Why test data is important for automation test engineer

data automation engineer

At today’s stage of revolutionary growth in Information Technology, data automation engineer regularly experience the work of receiving a lot of test data in the software testing lifecycle.

Data automation engineer not only acquire/maintain data from existing sources, but also generate volume of test data to ensure the contribution of their explosion of quality in product delivery.

Therefore, data automation engineer must continuously discover, learn, apply the most effective approaches to data collection, creation, maintenance, automation, comprehensive data management for any type of data. Which test functions and which non-functions.

What is Test Data?

Test Data – Test data is a term commonly used in the work of testers. While executing test cases, they need some data to input to get the expected output. Sometimes to load an application with data (Load testing) or test breakpoints (Stress testing) of the application, huge data is required.

This data may or may not be valid. So in short, test data is the data that is required in executing test cases properly and to verify the expected output in any software application under test.

Why is data important for data automation engineer?

This example can understand the importance of test data, let’s say you want to test mobile software applications. There are many different software so to test them you need to have different input data like different format images, music files supported and unsupported formats, video files, contacts… all both are test data. Without this, the data automation engineer will not be able to perform and also will not get the desired results.

Data can be in any form such as:

  • System test data
  • SQL Test Data
  • Performance test data
  • XML test data

Types of test data

Test data can be classified into the following categories:

  • Empty or no data files refer to those without any input given to the application and this verifies that the application handles such exceptions and throws the appropriate error.
  • Test data set refers to files that are valid or supported by the application. They will give the expected output when given as input.
  • Invalid test data set refers to all unsupported file formats to see that the application handles all of them properly without crashing and warns the user with the appropriate error message.
  • Huge test data for Load, Performance and Stress testing cannot be done at execution time and needs to be prepared while preparing your test environment.
  • Test data for testing all boundary conditions including data with all possible combinations of boundary values.

Tips and tricks for data automation engineer

Always make sure that the test data files are not corrupted. This can lead to invalid output or miss important errors.

  • Test data must be updated regularly. This will give a clear view of the expected output.
  • Test data should be generated before executing test cases.
  • It is a good practice to use some automation tool to generate a large amount of test data because manual effort in generating that data will be more and more time consuming.
  • Test data must have invalid input to test worst case scenarios.
  • Data automation engineer can get developer help to generate test data.
  • A better method is always to include all possible combinations of supported and unsupported formats in the test data to ensure that the test coverage is maximum.
  • Test data is one of the most important pieces to be established without which the execution of test cases would be difficult. It is nearly impossible to perform Load, Performance and Stress testing without using test data.

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