When’s It Worth To Automate?

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As it was said higher a lot of both positive and negative sides of automation testing have already been highlighted in lots of sources. For me, personally, the advantages of automation overweight the scales drastically, yet these advantages are hiding lots of underwater stones thus making the testing process harder if not used properly. You should rely on the machine, yet you can’t rely on it too much. A combination of both automate and manual testing is the only path to success.

The worst scenario for me is when the process is all about automation. So you’re finished developing, finished the test plan and the fun begins. The entire team starts to run as if there’s a terrorist attack on the office and all they demand is script. The over-exaggerated attention paid to script just block’s your view on other things that are at least as important.

So what benefits does automation have:

  • Lots and tons of time-consuming and routine work like data setup or test execution can be done with less effort. Saves time you can spend doing other work or, at least, gives a chance for an extra coffee-break or a ping pong game.
  • If you are Shure of some feature automation will assist in ensuring it is working properly if run over and over
  • A splendid tool for picking up changes that take place in your project
  • If the project is too big to fit any reasonable deadlines automation gives you an opportunity to run tests in least important areas you won’t have time to get to or the so called better than nothing testing

But what are the minuses?

  • You can put too much effort in script test due to the false feeling of the fact that everything is of it’s top quality
  • It’s difficult to maintain automation, especially with flexible projects that constantly change
  • Quite often the time spent to find and eliminate possible issues ends with changing them instead of fixing
  • From point one we may see that test can indicate ‘PASS’ yet they won’t be applicable nor valid

So now we can see that it’s not worth spending time and effort on automation if the benefits are of less value than time wasted on automating, maintaining, rebuilding, scrapping and reviewing scripts.

Never forget that the main purpose of automation is providing you with information you will find use for thus it has no right to be an all-time consuming process.