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There are several automation testing challenges that are common in most companies. Let’s have a look at the most common challenges in most organizations today.
A common challenge facing automation testers are any manual steps required for setup or integration. The more complicated the project, the greater the challenges that arise. This article looks at some of these issues and what can be done about them.
What is automation testing?
Automation testing is the process of running tests without human intervention. Automation testing helps automate repetitive tasks to make development processes more efficient, enabling teams to work with a greater focus on new features and bug fixes. To read more about the difference between manual and automation testing – read this article.
Common automation testing challenges
Initial high implementation costs
The first major issue is the cost to assemble a qualified automation team for the company/task. In many cases, particularly in resource-constrained environments, it can be cost-prohibitive to do these tests at all. The costs may be constrained by:
It is important that the team tasked with automation understands and accepts the existing process(es) and associated risks. This understanding can help facilitate acceptance of what will be automated, and it will ensure that the prioritization of testing reflects the process as it exists today.
Lack of or insufficient testing expertise
This is an issue common to enterprise projects as well as those for smaller companies/organizations. Due to various factors (increased complexity, need for speedy implementation) there is a shortage of skilled testers on many projects. There may also be a lack of training opportunities available to developers in test, usually because there are so few test resources available to teach them.
Incompatible in testing ecosystems /gaps in coverage
Another common problem with organizations that have a variety of products or services is the fragmented automation testing skillset. The more products and services there are, the more difficult it can be to find people who have a comprehensive understanding of all those products and services, as well as those who can effectively navigate between those areas.
Another problem with fragmentation is gaps in coverage. Test coverage tools need to be able to find areas of code that are not covered by tests. This is very difficult if the tools are unable to accurately annotate test coverage across all systems. This lack of accuracy can cause developers to simply under-test some functionality – leading to possible problems in future.
User interface inconsistencies
The visual interface element of an application is often neglected during initial development but can become a critical aspect later on. If the interface changes, the software fails, and it is considered vital that automated testing still works after any user interface changes have been made.
Reports that are hard to interpret
If the automation tests are not well integrated and it is difficult for testers to determine what results are expected. If the tests are hard to understand and interpret, developers will tend to automate “tricky” features, and end up with a process that is less effective than one that is easier to implement and maintain.
Lack of proper collaboration and continuity of work between teams
Testing should be tightly integrated into the development process as far as resource availability and costs allow. Testing must complement the developers’ work; they should not replace them. The benefits of having automated testing will be more apparent as the product matures and has fundamental changes such as code refactoring or API changes. When testers mis-understand the test
Mismatch between needs and capability
The automation team should include testing experts with experience in specific technologies and testing tools. Issues can arise if the team lacks the required skills to perform test implementation and maintenance.
Different test execution platforms and frameworks
Organizations increasingly need to be able to run automation tests on not only multiple platforms (e.g., Windows, Linux, etc.), but also different frameworks (e.g., Selenium WebDriver vs. Appium). This can cause problems as teams find themselves less able to share automation tests across projects.
Too much emphasis on automation over results
This is a dangerous one. If teams run tests purely for the sake of running them, they will generate a lot of noise and not much in the way of actual results. Lack of proper code review processes
For a reliable test, the automation needs to be integrated with existing coding standards and testing processes. The right personnel need to be involved so that the automation is able to change with changes in both development and testing practices.
Incorporating too many techniques in too short a time frame
This can hinder automation efforts, as it leads to a lack of consistency and proper testing methodology. Each technique has its limitations and advantages; balancing their use is critical to effective automation. This means not only risk mitigation but also focusing on test development based on what will provide positive test outcomes (i.e., code coverage).
Testing is crucial for the security of software. Therefore, developers should have automated testing in place to test their code. If the code is tested, it will be easier to find bugs that can’t be found by human testers.
There are many ways to improve test automation, but there’s no one size fits all approach for all projects. The most important thing is to know your tests, what they do what they don’t do. This means writing them by hand, making sure they do their job, not just copy and pasting them into another piece of software.