Why Shorter Tests Are Better

Learn why shorter tests are considered a software testing best practice, for faster, more resilient, and reusable test cases which positively impact your overall testing strategy.

Learn why shorter tests are considered a software testing best practice, for faster, more resilient, and reusable test cases which positively impact your overall testing strategy.

June 29, 2022
Tamas Cser

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Learn why shorter tests are considered a software testing best practice, for faster, more resilient, and reusable test cases which positively impact your overall testing strategy.

In software testing, it is crucial to follow established best practices. Through years of trial and error, best practices get established due to their tangible benefits in different avenues. In testing, as it is in any other field, this means that testing best practices are more likely to help you achieve better reliability, efficiency, and optimization.

One of the most important testing best practices dictates that shorter tests are, in general, better. Apart from very specific use cases, using shorter tests can bring you many important benefits. Let us take a quick look at the importance of shorter tests and why you should consider adopting this approach for your testing requirements.

Shorter Tests are Faster

The most integral justification for using shorter tests is the fact that they are faster in many ways. Shorter tests are generally less resource-intensive, making them cost-efficient to run. Since they involve fewer steps, the results are also available faster. When bugs are detected, shorter tests relay that information to the development team faster and, in turn, the bugs can be fixed faster.

With shorter tests, it is also much easier to find issues. Shorter tests focus on very specific areas of the software. This means that a failed test would immediately pinpoint the exact location and logic of the bug. This provides clarity and significantly speeds up the fix. Overall, testing teams can work not just with greater speed, but also with greater precision if the testing suite consists of multiple shorter tests.

Shorter Tests are More Resilient

Fragile tests that break and provide unreliable results are often one of the most crucial hurdles to efficient testing practices. With shorter tests, a lot of these issues can be easily overcome. Since shorter tests have fewer steps, they also operate on inherently simpler logic. Longer and more complex tests are much likelier to break. Shorter tests, on account of their simplicity, can be much more resilient.

Even when shorter tests break, it is also inherently easier to fix them, once again due to the relatively short number of steps and the relative simplicity of the logic involved. Since they are short, it also takes less time to work out the kinks and tweak the tests. Contrast this with longer tests where the multiple steps and more complex test logic can require heavy scrutiny and time-consuming tweaking.

Shorter Tests are More Reusable

Being able to reuse tests can be a great resource, especially in intense testing environments where teams are working with large workloads and close deadlines. In such circumstances, the more use you can get out of a single test, the better. Since shorter tests are more specific in nature, they are more conducive for repeated use. They can be repurposed to suit multiple use cases relatively simply, but just changing a few lines of code or a few portions of the testing logic.

Shorter tests are also a better proposition for easier, more seamless test maintenance. If you do no to change or update the tests, you can accomplish this by making small, quick changes. For larger tests with multiple steps and more complex logic, this process can take a very long time.

Follow Testing Best Practices with Functionize

With these clear benefits, it becomes apparent that shorter tests are, in most cases, a better bet for most testing scenarios. These benefits can have a major impact on the testing process, especially if you complement this philosophy with the right testing framework.

Functionize is a modern, feature-rich testing solution that can help you adhere to this and other important testing best practices while also providing some inherent benefits that you cannot get from legacy testing solutions.

Here are a few ways you can use Functionize to follow testing best practices:

  • Since Functionize uses a cloud environment to run tests, the tests can load and execute faster. The speed advantage also comes with a scaling advantage, as the scaling capabilities of the cloud can help your testing requirements evolve according to the needs of your projects.
  • With Functionize, your tests can become more resilient. You can expect minimal test failure or false positives. The main reason behind this is the way Functionize leverages AI and machine learning to dynamically scan for UI changes. These changes are accounted for properly and do not cause tests to break.
  • If you are looking to reuse your tests, Functionize provides several critical features that can make the process more intuitive. You get to reuse more tests and significantly improve productivity and efficiency.

 Here are some interesting features: 

  • Easily create reusable test elements called Page Objects which you can use repeatedly. You can create standalone Page Objects, create Page Objects while creating your test case, edit your Page Objects, and call on them at any time.
  • To get further use from your Page Objects, you can easily alter them by defining new parameters and associated values. The process of adding new parameters and modifying attributes can be accomplished easily from the Functionize GUI.
  • With Test Data Management, you can map a particular data source to a specific test case. With either automatic or manual mapping, you can also use multiple sources. This gives you functionality similar to Page Objects parameterization but using test data input.
  • Quickly add variables to your tests using the Functionize Expression Builder. This way, you can allow dynamic data for each test execution and achieve even more reliable and thorough results with your testing.
  • Functionize even gives you the ability to copy or move entire test cases from one project to another. This gives you the ability to reuse entire test cases across multiple projects.

Testing Done Right

By now, it is clear that shorter tests are better in more ways than one. The tangible benefits can quickly have a cumulative effect on your projects and affect several parameters favorably, including total testing times and testing costs. Of course, you can realize the full potential of using shorter tests and following other testing best practices to the fullest by adopting a modern, AI-powered, and feature-rich testing solution like Functionize.