Automation Helps !?

‘Let robots do the work’ is the common phrase now floating on the technology floor. Test automation can be considered as robot of testing. Having test automation and achieving majority test coverage with it, is considered as best practise in agile methodologies. It helps to adopt continuous integration(CI) and continuous deployment(CD) process. But pragmatically, does adding test automation always helps? Does it give the satisfied returns on investments made. When we look for opinions and experiences, we often hear mix responses. For some teams, it works like charm, some are struggling with it, some pushing it to just win the title that they have automated tests and rest don’t even bother about automation.

Test automation has always been highly miss-understood way of testing. The rational behind test automation is to help teams and ease testing. Reusability, accuracy, quicker, scalable, volume of tests and coverage, long term savings on time and resources are key potential benefits of having test automation.

So what leads to make it convoluted and miscellaneous?

  • How we approach test automation, decides success of it. Mostly, a hidden agenda behind the automation is to show off or to prove technical abilities of test team and as expected this never leads to building an automation that helps team and testers.
  • Most team’s try to clone the similar model which has been successful in other teams. There’s no harm in learning and reusing but we should always thing what suits us better. Team product, process, skill sets might be different to other, which matter a lot when we decide on how to build automation.
  • Priority and bandwidth for test automation in team always differs as per product decisions. So main global while choosing automation tool has to be easy and quickness in automating tests. A complex and heavy solution will no doubt lag in automating tests run time.
  • Ignorance of maintaining existing automated tests leads to heap of non working tests. This again relates to having a tool that offers easy maintenance of suit and along side timely updating tests to keep them working.
  • ‘I am a tester and not developer to build automated tests.’ Testers always tend to focus more on domain and product expertise, which is their core area. To support the skill set of testers, team must choose the automation tool that requires minimal upgrading of existing skill set of testers in team. Automation tool must enable anyone in team to use it and keep adding tests to it.

Automated tests are indeed like robots but they don’t replace people at all. They are to help people and should always be considered to make the testing easy. They must be used to increase the quality of product by allowing team to focus more on intelligent testing. Automation should be enabler to test manually impractical scenarios and cover the large volume of platforms.

If used and build to its intended purpose, the automation will always help! Let us know your opinions in comments below.

3, February - 2022

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