How To Use Functional Programming In UI Test Automation?
Functional programming and automation testing go hand in hand. Before we dig into details, let’s see why it’s beneficial to use functional programming. Besides clean and maintainable code, one of the benefits is that we can make more advanced function composition using FP techniques resulting in a very DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) approach – extract common parts as reusable functions and apply them on different test cases.
The functional programming paradigm also perfectly maps how the robot brain works with real-world scenarios, making dealing with domain-specific language easier.
It all boils down to ease of writing automated tests with a little overhead of describing natural language with computer-readable syntaxes.
Mutations One big benefit of functional programming is testing each function in isolation. No need to care about the side effects of other functions. We can focus on one and be sure that when we call the given function with the specified set of parameters, it will return exactly what we expect.
So to do this, we must not mutate anything in our code and not rely on global variables. This brings an additional benefit to memory management.
There is no need for the garbage collector to clean up resources because nothing was created beforehand (except maybe some data structure like a list or map).
Great! So now that we know why functional programming rocks and what is its boundaries,
Let’s get down into details of how it can help in UI automation testing services:-
Avoiding Frame Rate Issues
This can cause a problem if some part of the code takes longer to execute than others. In this case, the rest of the code will be waiting, and it will impact the overall frame rate.
We can use FP’s asynchronous approach to avoid this issue, which allows different parts of the code to run in parallel. This way, even if one part of the code takes longer to execute, it won’t impact the overall frame rate.
Decreasing Maintenance Costs
Another great benefit of using FP is that if we write our tests using pure functions, each test case will be independent and not rely on any global state.
This means that we can easily reuse it in different parts of the application – even in different applications! Our tests will only use given inputs and assert results – nothing else, which reduces complexity significantly, resulting in less debugging time for developers or testers.
Adding a new feature or modifying an already existing one usually takes longer than expected. As you change a part of your code, you need to fix bugs in other places – because there are hidden dependencies between functions.
The best example here would be adding a new feature to see how the user interacts with the website. We need to write new code, test it, and ensure that everything still works as expected.
But what if we used FP for UI automation testing? In this case, we would only need to change our function signature (the way it accepts input and returns output), and all the other tests that use this function will automatically be updated. There is no need for any additional debugging or maintenance costs!
Assertions On Results Will Be Visible From The Get-Go.
To ensure that our application works as expected, we normally need to test all the possible cases – basically every different path in our code. What if we had a great tool that allowed us to describe the entire use case with a single function? Instead of using multiple assertions or repeating some parts of the script repeatedly, we could have one big test containing all actions and assertions.
The best part here is that this will save time during the writing and enhance the readability of the test itself, making it easier for anyone involved in the testing process to see what is happening.
In normal tests, when you have 100 assertions on your console, it can be hard to spot the one that failed. But with FP, all assertions will be visible right from the get-go!
There are many other benefits of using functional programming for UI automation testing, but we have just scratched the surface. We need to start using it in our everyday work to see its potential.
By avoiding frame rate issues and reducing maintenance costs, we can save a significant amount of time and hassle. Additionally, all assertions will be visible from the get-go, making it easier to debug any potential issues.
Functional programming is a great way to write maintainable and reliable UI test automation code. It helps us avoid frame rate issues, reuse code easily and decrease custom software development services costs resulting in more reliable tests with less chance for bugs.