5 Common Mistakes in Automated Testing

By Bogdan Ivanov

Lead Software Developer

DDI Development

October 15, 2021

Blog

5 Common Mistakes in Automated Testing

Test automation is widely used by companies because it performs time-consuming app testing tasks. Despite its usefulness, there are some implications of automated testing. Automation teams often make mistakes that can harm overall achievement. 

The 5 Most Common Test Automation Mistakes to Avoid

Test automation was one of the most popular trends in mobile testing in 2020. However, not every company uses automated testing for Quality Assurance (QA). The reason for this is because many teams encounter a lot of problems while applying test automation. It can be easier to achieve high product quality if you learn about possible problems before encountering them. In this article, we will go over possible mistakes and provide possible solutions for them. 

1. Selected tools are not suitable

The fact that there is a wide range of tools that you could get with any budget does not mean that you should buy as many tools as possible. In fact, such abundance of tools can affect your decision-making, leading to wrong tool selection.

The types of problems that can be solved by automated testing are very different and thus there is no such all-purpose tool that would work for all the issues. To ensure effective tool selection, you should start by identifying the problems you want to address. It is much easier to choose the right tools when you know what to look for. The best way to avoid wrong tool selection is analyzing the methods of project development, be it the focus on quality assurance or quality control, and evaluating the team member’s skills. Otherwise, you risk bringing a wrong set of tools to the team. If the tool set is not compatible with the team’s experience, it will take more time to become familiar with it. 

2. Manual testing is replaced by automated testing

Test automation is an excellent tool for reducing time spent for testing but it should not be treated as a substitute for manual testing. Not using manual testing at all can result in inefficient testing. You can think of automated and manual testing as the difference between using a car and going by foot. In most cases, driving a car will be the most efficient and fastest option. However, there are some places that can’t be reached by car because there is no road. In the similar way, automated testing is cost-efficient and time-saving but not in all cases. The most effective strategy is a combination of automated testing with manual testing that supplement each other.  

3. Record and Playback features are used

Most contemporary tools come with built-in record-and-play capabilities. These features allow the testers to develop automated scripts for different situations in a short period of time. However, this is where the largest snare is hidden: these automation programs are constructed using static data. Since they do not record the validations, any change that happens has to be recorded and analyzed by the testers. This potentially destroys the dynamic data.

At the beginning of the test automation process, engineers don’t know the project’s automation methodology. Therefore, they may rely on the record and playback feature. Ideally, record and playback testing should only be used to create skeleton scripts, while the final stage of automated testing is to be performed without this feature. The main disadvantage of the record and playback tool is that it generates complex scripts that are difficult to support. However, successful automation testing requires simple scripts to enable every team member to understand and maintain them. 

4. Insufficient test validation

Data verification is an essential part of testing. Testing engineers often make a critical mistake by failing to validate scenarios at different levels. This can generate a series of problems with functionality. Below are the most common problems associated with test validation.

  • Absence of validation 

Creating and using scripts without any validation is a weak point in many teams. Checkpoints should be placed at as many places as possible to ensure a full coverage of possible errors. They help notice any changes within a data source over time. This is especially important when you work with databases, since there are a lot of changing values. 

  • Focusing on visible validation only

At first glance, the user interface (UI) functionality may seem to work quite well. However, on the flip side of the site, errors can occur at the database level. For instance, insufficient data integrity can cause large-scale system problems. That is why test automation codes must be built to evaluate functionality not only at the UI level but at all levels. 

5. Testing without a business case

A polished business case or a suitable plan will enable you to set up the right measurements to evaluate the success of automated testing. A useful question to ask is, “Will automated testing save time and costs associated with the project?” Assembling a test automation business case with clearly defined goals and financial benefits can help you decide where to put more effort. Including a clear Return on Investment (ROI) objectives in IT strategy will benefit your stakeholders and business as a whole. 

Conclusion

Automated testing can bring a lot of advantages to the IT business, but a wrong strategy for automated testing can harm your project’s productivity. It is undeniable that testing engineers can make mistakes that were listed above. Being aware of the source of these mistakes and knowing how to address them will help you boost the efficiency of the test automation process and improve the quality of your final products.  


Bogdan Ivanov is a CTO at DDI Development. He is a professional with an advanced degree in web development, and 7 years of experience in building a technology strategy for the company’s projects. He has a deep understanding of network security, compliance, and operational security.

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