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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What are common problems of test automation?

With the number of complex and advance applications increasing, the need for automation testing has also taken a strategic and critical point. In the past, the applications were quite simple and free of jargon. Assuming the level of testing to be sufficient at that time, how can we even think of testing today’s explosive software systems and applications with that level of software testing?

At this point of thinking, we come across two possibilities out of which first one is to increase the working staff and second one is to increase the level of testing. Following the first possibility seems like a bit ambiguous because the number of skilled testers is often less. So we are left with the second possibility. 

Over the years the testing has advanced and today we have what is called test automation process by virtue of which so many manual testing processes have been automated and precious human time has been saved. But this process too is not free of faults and problems. In this article we have focussed up on the common problems of the test automation.

Common Problems of Test Automation

- If you see the past cases you will come to know that the test automation did not reached the level of success at which it is today in one go itself, rather it faced many failures in the beginning. 
So many test automation efforts were born which eventually died because of lack of efficiency in them. 

The First Problem:
- With test automation process, the vendors who develop and sell test automation tools do not provide any instantaneous demonstrations of the working of their tool and the simplicity and efficiency of the tools cannot be rightly judged. 
- What we see are some of the software systems and applications that the vendor has and up on which the testing tools work quite efficiently and think those tools will work in the same way for our applications also. 
- Consequently, what happens is that after doing many projects also we do not achieve same level of success. 
But we cannot blame the testing tools for the whole thing. 
- One possibility is also that the elements present in our software system or application might not be compatible with the testing tools that we are employing to test them.
- The only way to escape such pitfalls is that we try to develop some creative solutions using which we can make our software systems and applications compatible with the testing tools.
- This is perhaps the only way to make the testing tools work with our software systems and applications.
- There are so many commercial testing tools available that are marketed as solutions for testing the software products instead of being sold as solid aids for a wide test automation frame work. 
- One thing is common among all the software testing tools which is that they all contain one or the other scripting language that allows us to discover each tool’s failings. 

The Second Problem:
- Another problem with automation testing is that the testers carrying out the automation are not having any high development experience nor do they have been given ample training to exploit these testing processes and programming environments. 
- The automation testing requires both programming skills and testing skills, but what we have are only testers i.e., the testers who are not programmers. 
- Therefore for test automation to be effective, it is necessary that they should be expert in both testing as well as in programming. 
- Due to a lack of experience, the developers often make a simple solution far too complex to be maintained and implemented. 

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