Importance of automated tests for a startup

If you're building an IT product, automated tests is your best friend in achieving its highest quality. In fact, it’s so important to switch to automated testing that previously we published a blog post dedicated to the reasons of choosing automation tests for online products.

This time we'd like to take a closer look at it from the business perspective. Here at RubyGarage we pay special attention to this particular detail of our work not only because many clients underestimate the importance of automation tests, but also because they do not fully understand the advantages they bring in the product creation process.

Let's start with the two most important resources any entrepreneur needs in every project: the money and the time.

Automated tests for a startup

Startups are all about speed. The quicker the team checks the suggested hypotheses and adjusts the product correspondingly, the quicker and with less money it will become successful. Now if you have a specific feature you want to deploy, you obviously expect it to work flawlessly. But what's the quickest and cheapest way to do that?

Automation tests imply that they are thought through and designed even before the actual development starts. From that point of view the tests define the way your product code should be written, and that's not only an effective programming paradigm, but also a great way to ensure quality and save time on designing new tests after each time your product gets pivoted or simply adds a new feature.

Startups are also often done with a limited budget, so usually the wiser you spend the money, the more time you have to make a perfect product for your market. Thus automation tests are a great way to save your time on debugging your product and bring the highest quality.

But how automated tests can save time, if writing and executing them also needs time? The idea here is that although you’ll spend more resources on testing at the beginning of the project, the more features you implement, the less time it takes to test the whole product in comparison to classic testing approaches. Why? Because of regression testing.

Regression testing is aimed to find flaws and bugs in already developed parts of the product after its another update (enhancement or patch). Such bugs are called regressions, and the corresponding testing, if performed automatically, allows to save a huge load of time, which will otherwise grow with every new function added and every new update deployed.

Studies show that automatic testing starts to pay off itself most usually in 4-6 weeks after the project start. So it’s a strategic investment that can’t be underestimated.

Automated software testing for startups

Besides, once the product is launched and\or complex enough, it will much be harder to add new functionality and keep the high overall quality of the product without automated tests, not mentioning the resources that will be required for that.

Not only automated testing helps to find code inconsistencies in case of small edits, but also it is the only way to check the web product performance under extreme circumstances and see how secure is the product. We’re talking here about data validation, user authentication and authorization, data cryptography, parameters manipulation, SQL injections, cross scripting, DDoS attacks and other potential security threats. So why postpone automated testing?

Another important thing to notice is that automated tests also represent the most efficient way to understand how exactly the created product corresponds to the initial vision. This is also known as product acceptance criteria, which, when written correctly, can be easily transformed into automated tests.

So the earlier you switch to automated tests, the easier it will be to make the product you intended to create and keep it in a good shape later.

We at RubyGarage not just prefer automated tests in our work. This is a part of the Agile development approach that we stick to as to the only approach that perfectly fits the lean startup methodology. And for us, the developers of your product, it's not only about business effectiveness or money saving, but also about a lot of technical features that help us in our everyday work. We just don't want to dive deep into technical details, but if you want to know more, feel free to ask us.

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