Automation Testing: Are You Doing It Wrong?

By  //  August 2, 2022

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You’re certain to make mistakes as an automated tester just starting. They may also occur if you are racing to automate website testing without thoroughly investigating the implications of your Selenium test automation scripts. While it is important to learn from your mistakes, it is always preferable to learn from others.

When you’re in charge of an automation testing project, you have a lot of obligations. An incorrect sign-off might cause a production outage, resulting in lost customers and reputation. 

Success in test automation is mainly about preventing mistakes that allow costly flaws to pass through—and even minor faults can have major effects. Below is a list of some of the most common (and deadly) errors recorded. The realization that your mistakes are as follows:

1. The User Interface Should Be Used To Execute All Of Your Tests.

The first twelve results on Google for “test automation” are nearly probably about controlling the entire system through the user interface. This entails using a browser or a mobile simulator to connect to a back end through the Internet. But that takes time.

This method works well in the first several weeks when doing checks takes only five minutes. However, five minutes can quickly stretch into an hour, two, and three. Testing can quickly lock up a tester’s PC or test environment for the entire afternoon. So you start automated test runs at 5 a.m. or 5 p.m., and the findings are available the next day. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong early on, the entire results will be tainted. This slows down the feedback loop from development to testing, causing work to stall.

While waiting for feedback, programmers move on to the next task, resulting in multitasking. Someone will eventually re-skin the user interface, and unless the tool includes some form of a business logic layer, all checks will fail, leaving you with no easy method to change the system. To get things done quickly, teams revert to human exploration, automation becomes obsolete, and it is finally discarded.

In the worst-case scenario, your testers spend the entire day fixing fake automation failures, modifying test code to reflect the system, and rerunning them, which may be of minor utility. Still, it is excessively expensive, and it is only useful when programmers make frequent changes that lead to actual failure. But that’s a problem you need to address, not just mask with testing tools.

2. Ignore The Pipeline For Building, Testing, And Deploying.

A customer recently asked my company to conduct an analysis and give test tooling recommendations. 

They were somewhat aback when we asked about their construction procedure and how they provided new homes. They said that a request for automating the testing process wasn’t on the table. When we ended our two-day consulting engagement, we would have waved our magic wands, and the customer would be able to run a script in ten minutes.

The time saved may not be worth it if the organization has a single shared test environment where alterations must be negotiated through change control. In front of testing, we’d have a big, fat bottleneck. Testing entails much more than just running tests and reporting findings. Testing includes environment setup, design, strategy, test results, and setup. If you don’t consider these when looking at test tooling, you’ll just be automating a small portion of the process.

Aside from environmental concerns, automated tests that must be performed by hand strain the team. Most of the teams we work with want to get started by manually executing computerized checks.

3. Using The User Interface, Create Test Data.

A tester told me that he spent 90% of his time setting up test conditions on a recent consulting engagement. Colleges and other major enterprises can use the application to customize their payment processing workflow. At one school, self-service kiosks may be built.

At the same time, a cash window with a teller may be erected at another who could only authorize up to a particular financial amount, maybe installed somewhere else. Others may demand that a transaction over a specific dollar amount be canceled or approved by management. 

Some schools only accepted certain credit cards, while others only accepted cash. To replicate any of these scenarios, the tester had to log in, manually create a workflow, and create a group of users with the appropriate rights before testing. When we first discussed automation methods, we talked about tools to control the user interface.

4. Keep Tests And Development Separate And Apart.

Another more subtle issue with test tooling, especially in user interface testing, is that it does not occur until the complete system has been deployed. To construct an automated test, all of the actions must be coded or, at the very least, recorded. Things will break along the way, and defects must be reported to the programmers.

Days after the tale is originally coded, you finally obtain a clean test run. However, once the test is completed, it is only useful in the event of a regression, in which something that worked yesterday no longer works today.

That combo has a lot of potential for failure. To begin with, the feedback loop between development and testing is delayed. The code likely lacks the hooks and affordances necessary for testing. Element IDs can be random or connected to a database, for example. We couldn’t cancel orders for one recent customer; therefore, the system put a new order as a row at the bottom.

The new orders arrived on page two after we completed 20 test runs! As a result, there was a layer of back and forth where the code didn’t perform what is needed to do the first time around.

