test automation

What you can gain and what not to do with test automation

12 Jul 2018

QA engineer

What can’t test automation achieve?

  • immediate savings

Instead of employing 10 manual testers, we would like to automate tests. It never works that way. Firstly, a manual tester will usually have a greater understanding of the application they are testing. They focus on the business side of the software through documentation analysis.

They are open for discussion with business specialists on whether or not to carry out exploratory tests. A test engineer is more focused on the technical side of automated testing. Without the input from a manual tester, their testing will be weaker.

Secondly. In most cases, new features must be manually tested before machines are created. Another deciding factor is the constant necessity to maintain already automated scripts.

This makes it necessary to have a team of permanent test engineers. Just automating tests to an already existing feature is usually working for weeks or months. Automated tests save money but only in the long run and not without a team of testers.

  • 100% automation

Automating all tests and replacing them with manual tests is a risky idea. In addition, automating 100% of test cases does not have to be feasible or effective. There are tests where manual execution takes minutes and automation whole days. In such cases, it just isn’t worth it.

  • detecting a majority of errors

Nonsense! The nature of automated tests is a repetition of the same paths in a given application (possibly for other data sets). This is not a way to find new bugs. It’s just a confirmation that the old functionalities will not be broken by new changes.

  • green test reports

It is a common misconception that, once written, automatic tests will run indefinitely. And that they will post positive results. However, with new changes in the application, subsequent automatic tests will begin to break down. At which point, repairs will be necessary.

What are the benefits of automated tests?

  • an acceleration of software development

A faster execution of all automated regression tests means that we can test more application releases at the same time.

  • the certainty of application quality

Correctly automated tests give the team confidence that new functionalities do not spoil existing ones. And if a regression error is detected, it can be immediately re-tested.

  • improving the business dimension of application quality

Instead of firing manual testers, their time can be used differently. In other words, testers can strengthen cooperation with business. They can also look into the quality of applications from a higher level, i.e. see it as an effective way to achieve the specific goals for which it was.

Automation is not a fix-all solution

Most importantly the introduction of automated tests will not translate into a higher quality of applications and lower costs. However, automation properly planned and performed in cooperation with the entire team, can significantly increase the quality and speed of application creation.

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