How no-code test automation closes the skills gap & accelerates digital transformation

Christian Brink Frederiksen, CEO and Co-Founder at Leapwork looks at why so many companies are failing to successfully adopt and scale test automation, and how no-code test automation can help.

Red cubes say the phrase no code against a green chip background

This is a contributed article by Christian Brink Frederiksen, CEO and Co-Founder at Leapwork.


During the pandemic, companies increased their adoption of digital technologies by several years as they transformed their business models to meet new customer demands. While this pace of software development enabled them to gain a strong competitive advantage, it also puts huge pressure on IT teams to scale, often with limited resources.

A critical step on this journey is having effective testing capabilities in place to find and fix any errors before a new software is rolled out to market. This lowers the risk of outages and software failures occurring after launch, which can negatively impact a company’s reputation, and ultimately the bottom line. As more and more enterprises are realising the huge business risks associated with poor quality software, quality assurance now accounts for up to 25% of all IT spend.

Historically, software testing was done manually, with testers focusing more on exploratory testing. But testing needs to keep up with increasingly sophisticated requirements and automation is the answer. Despite this, only 15% of all testing today is automated, leaving a whopping 85% of testing that is still conducted manually. So, what’s going wrong? Why are so many companies failing to successfully adopt and scale test automation?

While companies attempt to transition from manual to automated testing, they find themselves needing to rely on developer skills to operate complex, code-heavy tools. With a major global developer skills shortage this creates bottlenecks, increases costs, and delays project delivery times as development teams try to upskill manual testers, hire new talent, and lean on their existing developers for support. This is all while navigating tight deadlines to deliver quality at speed and meet new customer demands. But without a solution, the consequence for companies includes loss of productivity, slower time to market, and increased risk and costs. So, how can development teams bridge the skills gap to ensure their project delivery schedule stays within budget and on track, and continues to create rapid value for the business?

The changing role of the software tester

Manual testers are trained subject matter experts and contribute essential information about how a business process should run. But they’re not traditionally trained to code.  

Companies are beginning to recognise the need to consider automating their testing practices and will soon find there are a number of solutions on the market today that are either heavily code-based, or what is often described as “low-code”. The issue with low-code solutions is that they require a basic understanding of code. Organisations that adopt code-based or low-code solutions and expect their manual testing teams to adopt and scale automation at the drop of a hat are doing their teams a disservice. Manual testers should not be expected to know how to code, and attempting to hastily upskill them is not the solution.  

It’s a tools gap, not a skills gap

Many development teams perceive their main barrier to increasing productivity, mitigating risk and reducing costs as not being able to find the right people to manage test automation. But when it comes to test automation, rather than a lack of skills, it’s the more ill-suited, code-dependent automation tools that cause the real problem, not the people. It would be more appropriate to view the current talent crisis as a tools gap, rather than a skills gap. To address this, businesses need to develop a strategy that lessens the dependency on skills and makes automation more inclusive by reducing the technical barrier to entry. 

No-code test automation means anyone can automate

One solution is no-code test automation, which enables manual testers and QA specialists to automate any kind of testing across any kind of technology without the need for coding skills. By using visual language to depict everyday business processes, the platform automates repetitive time-consuming processes enabling testers with varied skills to design, execute, maintain, and scale testing with ease and speed.

While there are also low-code solutions available, they still require employees to know how to code to maintain the software, whereas no-code allows anyone to automate workflows. Developers and technically skilled workers can then focus on higher-value tasks, and QA professionals can automate testing quickly and easily, so they have more time to focus on more valuable tasks.

Looking to the future

As the testing industry evolves to keep up with the rapid pace of software development, it’s clear the skills gap is only going to get wider. So, instead of focusing purely on skills, companies should adopt the right automation tools.

A no-code test automation solution provides the answer to the skills gap. By democratising automation with its visual, flowchart model easy for anyone to understand and use, it allows companies to harness their existing capabilities rather than recruiting new talent. This frees up the developer team’s time, allowing them to concentrate their efforts on the high-level work that fuels business innovation and accelerates digital transformation.

With 20 years’ experience across business, finance and enterprise software, by Christian Brink Frederiksen founded and exited the leading chain of co-workspaces and serviced offices in Denmark, before co-founding Leapwork in 2015. Since then, he has grown Leapwork from a startup into one of Denmark’s fastest-growing tech scaleups.