What Are The Common Challenges And Pitfalls Of Test Automation At Different Levels Of The Pyramid?

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The process of organizing test data, automating tests, and using the results to raise the caliber of software is known as test automation. Although its primary purpose is quality assurance, the entire software production team is committed to its actions. Because test automation can automatically prepare and clean up the environment, it can cut down on the amount of time developers spend testing their programs. Furthermore, it has the ability to report test run findings for use in future analyses. This helps speed up the debugging process for developers.

In the world we live in, new upgrades are released practically daily. Due to its demonstrated business benefits, the practices of continuous integration and delivery have swept the world by storm. Let’s examine how the pyramid fits in now that we have a better understanding of test automation.

What is the Pyramid of Test Automation?

The different test kinds and the frequency at which they ought to show up in codebase’s test suite are represented by the test automation pyramid. All that matters is informing the developer right away that modifications to the code won’t affect current functionalities. There are three separate sections to the test pyramid – Unit Tests, Integration Tests, and End-to-End tests.

Unit tests provide the solid foundation that our test pyramid needs. In the test pyramid, this indicates that they are the most prevalent test type. A unit test concentrates on testing a single, tiny part of the codebase’s functionality. Verifying that the unit operates as anticipated in isolated circumstances is its main objective. This could apply to a class or a single function. The testing of many scenarios, from fault handling to the happy route, should be the main focus for developers.

Since the unit tests are the largest subset of tests in our pyramid and will keep growing as new features are added, the unit test suite ought to execute swiftly. Every time a developer modifies code, they should also run the unit test suite. This allows the developer to see right away if their new code broke any existing code in the source.

What Makes Automation Testing Crucial?

Automation of testing is a critical component of software development. Automation helps lower the possibility of human error while speeding up and optimizing test execution. Because it lowers expenses, saves time, and enhances quality, automated testing is crucial. Additionally, it enables developers to test their software more frequently, which can result in quicker feedback and the early identification of problems and defects.

Additionally, automated testing is far less expensive than human manual testing. All things considered, this kind of testing is a crucial part of contemporary software development, contributing to efficiency gains, cost savings, and quality improvement.

Seven Typical Automated Testing Challenges

These are the top 7 test automation mistakes that teams encounter most frequently when implementing automated testing, along with the best ways to avoid them.

1. Disconnections from networks

An automated problem that QA teams frequently encounter is network disconnection, which makes it difficult for them to access databases, VPNs, third-party services, APIs, particular testing settings, etc. because of erratic network connections. These network outages impede the testing process and add needless delays.

In addition to disconnections, the inability to access virtual environments—which testers typically utilize to test applications—is another reason for concern. To address problems as soon as they arise and keep the entire software delivery pipeline unaffected, QA teams must have an effective monitoring system in place.

2. Issues with Test Scripts

If QA teams lack the necessary coding skill sets, they may encounter a variety of issues with test scripts. Teams can tackle these concerns and maintain their code by utilizing reusability, or the reuse of test scripts. By treating test code as production code, they can better maintain the code. In addition, regular code testing, scheduled debugging sessions, and identification of critical object identifier issues should all be carried out.

3. Correcting Code Smell

A code smell is essentially any feature of a program’s code that detracts from the quality of the design. Upholding the quality of the code is crucial for testers as well as programmers. The majority of code smells cannot be found by manual examination. Automated code review technologies are frequently employed to find every stench in the source code.

4. Examining Mismatched Data

Since it can occasionally be challenging to obtain the correct data, the QA teams are typically discovered to be testing against incorrect data. The data that the application will process in production is the correct one.

The two most crucial requirements for successful automated testing are data correctness and relevance. The testing teams may also be unable to obtain the most recent and pertinent data due to convoluted procedures and communication breakdowns.

By addressing the data lags, the QA teams can improve team productivity and receive timely feedback by utilizing a strong reporting and analytics solution.

5. Direct Expense

One of the most frequent worries is the significant initial expenditure needed to introduce automation, particularly for teams with smaller budgets. The testers are unable to do automation testing due to the cost of setting up a test automation suite. You could have to pay for license fees in addition to operating expenses.

It will cost money to teach your testers to utilize open-source tools like Selenium or Appium, even if you are thinking about doing so. Check out this insightful article about test automation’s hidden expenses. Therefore, it is preferable to select a tool that provides ROI. Select an automation solution that lowers expenses across the board for your issue.

