Software Testing: To automate or not, that is the question

We all understand the importance and need of test automation. The first and most important step to successful automation is to determine what to automate (first).
Which Test Cases to Automate?

The ROI of automated testing is usually correlated with how many times a given test case will be repeated. Tests that are only performed a few times, are better left for manual testing. Good test cases for automation are those that are run frequently and require large amounts of data to perform the same action.

Testers can get the most out of their testing efforts by automating:

  1. Test cases that should be re-executed in each new build or release (usually regression)
  2. Tests that are subject to human error
  3. Tests that require multiple data sets
  4. Frequently-used functionality that introduces high risk conditions
  5. Tests that run on several different hardware or software platforms and configurations
  6. High risk, business critical test cases
  7. Test cases that are very tedious or difficult to perform manually

 

The following categories of test cases are not suitable for automation:

  1. Test cases that are newly designed and not executed manually even once
  2. Test cases for which the requirements are changing frequently
  3. Test cases that are executed on an ad-hoc basis

 

Success in test automation requires careful planning and design, apart from a robust framework for a given test scope. In my next blog post, I will discuss some of the best practices of test automation. Stay tuned…

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