5. Copy And Paste The Test Code.

Someone has to write the code at some point. Even if the recording/playback tool claims to be code-free, your software will eventually generate dates that need to be compared with today’s date and formatted, and you will need to use a code editor for that. Even if the individual producing the code is not a professional programmer, it is tempting to focus on getting the work done rather than doing it well.

At some point, someone might want to change the way the code works. When a process you’ve called a hundred times suddenly requires visitors to fill out a captcha or click a button before proceeding, the automation stops. Fixing it will take many finding and replacing, which may take days while the programmers keep moving ahead of you. After a few instances, the test technique becomes clunky and expensive, failing to deliver many benefits.

Creating logical functions is a good way of prevention. This is done in an organized, object-oriented approach with the page objects pattern.

6. Think Of Test Tooling As A Large Computer Program.

Writing code to drive the program is simple, but it quickly becomes complex and difficult to debug. Consider debugging a test failure that could imply a program failure or not. Without an obvious, clear separation, the code looks and feels like a giant lump of sludge. The less technically inclined employees may not be able to write new functions. Still, they may be able to develop this level of code and collaborate with a toolsmith or programmer who writes the code beneath the function call.

We create a system that benefits and can be maintained by multiple organizations by dividing the work into discrete, human-readable examples and implementation code. 

7. Automation Tool Selection

Another common error made by automation testers is not selecting the appropriate automation testing tool. A project comprises several components that each focus on a distinct testing goal. These objectives should be divided into various instruments that will assist you in achieving them more swiftly.

For example, if you want to test an API for your website, you should use Postman; however, if you want to ensure that your web application renders flawlessly across several browsers, an online Selenium Grid is your best bet for automated cross-browser testing.

In such a case, the most straightforward approach is to avoid jumping into software and then attempting to solve the problem using that software. Find the problem first, then find a tool to solve it.

8. Work Well With Your Other Testers

A testing team consists of a large number of employees. Each of these individuals possesses a unique set of abilities. Someone might excel at business testing while another excels at functional testing. However, that does not preclude you from discussing the status of your assignments with them.

The key to expediting product delivery is coordination. Recognize who is working on what, what tools, and what programming language they are comfortable with for test automation. Why?

That would undoubtedly assist you in debugging your test automation scripts. So if things go wrong, you’ll know where to go or rather who to go to! Knowing your team will also aid you in managing them when the need arises. Because, as previously said, a project may necessitate the employment of numerous automation testing tools like LambdaTest to achieve its overall purpose, it is advisable to allow your testers to use the device with which he is most familiar.

It is critical not to impose any duty or tool on somebody randomly. You can always do a dry run before commencing the testing technique to avoid this. You’ll have to coach anyone who doesn’t fit the bill.

9. Examine The Investment Returns

It’s a rookie mistake to consider the tester’s compensation as the only cost involved with the whole testing process. For example, let’s imagine that you wish to conduct cross-browser testing of your website. The cost of a tester’s wage is included. If your staff is unfamiliar with this form of testing or the tools that go along with it, you’ll need to educate them on the subject. This leads to higher costs. You’ll also need the correct automation tool or framework to execute automated browser testing.

You might think about using an open-source framework like Selenium today. You might not have to pay much more this way, right? Selenium, like everything else, isn’t flawless. Selenium automation testing has several drawbacks. 

The most important one is scalability. However, you can only test your websites using the Selenium Grid browsers installed on your workstation. You may now need to test on hundreds of browsers, browser versions, and operating systems for mobile and desktop devices. It will take time and money to do this on your own. Choosing a device lab will save you money. So, what are your options?

You can use LambdaTest to perform web automation testing on an online Selenium Grid. What is the most enjoyable aspect? It’s all on the cloud, so you can skip the burden of managing your infrastructure and go for cloud-hosted distributed machines instead. Not only would you save time, but you would also save money.

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to test tooling, but there are some that are incorrect. “Quick victories” may seem cheap and easy, but they aren’t if they result in a costly system to maintain, if not impossible. It may result in additional delayed feedback loops between programmers and testers.

Take a step back before attempting to control the GUI. Examine the application’s layers. Check to see which operations are truly repetitive and how much time you may save by automating them.

Examine your test automation playbook and choose anything that could result in a large win for little effort. Engage the programmers in developing a solution that will benefit the entire team. Focus on things that add speed without dragging, and avoid the worst of the faults, and you’ll probably be fine.