Theta interns automate UI testing from 40 hours to a single digit

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The automation of UI testing was the focus project for interns Anran Niu and Akash Prakash over the past ten weeks in Theta’s Innovation Lab.

Still in the works, Theta AutoTest (official name TBC) allows non-technical users to complete end-to-end testing of any website or web-based app using a no-code, less time approach. When challenged with some example projects, manual regression testing took up to 40 hours. Using the new automated solution, they’ve reduced this to a single digit. 

With only ten weeks of project time, it’s been a fast progression from idea-state to proof of concept, from low code to no code and inception to innovation.   

Talking about her time at Theta, Anran says, "I've never learnt so much in the space of 10 weeks!".  

Their journey to internships began at a virtual social networking event held over 2020's initial lockdown. After meeting Jim Taylor, Theta's Emerging Technologies expert, they were invited for interview and subsequently offered an opportunity to get their hands on a developing idea. 

Both Akash and Anran had transitioned from a different field - Akash from biotechnology and Anran from early childhood education. Pursuing a passion for technology, they are now completing their Masters of IT at Auckland ICT Graduate School, the University of Auckland. 

Within a relatively short time frame, they’ve worked alongside all kinds of roles in the business: Project Managers, Heads of Departments and Software Developers. In fact, it was during a meeting with Head of Product, Andrew Taylor, that they were inspired to take the product in the direction that they did.  

"We wanted to create a "heat-map" style interface that would suit the kind of customer that would use the solution. It was a bit of a dream come true when we made this a reality," says Anran.  

During his time, Akash particularly enjoyed the professionalism and working style. 

"I really liked Theta's innovative and hands-on approach to maximising our learning experience."  

Anran also commented on the ethos at Theta,  

"The culture is to query the why behind the solution, instead of settling on quick workarounds. That shows a commitment to the customer – to bring all your knowledge to the table."  

Expanding on that, 'retro Friday' meetings helped develop a habit of recapping progress and lessons learnt. With both Akash and Anran now continuing their learning and development in this space, we wish them the very best of luck.  

 

More about Theta AutoTest: an automated UI testing solution 

What is it? 

Theta AutoTest is a no-code platform for creating automated browser UI tests. With UI being subject to constant change, it’s important that there’s a robust testing regime in place.  

What problem does it solve? 

It often falls on software developers to create and code integration/automation tests as they go. With the pressure to deliver features, sometimes they fall behind on writing the tests. Other times, there’s limited access to resources who can write the test – largely due to time commitments and availability. Theta AutoTest makes it easy for anyone – product owners, project managers, testers, clients - to run the rests, even if they don’t know code.  

How does it work? 

It’s a visual approach to software development. Natural language queries and a user-friendly interface allow users to create browser tests.  

Given the plethora of software testing tools out therewhat makes Theta AutoTest different? 

Most tools write tests using code. We wanted to make it easier to author tests using natural language that people understand. With the solution still in development, watch this space to see what's next!

What tech does it use?

  • Azure cloud-based application running Blazor on .NET 5. 
  • SignalR for real-time communication between server and client test agent. 
  • Gherkin - a domain-specific language for describing formalized examples of how a system should interact with the user.

 

A sneak peek 

Here's how it's looking so far....

Easily build actions

An action builder user interface helps the user select options and actions to automate the browser. Example actions include filling in text, selecting options, clicking buttons, navigating to pages and test assertions.

Use natural language

When defining a test, users can use natural language to specify the elements they want to interact with, and AutoTest will find the element based on the context.

 

View simple interface

Users can review and select elements for interactive testing from a screen or table view. The tool converts the selected element into required XPath code used to accurately locate the elements.

 

Theta AutoTest was created in the Innovation Lab at Theta - where we help customers innovate, accelerate and stay ahead of the competition. 

It's always a pleasure to show our interns (the next-gen of tech experts) what can be done!