In this agile world of weekly, sometimes daily software releases, quality assurance (QA) is non-negotiable in minimizing bugs and ensuring a great user experience. You probably remember all too well the utter frustration you felt trying to book a car on your ride-hailing app when suddenly, the screen freezes.
There are many ways to address quality assurance, though the answers over the years have always involved software automation. Some 72% of organizations already employ automation testing. However, even though software automation has been around since the 1970s, the two major challenges with software automation have remained the same: 1) most good coders do not want to do QA (those rare ones that do QA are expensive), and 2) manual testers are usually non-technical, so they’re not able to write automated test scripts.
The industry “solution” has been divided so far:
- Sophisticated frameworks for coders. Unfortunately, frameworks (like Selenium) require coders and coders are expensive. So in the end, the enterprises must still pick and choose what they automate and accept the accompanying risk of bugs in production.
- Recording tools for manual testers. For the recording tools, current solutions rely on HTML and CSS tags and are hence very brittle, so often the cost of maintaining the scripts outweigh the benefits of having them. In fact, even code-based tools suffer from dependence on the underlying HTML/CSS unless the automation engineer spends significant time to anticipate how the underlying UI code might change.
This is the gap that UI-licious fills: their product makes the process of writing an automation script nearly as easy as writing a test plan, which all QA testers know how to do. Not only does this save QA testers up to 80% of their time, it also greatly opens up the pool of automation script writers to non-coders.
The UI-licious “language” is simple English that one would use in a test plan or provide instructions to a user (e.g. I.goTo (“monkshill.com”), I.click (“Team”), I.see(“Justin Nguyen”). Their secret sauce is their proprietary smart targeting test engine doing dynamic code analysis to understand the structure of web applications based on semantics and contextual hinting to accurately identify targeted elements (instead of hard-coded HTML/CSS tags).
In that one simple test, we saw a glimpse of the future of software automation and today, we are proud to announce our investment in UI-licious and to welcome its founders Shi Ling and Eugene to the MHV family. Soon there will be a world where each “steps to reproduce” entry - whether it is from a salesperson, a marketer, or a product manager, is also automagically an automated test case.