’ll explore approaches to overcoming these challenges, enabling your institution, and leveraging the full potential of QA Automation.

Lucro is a boutique consulting firm focused on helping Financial Institutions unlock the full potential of the nCino and Salesforce platform. Learn more about who we are and what we do, or follow us on LinkedIn.