Automation testing – Myths and Realities

It is always very important to analyse what purpose does a particular technology serve before adapting it into your organisation.Even though Automated Software Testing has several known advantages like High productivity,Faster Regression,Quick Feedback to Development teams,Increased ROI to name some, not all organisations can adapt to Automated Software Testing and replace Manual Testing.A Lot of Testers have superstitious beliefs that Automation Testing is better than Manual Testing and the former testing can replace the later,however, this is true only in a few circumstances.A testing team should be aware of the Myths and the Realities of the Automation Testing and then jump to accept it.Here are a few misnomers of Automation Testing followed by their realities.

#Automated Software Testing is Fast! -Myth

#Well Automation testing does consume time! – Reality

Automated Software Testing can help the organization in a big way when used in the right way and with the right set of expectations. But for this to be possible, we have to put in some time, money and most importantly patience.Testers need to understand the domain, the test cases to be automated and then choose a framework accordingly to Build automated scripts. This will result in strong foundation building for further challenges to come.

The amount of efforts to be put in for Automated Software Testing is equal to the amount of efforts that are put in for developing an application which needs thorough validation. Automation testing scripts must be scrutinized properly keeping every possible set of test data under consideration which also includes negative testing. Failing to do so and handing over a partly tested tool consequently leads to failure of automated scripts during execution, as a result of which you tend to lose confidence in the tool…

#Automated Software Testing is a Replacement for Manual Testing! – Myth

#Automation Testing does prove to be better than Manual Testing,but not always!-Reality

Just the way robots cannot replace humans on earth , automated machine testing will never be able to replace the manual testing capabilities completely . Rather it is unrealistic to believe that automation testing is a replacement for manual testing. A project will always need a human brain to analyze the test results for applications that are unstable and change frequently.In this case, automation testing is used only as a reference and not a replacement.Automation testing is best suited for applications which are static, independent of other modules and needs to be checked during regression testing or for applications whose development is complete.

#Automated Software Testing has Quick ROI! -Myth

#Automation Testing’s ROI is a long term return! – Reality

While implementing Automated testing Solutions ,apart from just writing the test scripts there are also a few interrelated software developmental tasks that are involved.First of a framework that can support the testing operations has to be developed , which a huge task in itself and will require highly skilled people to work on it.However even if a team decides to us a fully developed framework , the initial test case checks will take more time than manually executing the test.So if an application is still in the developmental stage and requires quick feedback , Test Automation is not the right action. The ROI of Automation Testing is, therefore, a long run action plan.

#Automated Software Testing hold good for any Test Case Scenario! -Myth

#Automated testing at GUI layer is always a critical problem! – Reality

Automation Testing to check the process flows, to check user experience with the application or to check the integration with 3rd party application works considerably well.But when it comes to using Automation Testing for checking the functionality of a GUI of a system this will have a setback.GUI of a system undergoes frequent changes in their designs and usability,Although the functionality of the UI remains the same and this is the reason why Test Automation for a UI constantly fails.Having Automation Testing applied on UI is also slower in speed and so is the feedback to the developers from Automation testing.

#Expecting Cent % Automation without any Failure! – Myth

#Executing Automated Software Testing without a failure is practically Impossible! -Reality

There can be several reasons why test scripts (software testing program) can fail in their execution.Be it due to data variation or environment issues(down), or network issues (failure),or changes in the UI failure of Test cases cannot be ruled out.

Conclusions :

Automation Testing is undeniably a prime strategy for any Testing team yet not all organisation sail through in adapting it. This can be addressed by taking care of the following points :

  • Before adapting Test Automation first do some homework on understanding the application which has to be automated,this will help in setting the right deadlines and expectations.

  • Discuss and decide with the team as to what are key areas that need to be automated.

  • Automation Testing is only for stable and developed applications and not for those applications that keep changing from time to time.

  • Do not be afraid of tests that are constantly giving wrong results instead keep faith and aim at a clean and reliable test suite.

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