How End-to-End (E2E) Testing Helps Ship Products with Fewer Bugs

end to end testing

Launching software without proper testing is risky. If your product has a lot of problems, it can hurt your brand, making customers unhappy and affecting the user experience negatively. This is where End-to-End (E2E) Testing comes to the rescue. E2E Testing is like a shield to ensure fewer bugs. In this article, we’ll see how E2E testing helps for launching better products.

What is E2E?
E2E testing is a type of testing that assesses an application or system from start to finish. It simulates real user scenarios to ensure that all components and interactions work correctly. E2E testing views the application from the end user’s perspective by simulating user scenarios.
It performs testing just like how a real user would use the application. The purpose of E2E testing is to identify defects or issues in the application and ensure that all components can work together to meet user’s expectations.

Why E2E testing is important?
Reduce time and costs spent on testing
Detecting and addressing issues in the development and testing phase is more cost-effective and time-efficient than fixing them after a product has been released. E2E testing helps you catch issues early, reducing the overall cost of development and maintenance.
E2E testing does not need human interaction to run repeated tests, which decreases the time and costs spent on testing.

Quick and reliable in detecting bugs
We can schedule E2E tests to run every night during the development to catch any problems early. This helps the developers to fix any issues before they become more difficult and more expensive on our resources to resolve. E2E tests are dependable and consistent. They follow specific test scripts and don’t get tired or make mistakes like people do. This reliability is important for finding bugs and making sure your app works as it should. Manual testing can have issues because people might do tests differently, use different criteria, or miss some things.

Improve customer experience
E2E testing helps us identify issues related to the functionality of your application and system by focusing on real user scenarios. For example, it simulates user interactions such as signing up, adding items to the cart, proceeding to checkout, and logging out to determine if a new user can successfully register an account and complete the purchase process. When customers can consistently rely on an application to work correctly, it builds trust and significantly enhances their experience.

How E2E Testing Reduces Bugs
Identifying Integration Issues
E2E testing helps identify issues, ensuring that all components of the application work together seamlessly. E2E tests can catch issues at the integration level, preventing them from escalating into more significant problems.
Catching Critical Path Flaws
Every application has critical paths – those key actions or processes that are essential for its functionality. E2E testing focuses on these paths to ensure they work correctly. This significantly reduces the chances of critical bugs slipping through the cracks and disrupting the user experience.
Real User Scenarios
E2E tests simulate real user interactions. This helps find problems that real people might face when using your software, like missing buttons or the application getting stuck on something.
Improved Regression Testing
As you add new features or updates, E2E testing makes sure the old stuff keeps working. It’s like checking that when you add new rooms to a house, the existing rooms don’t suddenly fall apart.

Limitation of E2E Testing
Flaky tests
E2E tests can sometimes be flaky, meaning they fail inconsistently due to timing issues or network condition of the device.
Scheduling and Wait Times
E2E tests often expect immediate results, which can make testing processes unable to carry on. For example: E2E test script scheduled a news post for the next day but waiting for the news post to be visible will take too long.

Tools for End-to-End Testing
Some of the most popular test frameworks for end-to-end testing are:

  • Selenium
    It supports all the major programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, C#, Ruby, and Python. You can easily simulate almost all user actions using Selenium. It is an open-source tool, and the Selenium IDE also has a record and playback feature. It consumes significantly less resources, has the option to allow parallel execution, and we can integrate it with other frameworks as well.
  • Cypress
    Suitable for software built with React, Angular, and more. No need for drivers or remote code. Tests run in JavaScript in a web browser. Supports test-driven development (TDD). Allows dynamic changes, making test creation and execution faster.
  • Cucumber
    Uses Gherkin for writing tests in simple natural language. Reduces the need for complex code, making it user-friendly. Mostly supports behavior-driven development (BDD), considering stakeholder perspectives while writing tests.

In conclusion, End-to-End (E2E) testing is a good choice to improve the quality of products. It saves time and money, helps troubleshoot faster, and improves the user experience. E2E testing ensures seamless integration, prevents critical errors, and keeps your software in top shape. While it has limitations, popular tools like Selenium, Cypress, and Cucumber make E2E testing a reliable choice for product quality.

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Marjorie Besson