What to Choose: Low Code Testing Vs. Codeless Testing

In this article, we compare two approaches to test automation: low code and codeless testing. Which one is better?

What to Choose: Low Code Testing Vs. Codeless Testing
Source: Unsplash

On our blog, we write a lot about codeless testing. However, another popular option is low code testing. Both approaches to testing have much in common, but they also have a number of differences.

So let's take a closer look at both ways of testing in order to draw a boundary line between them. In addition, it makes sense to point out their praiseworthy aspects and shortcomings, as well as to conclude which of the approaches is the most preferable in 2022.

The Downsides of Traditional Test Automation

Before pitting low code testing and codeless testing against each other, attention must be given to the very problem that both methods supposedly solve. We are talking about the decline of traditional testing methods and their apparent flaws, which cannot be left aside.

Before codeless testing became a thing, testing was either done exclusively by hand, without the utilization of tailored software, or via writing specialized test scripts. Yes, to automate processes just a little bit, companies engaged not just testers, but developers with fine programming skills.

Of course, it was not always reasonable to hire coders, also known as "test automation specialists". Firstly, many companies could not afford it, and secondly, writing scripts also required time, which could significantly delay the release date of the final product.

Manual testing cycle (Source: ESDS Software Solution Ltd.)

You may ask "what was the solution in that case?". Small teams were left with no choice but to abandon test automation entirely. It was in that era when one of the most popular myths about automated QA took root. It was the myth, associated with the extravagant cost of such an approach.

Thus, many products in the past have been tested exclusively by hand. This, in turn, led to low test coverage and, consequently, a low level of quality of software solutions. Many bugs were not detected at the early stages, and when their presence became apparent at the later stages of development, not all of them could be fixed. Often, it was neither easy nor reasonable from an economic point of view.

For a long time, manual testing was the mainstream way to check the quality of a product being developed. However, time passed and things began to gradually change for the better when flexible development methodologies began to gain popularity – Agile and DevOps. Automation has ceased to be an expensive gimmicky feature and has become a necessity. To date, according to surveys, the automation has replaced more than 50% of previously manual testing efforts in about 45% companies.

If you still have questions, then we bring to your attention one more article of ours on the topic of the differences between manual testing and automated testing tool. No doubt, this piece is the best way to set the record straight once and for all.

So, after this tiny step back in history, it's time to take a closer look at the main attractions of this article – no code low code testing.

What Is the Main Difference Between Codeless Test Automation and Low Code Test Automation?

A real breakthrough in the test automation industry was the emergence of no- and low-code test automation tools. These solutions were built on the basis of test frameworks with an intuitive graphical interface, which made it possible to greatly simplify quality control.

Modern software for test automation has eliminated the bottleneck when highly qualified programmers needed to write test scripts. It has also dramatically lowered the skills barrier – now people without an extensive technical background, namely designers and managers, could be involved in QA operations. This shift contributed a lot to the growth and spread of the continuous testing approach.

Continuous delivery scheme (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Such software for automated testing has become an integral part of the toolkit of any QA team and also the weapon of choice for dealing with bugs. Small teams of developers, in which the problem of labor shortages is traditionally acute, have seen the true value of test automation tools.

If we make a rough generalization, then we are dealing with a kind of birds of a feather thing. Both low code and codeless testing approaches have a common philosophy lying at their hearts, the main idea of which is to minimize or completely eliminate code writing in testing. The only difference is that the degree of detachment from programming in these two approaches is different.

Undoubtedly, both methods offer a simplified testing model based on scripts and artificial intelligence. All it takes from a user is to set up the system by creating a script through a simple and comprehensible GUI.

However, the level of detachment from coding is a pivotal criterion. After all, the flexibility and versatility of testing tools directly depend on this. In low-code tools, the user is given the opportunity for fine adjustments, while in no-code solutions there is no choice but to rely completely on the thoughtful design of the testing software.

This is not the only, but obviously the most important distinction. We will slice and dice even less obvious dissimilarities and nuances below.

What Are Low Code Testing Tools?

So let's start with low code testing.

As already noted, the word "low" is here for a reason. Much of the automation and testing happens without programming. Through interactions with the QA graphical user interface, the engineer can select the required actions (or steps) and combine them into a sequence – a scenario.

Such a scenario can be created without much difficulty in 10-15 minutes. In addition, do not forget that many modern test automation tools utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. This allows, for example, the use of computer vision for automated testing of interfaces, traffic analysis during API checking, fixing scripts containing errors, in-depth processing of test results, and so on.

