In an age where bringing products to market quickly has become a key success-defining factor, the rate of adoption of automated testing is breaking all records. Today, automated testing is the go-to strategy for teams that want to speed up their testing efforts, increase test coverage, and enjoy faster releases.
However, the road to automated testing success is not always straightforward. The many myths that product teams believe block testers from getting the most out of the practice.
If you want to meet your testing objectives more efficiently, here are 5 automated testing myths you need to stop believing:
Myth 1: When you automate, you should automate 100%
Fact: There’s a lot automated testing brings to the table: efficient testing outcomes, better test coverage, faster feedback and more. But that doesn’t mean you can (or should) automate all of your tests. In fact, it’s impossible to automate every test – and probably the worst testing decision you can make to even try.
Automated tests offer the greatest results when used with manual testing. Since most automated tests are only capable of checking previously defined scripts, any new feature or integration that gets added must either be tested manually or added to the script. Prioritizing tests and knowing when (and which tests) to automate is far more important than just knowing how to automate. You will never be able to achieve 100% test coverage just through automated testing. You can, however, increase test coverage by running automated tests with more data and more configurations and cover a wider variety of operating systems, browsers, and devices.
Myth 2: Automated testing is expensive
Fact: There is no doubt that automated testing requires a substantial initial investment. However, when leveraged correctly, it can help save a lot of money in the long run. Once money has been spent on automated testing tools and software, hiring testers and training them to use the tools, the ROI of automated testing is well-established.
Since automated testing is a great way to extend test coverage, scale testing efforts, and mitigate risks, manual testers can spend their time productively in tasks that drive more value. When you calculate the cash spent on automated testing and compare it with the money saved due to the increased productivity of your testers, you will realize that automated testing isn’t as expensive as it appears. In fact, it is a great investment that can lead to far more profits in the long run.
Myth 3: Automated testing is more efficient than manual testing
Fact: Automated testing and manual testing are, just, different! Neither one is better nor worse than the other. They just have different uses. Manual testing is better for one-time tests or tests that require human observation, whereas automated testing is good for cases that need to be frequently tested.
What’s important is to understand which tests are better for manual testing, and which are more prone to manual errors that make automated testing the more practical option. As we’ve said, no matter how many tests you automate, you cannot eliminate manual testing. The only way you can achieve the outcomes you need from your testing efforts is when you find the right blend. Familiarizing yourself with the different use-cases and applying remedies appropriately is the only way to achieve the expected results.
Myth 4: You can set up automated testing and then forget about it
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, automated testing isn’t something you can set up once and forget. This is the Agile age and, hence, the age of continuous testing. Automated testing needs constant monitoring, so you know the outcomes are as expected.
This is especially true for teams where development needs change constantly, and code changes are made frequently. In such scenarios, test cases have to be regularly tweaked, and testers have to be constantly provided with training and on-boarding, so they can familiarize themselves with the new test suites. Although there is no doubt that the ROI of test automation will be apparent over time, if you want to get the most out of your testing efforts, you need to constantly monitor the tests.
Myth 5: Automated testing is a solution to all testing problems
Fact: Automated testing is not a magic wand. Although it does surmount many of the challenges of manual testing such as high rate of error, poor test coverage, and slow releases, it will not miraculously solve all your testing problems.
You might be tempted to aim for full coverage of tests through automated testing, but more tests do not necessarily mean better software quality. The success of your automated testing depends on how well the strategy has been designed. You will have to focus on the aspects of your software that will benefit the most from automated testing. Do not use the strategy as a means to eliminate manual testing altogether; instead, blend it with manual testing, and witness your software quality improve with time.
Create better quality solutions
As the need for better quality products becomes critically important, automated testing will become an even more integral part of the software development process. Although automated testing can help a great deal in reducing the time testers spend in testing, while improving the efficiency of the process, it isn’t a panacea to cure all your testing woes. You need to identify aspects of your testing that will benefit the most from automated testing and use it along with manual testing to create better quality solutions.