6. Unstable Conditions

One of the main problems with device labs is device stability because mobile devices are inherently unreliable. Mobile devices are prone to frequent changes in a variety of areas, such as operating systems, performance, and regular upgrades.

The answer is to either employ a cloud-based lab with actual devices to test applications, or to continuously update and maintain the labs to guarantee the stability and testability of the devices. A cloud-based lab may be much less expensive than establishing an actual device lab on your property. When selecting a test automation solution, make sure it has built-in capability for cross-browser testing and can be expanded upon as needed.

Selecting an Appropriate Automation Tool

More than half of the largest IT organizations did not have adequate automation tools for their testing teams, according to the 2018 Gemini World Quality Report. This is caused by the most frequent causes of automation failure, which are ignorance, incompetence, and overspending on tools. For automation initiatives to be effective, it is therefore one of those testing hurdles in automation.

It is important to start early and keep an eye out for these top common test automation obstacles because QA teams occasionally encounter difficulties and failures with test automation. Well-chosen priorities, techniques, and tools that are in line with the business and product imperatives are essential for a successful test strategy. A popular method for defining and arranging our test strategy is to use the Test Pyramids mental models, which arrange the different combinations of test methods, automation efforts, and technologies that are conceivable.

Does the Agile Testing Pyramid conflict with the goals of our strategy?

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For an appropriate Testing Strategy implementation in both traditional and agile environments, consult the Agile Test Automation Pyramid. The primary driving forces behind agile projects are cycle time reduction, frequent deadline fulfillment, quick feedback, and better co-located teamwork.

In line with those requirements, the pyramid suggests that in order to guarantee quick feedback throughout the cycle, developers’ and testers’ unit tests be the primary focus. As a result, it advises against doing too many end-to-end and functional tests since they are expensive to create and maintain, difficult to run, and unreliable.

We can challenge this model by comparing it to our goals or our early validation of business behavior. Agile models offer chances that are primarily focused on business behavior validation, rather than business testing priorities.

A primary cause could be attributed to immaturity or insufficient funding for testing activities and assigning test engineers. Developers typically validate their own work as a result, adding excessive unit tests to the technical debt.

Another common explanation is that tests are completed too late in the procedure, which reduces their usefulness and slows down delivery overall. In actuality, the shift-left pattern, or test inclusion from the design, is not carried out most of the time. It is usually a result of testing being initiated too late in the procedure.

Regarding tooling, the last one fails to provide an automated testing solution that satisfies the automation criteria: adaptable configuration, quick execution and feedback loop, CI/CD readiness, and team-wide accessibility.

Lack of skills, automation, and tooling is typically the cause of functional and end-to-end test failures. From the standpoint of functional test automation, we can flip the preceding point of view. The challenges in the ecosystem are related to the ability to implement a test automation plan that works.

Web applications must work seamlessly across multiple browsers and devices in today’s fast-paced digital world. This makes cloud-based testing platforms essential.  The goal of the test activity is to provide quick, dependable, and effective software delivery to help the business achieve a state of flow. As a result, the test procedure needs to be quick, trustworthy, and effective. That’s when automation testing platforms come into the picture.

Properly executed automated tests through AI-powered test orchestration and test execution platforms like LambdaTest can aid in validating both new and current features within brief release cycles. You can get instant and on-demand access to 3000+ desktop and mobile environments for application and browser testing with LambdaTest. By leveraging LambdaTest your organization can significantly reduce your test execution time thereby saving resources and bringing efficiency!

Final words

The primary issues associated with test automation are indeed shared by a number of studies and market surveys, such as the World Quality Report. The tooling, integration, and flexibility to adjust to a dynamic product are frequently cited. In conclusion, test automation can significantly boost software delivery and provide a competitive edge, but it is still difficult to implement.

The Traditional Test Pyramid concentrates testing efforts on the primary business and customer-facing value, from a good customer experience to a flexible architecture, without being constrained by organizational or technical issues.

Many times, the tests are only partially automated, which makes them more expensive and difficult to maintain over time. Other experiences typically don’t have competent software testers or testers with training. The end results include tests that are brittle, need human data entry, and have poor technical and design quality. An inadequate functional test automation experience is another outcome of this kind of encounter.

Additionally, organizations employ models that have not been shown to scale or that prioritize poorly, which increases the complexity, execution time, and maintenance of testing. It typically stems from a lack of design, analysis, and technique selection, including use-cases that are appropriate for each context, equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, decision-table testing, and state transition. We return to the test activity’s inadequate expenditure of time and expertise. Read more

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