Great, but what about coding? This feature is implemented in such a way that QA engineers with a thorough understanding of software architecture can rework test cases by injecting their own pieces of code into them. Thus, testers have the opportunity to influence cases, adapting them for specific tasks and making them more flexible.

Hence, low code test automation tools provide an opportunity for experienced engineers to optimize typical steps in scripts to expand the possibilities for application testing. Considering the fact that these tools also have all the functionality of codeless solutions, they definitely look like the flawless option, don't they?

Why People Prefer Codeless Automation Testing Tools

The codeless testing market is jammed with a huge number of different solutions. For any purpose and budget, there is probably a codeless test automation software suite. No-code tools are a trend that is here to stay since there are a bunch of weighty reasons for that. Here are just some of them.

No programming – no headache. When it comes to software testing, the quality of the scenarios depends solely on how well testers understand the essential ideas of quality control, and not on their skills in writing code. In this way, QA engineers can make progress in professional development by leaps and bounds, with less focus on those stages of learning that are not as relevant in the present-day web development industry.

It is easier to become a valuable engineer. As we wrote above, the indisputable advantage of codeless test automation tools is the fact that you do not need to have knowledge of programming languages ​​to use them. For many people, the journey in the world of testing began with these solutions. After all, it is a great starting point!

It's no good hiring large teams of testers. For small companies, codeless test automation is a lifesaver. Not only will they be able to significantly increase test coverage with the help of automation, but they will also not have to outsource tests or hire QA specialists. The minimum required amount of testing can be easily implemented on your own, distributing some of the responsibilities even to designers and managers.

Adhering to the Agile methodology just got easier. As we can see, it all comes down to the fact that the real rock stars are codeless test automation tools. Managers, novice testers, and web designers are crazy about such software – in general, anyone who does not know how to code. Processes within the team will become faster, projects will be completed on time, and the final product will be of high quality.

So it turns out that codeless testing tools have won their diverse fan base without even having code-related functionality. Meanwhile, low code test automation tools remain professional tools whose coding functions will never interest the average user. More is not necessarily better. Fine-tuning tests manually via coding is the preserve of meticulous experts and is unlikely to be needed to test standard websites and simple web applications.

Code and No Code – Choosing the Best Approach

Once you're clear on the strengths and weaknesses of both methods, it's time to determine which approach works best for you. We have collected the main points in the table below.

Low code testing tools

Codeless testing tools

Test cases can be customized via coding

Test cases can’t be customized via coding

Fine choice for experienced QA engineers

Fine choice for people with low level coding skills

Better for testing complex web apps

Better for testing simple web apps and websites

Both types of software are suitable for test automation via the visual- or text-based user interface

We suggest you try to implement a codeless automation testing system into your development processes. Its functionality is not much different from low code test automation tools, but the codeless testing market is much more diverse. It can offer you better options with price tags and additional features to meet your every need.

Let's face it – not everyone needs the function of customizing test scripts utilizing coding. You probably won't have to worry about the lack of low-code features if you run a small startup or develop simple websites. Of course, if you create sophisticated web apps, you'd better take care to fine-tune your testing processes.

Thus, it can be concluded that in most cases you will not lose if you decide to go for codeless test automation tools.

What Are the Real-Life Examples of Codeless Testing Tools

Web development is the industry in which the issue of testing is especially acute. According to present-day surveys, up to 77% of all testers are inspecting websites and web applications. For this reason, the codeless testing market is full of various software for dealing with web-based projects.

One of the best solutions at the moment is DogQ, an easy-to-use codeless test automation platform. DogQ stands out from the competition with its friendly user interface and intuitive dashboard. It only takes 5 minutes to create your first test script in DogQ, it's very easy.

DogQ has a handy dashboard

You can use not only no-code API testing but also codeless UI testing functionality. With the help of computer vision, DogQ will detect the elements available to add to the scenario. All you should do is assemble the test case the way you need it, run it and wait till it’s done.

You can try DogQ free trial right now. If your projects require more, get a custom subscription and pay only for the functionality you really use.

Drawing Conclusions

Codeless automation testing tools and low code test automation tools have a lot in common but differ in details. However, these small differences are the key factor for the companies choosing test automation tools.
We strongly recommend that you consider implementing a codeless automation testing solution since in most cases, this functionality is more than enough. But if you know why you actually need coding-related functionality feel free to try some low code test automation tools.