Making the switch from Manual Testing to Automation Testing can be worthwhile. However, this modern method of software testing comes with several challenges. If you fail to resolve them, Automation Testing won't deliver the values it should.
In this article, let's identify the 5 most common challenges your QA team might face when they start to dip their toes into Automation Testing.
01. Communication and Collaboration
To make Automation Testing work, your team would need much more synergy than that of Manual Testing. This means you have to get everyone on the same page when designing the automation testing strategy.
Testers, developers, business analysts, project managers, and in some cases, even the management team and some specific groups of users must sit back together and get everything agreed-upon. Note that an automation testing strategy is not just about plans, scope, tasks, or timeframe. It also specifies what types of tests, types of testing, or types of testing phase to be automated. Everything needs to be communicated clearly to every stakeholder.
Furthermore, testers and developers alike have to make a convincing business case for Automation Testing, a cost-and-benefit analysis, and Return on Investment (ROI) analysis presented to the higher management team. Sometimes top executives would require the team to build a proof of concept.
02. Tool Evaluation and Selection
You cannot do automation testing without test automation tools.
There is a wide variety of test automation tools today for you to evaluate. They can be free & open source like Katalon and Selenium, or commercial ones like TestComplete. These tools also differ from each other in the testing types and technologies that they support.
Though each test automation tool nowadays is great in its own right, not every tool is suitable for your team and project. Many teams got stuck at this stage because they don't have enough skills to use the tool they prefer, their set of tools cannot provide full test coverage, or simply because the tool they want just doesn't exist.
Therefore, you must do extensive research into your preferred tools. If a single tool cannot meet all your needs, do not hesitate to adopt a set of tools.
And also take your budget into account when evaluating them. Some tips including listing all the requirements of the tool based on the Application Under Test (AUT) that you want to perform automation testing, or look for expert reviews on the tools.
03. Test Automation Skills
Flawless automation testing is a combined effort of tools and expert skills.
There's still a common misconception that manual testers are enough to carry out automation testing as most tools nowadays support test script recording and playback. That's why many automation testing efforts fall short: they just cannot use the automation tools to their full advantage.
Your test automation wouldn't be able to work at its best without experts who not only know the tool from the inside out but also have the right skillsets. Recently, there has been a growing need for a new kind of role: automation testers. They are experts at designing and maintaining automation frameworks, writing test scripts, developing automation solutions. Automation testers are also responsible for solving technical problems.
04. Upfront investment
When implementing automation testing, the initial phase can be costly. There's a long list of works to get done. This certainly includes analyzing, designing, choosing, or building the automation framework, libraries, reusable functions, and many more.
Aside from the operational costs that you have to cover on a regular basis, many tools would require direct licensing costs.
Moreover, no matter what types of tools you use, open-source or paid, you would find it key to investing in training your team about the automation framework and the automation tools.
And don't forget to consider the hardware and software costs.
05. The selection of test cases to be automated
Not every test case can be automated. This is true for test cases of nature such as compatibility, user interface, or recovery. These types of test cases still need to be executed manually.
To decide which test cases are to be automated, you need to develop a list of criteria that those test cases must meet.
Most often, you don't want to run automation tests on features that are prone to risk, that have high interest to clients, or have business logic.
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