Common Automation Testing Failures along with Advice on Avoiding Them

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Isn’t it true that software test automation is the key to solving all QA issues? Automation may, in fact, go a long way toward improving the testing pipeline if done right. The keyword here, though, is “properly.” Automation must be addressed with realistic goals, the correct tools, and, most crucially, the right mindset in order to be effective on any long-term basis. One of the simplest methods to accomplish these goals is to conduct extensive research into automation, including why it works and why it fails. 

QA teams frequently make mistakes in their drive to conduct more test automation, which costs them time, money, and trust, but causes them to fall behind. Even though automation testing is now considered a critical driver of corporate growth, these missteps can make your team too afraid to attempt again. However, the good news is that these blunders can almost always be avoided.

This article goes through a few of the most typical reasons why automation efforts go wrong. By studying them, testers, developers, and project stakeholders will be able to identify what to avoid when running automated test pipelines.

Some common automation testing failures along with advice on avoiding them

1. Defined Goals

It’s tempting to go right in and start building lists of things to automate, then to look for tools to help in the process. However, there is a step that should come before that. Teams should ask themselves, “Why are we automating this in the first place? What risk are we seeking to avoid with our test, so how can automation testing help?”.  

Advice: Define each automation initiative’s goals and expectations carefully, and keep in mind that every possibility of automation should contribute to “quality at speed” in a demonstrable way. 

2. Less visibility

Often, when an organization first implements automation, just a few people are responsible for automated testing, while the rest of the workforce is mostly uninformed of how it works. Because individuals do not take automation tactics seriously until they are aware of how they work and make testing easier, this lack of visibility nearly invariably leads to failure.

If the right individuals in a company aren’t aware of automation efforts, testers will miss out on opportunities to cooperate with them. It’s unrealistic to expect two to five people to conduct automated testing on their own, especially as the amount of code produced by developers grows.

Advice: Here are a few ideas for increasing your visibility:

·   Ensure that information about what functionalities are being automated and how the automation framework has been set up is easily accessible.

·   Make sure that the outcomes of automation projects are accessible to the entire team.

3. Automating wrong things

Many teams attempt to automate processes that aren’t suitable for automation. One common blunder in this area is attempting to automate your existing testing activities one by one. As a result, testers waste a lot of time and energy on things that do not need to be automated, or shouldn’t be automated in the first place. You may, for example, try to automate all of your current regression tests. That can be a disaster since automation doesn’t function very well that way. And if you only run a test once a year, it is not a good idea to invest months developing a framework and scripts to automate it. Do not just automate everything you can.  Make sure you’re targeting something that will give you genuine value right from the outset.

Advice: The tests that are regular and dependable are the best to automate. It will not respond well to automation if there is any kind of randomness involved or if the code is constantly changing. Look for tests that you will repeat or things like performance testing that can only be done using an automated tool for a successful conclusion with a measurable ROI.

4. Testing several things in a single test case

Because of this, a test case that is designed to check several aspects can fail in multiple ways. This means that if a test case fails, it must be manually examined to see what went wrong.

Advice: Build test cases in such a way that they logically only test one aspect. When a test case fails, there is no question about what went wrong. Instead of bundling numerous tests into a single test case, it’s ideal to use your test automation platform to create reusable components. This makes it simple to reuse logic from previous test cases, and it cuts down on the time it takes to construct a new test case.

5. Trying to execute many test cases in a predefined and exact order

Each test case should only test for one thing. The “atomic” testing ideal states that each case should be able to execute independently without relying on previous cases, and that the sequence in which cases are run should not matter. The reason for this is that if your test suite contains hundreds of tests that must be run in a specific order, and one of the test cases fails, you must re-test the entire suite. Identifying the error would also necessitate manual inspection. This is, without a doubt, inefficient. Furthermore, how can you trust the findings of tests #63-100 if test #62 fails in an interdependent series of 100 tests? When it comes to automated testing, test teams might create and schedule automated test cases with the idea that they’re constructing a sequence that needs to be done in a specific order. This method works against the advantages of test automation, such as flexibility and agility.

Advice: Build isolated and self-contained automated test cases as a best practice. This allows them to be scheduled all at once to run at any time and in parallel, i.e. across several settings.

6. Picking the right tools

Many executives desire to use only one tool for the whole company. That’s a mistake since you want to automate a variety of issues, and one tool will not be able to handle them all. Rather than purchasing a tool and then finding an issue for it, the trick is figuring out what problem you want to address with it. The proper tools for the right project and the appropriate team should be the goal.  Otherwise, you risk bringing tools onboard only to discover that you’ll need to undertake a lot of modifications or adjustments to get them to accomplish what you need. Problems emerge in the real world because of the technical capabilities (or lack thereof) of the individuals who will work with the tools.  Make sure you understand what specific skills your team will need to utilize any tool successfully. This should be included in your request for proposal. Sellers customize their solutions towards the “personas” that are most likely to utilize them. There are three sorts of tester profiles: 

·   Developer-testers that choose to write tests in their favourite coding language

·   Technical testers and test automation experts that prefer higher-level modelling-based techniques that don’t need coding knowledge.

·   Business testers, nontechnical persons who do acceptance testing, usability testing, and other types of testing, like to write tests in normal language.

You will always get into difficulty if you purchase a product developed for developer testing. As businesses go beyond their limited supply of developer-testers and seek other personas to assist with test automation, this is likely to become increasingly common.

Advice: Before looking for a tool, define the exact issues you need to tackle, and experiment before you purchase. Take each tool through the whole development lifecycle for a two-week proof-of-concept trial to examine how it performs in your context and to ensure it solves the issue that you are attempting to solve. To identify skill gaps, do a trial run with each tool you’re considering, using the real testers who’ll be using it. Search for tools that can be used by both programmers and non-coders. Some functional test automation systems, for example, allow for both scriptless and script-based modification. These tools do not need extensive programming expertise and will be simpler to use for everyone. Also, make sure you have a budget set out for upskilling your employees as needed.

7. No collective ownership

When you introduce an automated tool, you run the risk of a high learning curve or technological difficulties that consume too much time and need a lot of team assistance. This diverts time and attention away from the essential objectives of testers (building test cases, reporting, analyzing requirements, etc.). Most automation technologies require users to program, which increases the gap between technical testers who can code and “non-technical” testers who can’t in teams that utilize them. In most cases, the technical team members are tasked with developing test automation, with little or no ownership shared with the rest of the team. This division in a team may lead to a number of problems:

·   If just a few people own automation, they are the only ones who understand and can handle automated test cases, as well as assess automated test findings.

·   It’s possible that by allowing only “technical” testers to interact with automated tests, testers with highly specialized domain expertise will be left out of the loop. These individuals have in-depth knowledge of the program being tested and may give useful information when writing test cases for automation.

·   If the “owners” of the automation quit the organization, they leave a set of test cases that no one can utilize. After that, time must be set aside to construct these test cases.

Advice: Keep in mind that automation success is dependent on a team’s combined expertise. Deploy an automated test platform that all testers can use, so that automation becomes an automatic part of everyone’s everyday job.

Over the next two to three years smart test automation is set to bring about substantial changes in the way testing is done. If you want to enjoy the rewards, you’ll need a strategy and a plan in place. You can outsource your automation testing requirements from reliable testing platforms like LambdaTest that are safe, secured, fast, and efficient. With their team of skilled experts and knowledgeable professionals, you can perform cross-browser testing on 3000+ web and mobile browsers that too seamlessly and strategically.

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