Top automation testing risks and how to avoid them

Audio fingerprinting being used to track web users, study finds
Audio fingerprinting being used to track web users, study finds

Over the last several years, QA test automation has become a trend in software development.  Not surprisingly, as with its help, one can enhance testing processes starting from a simple input/output check to the complex vulnerability testing. With the benefits it brings to the project like receiving results faster and using human resources more effectively, there are some threats that you need to mitigate to ensure the success of the automation project.  

So here we go with the list of the risks you may encounter in QA automation along with the tips on how to avoid them:

Issues with software automation tools 

During the implementation of automatic tests and increase of test coverage, there can be support or compatibility issues with the tool used for test automation. In such cases, you will need to investigate the possibility of tailoring the tool according to the specific needs or seek help from the vendor’s support team. It slows down the automation process and in the worst-case scenario may lead to the change of the tool in the middle of the project. It means that all the present test cases should be migrated to a new tool  being another pain point for your team.

Way out: In attempts to find the perfect test automation software make sure to compile the requirements for its functionality, supported platforms, and  test types. Also, check and compare several tools before making a final decision. If you decide to go with the licensed tools, make sure to clarify the scope of support from the vendor’s side. 

Tests in Monolith 

During the first interactions with the automation, there’s a risk of writing lengthy test scripts with many dependencies. It may play a bad trick with testers requiring the global changes when the dependent component is updated or removed. When it comes to troubleshooting, examining long pieces of code would require more time to find the solution. 

Way out: Try to create separate small test cases that are easy to manage and do not have interdependent components from the very beginning. If a need occurs, you will be able to reuse them when expanding the existing flows.

Automation from day one

If you plan a new development project, there’s a temptation to introduce automation right from the start to reduce the time spent on the testing. In reality, it may turn out to become a never-ending process of introducing corrections At the beginning of the project, there is a lot of uncertainty, meaning that the business logic and requirements for the application are not defined, thus they undergo some changes to achieve more or less stability.

Way out: Avoid automating from day one, and wait until the key flows are established. It will help to use your resources wisely and avoid cases when everything needs to be reworked from the scratch. The exception can be done for unit testing as here only a single code function is tested in the process of development.

Automating the wrong things

This risk often occurs in projects where manual testing is previously in use. It may happen that after automating a certain thing you may discover that the test maintenance takes more time and effort than the actual use from it because it’s used once or twice per year. 

Way out: Gather all the tests that are currently used on the project and select some small routine cases to automate like filling in contact forms, or testing a purchase flow. Note that if a test case can be automated it does not mean that it should be. Match the development efforts against the actual benefit to assess whether it’s worth the resources.  

When implemented wisely, automation is a powerful tool for optimizing the software development process, and knowing about the risks on the way will help to carefully plan the project and make your automation journey smooth and joyful.