Test Automation Best Practices – 9 Ways to Ensure Efficient Testing

Top Automated Testing Practices to Follow

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We need to follow test automation best practices as software gets more sophisticated. Recently, top QA consultancy companies QASymphony and TechWell surveyed mid-size and large-size enterprises for insights into the QA Automation trends. They found that most organizations(76%) were automating less than half of their test cases.

However, almost half of these enterprises expect to automate 50% of the test cases by this year. In general, 92% of organizations, including startups and large enterprises, perform some automation with the help of tools. You can find the full report here.

The benefits are huge and rewarding if automated testing is practiced diligently with proper planning. The ROI increases exponentially with time if we follow top test automation best practices.

However, it does not mean that we can depend on automated testing completely and bid goodbye to manual testing. The overall software testing process will always include a mix of manual and automation test cases to achieve high quality and better speed with optimum use of resources. In this blog, we will discuss 9 top test automation best practices.

9 Test Automation Best Practices to Follow

So, let’s look at some top automated testing practices we can follow while automating the test cases for a happy automated testing experience.

1. Automation is the second step, not the first

We cannot directly start automating new software. The first step is to have a stable and well-designed manual testing process and right test cases in place. When the environment, development code and manual test processes gain stability, we can start thinking about bringing automated testing in the project. Hence, the test cases which are ideal for automated testing can be selected with the help of manual testers and put in automated testing which frees up manual test engineers’ time for more human attention specific tasks, such as usability testing, exploratory testing, and ad-hoc testing.

So, how do we identify which cases to be automated? Let’s find out in the next point.

2. Identify ideal test cases for automated testing

Though 100% of the test cases present in any project can be automated, it does not imply that they should be automated. We need to be very careful while selecting the ideal cases for automation. Otherwise, we may lose time and money on creating scripts for the cases which are rarely run.

Below test cases could be picked up for automation because of their repetitive nature:

a. Regression Testing

We need to ensure that the new code changes have not introduced any new defects in the code. Execution of the regression test cases manually could be time-consuming and a mundane task for the manual test engineer. That is why regression test cases become the best for automated testing. The test engineer can use the time for other more useful tasks that require manual attention, e.g., exploratory testing.

b. Smoke Testing

Whenever a new build is released for testing, smoke testing is performed to ensure that the critical functionalities of the product are checked. Since these tests are run after each build, they are good candidates for automated testing. Most smoke tests are integrated with Continuous Integration(CI) tools like Jenkins to run them automatically whenever the development team releases a new build.

c. Data-Driven Testing

Data-driven testing involves running data stored in several file formats like CSV, Excel, DB tables, and JSON files through the same code multiple times.

(i) Reduction in testing time Data-driven testing is time-consuming when done manually. Automated testing considerably reduces the testing time whenever a test scenario changes. Only the file where data is stored needs to be changed.

(ii) High-quality test data The data we use for data-driven testing should be high quality and easily maintainable. Otherwise, if we are using just filler data or data that is difficult to maintain later with requirement changes, our purpose of automation will be lost.

Want to know the benefits of Data-Driven Test Automation? Check out – Top Benefits of Data-Driven Test Automation

d. Difficult manual test cases

The manual test cases which are difficult to execute, for instance, cases involving many numerical calculations, are ideal for automated testing. Since they consume the manual tester’s time, it is better to leave such calculations to the automation scripts and make better use of the saved time. In short, the test cases repeating in nature are the best choice for automated testing.

Get to know –How To Convert Manual Test Cases Into Automated Test Cases And Why

3. Stability of Environment and Application Under Test(AUT)

The environment and application should be stable so that the automation scripts provide consistent results.

  1. Stable AUT: If the AUT is unstable and keeps changing, the QA team will have to rework automation scripts in every release. This will diminish the purpose of automated testing. Hence, ensure the application is stable before starting with automated testing.
  2. Stable Environment: If the environment is unstable, the actual result will vary from the expected result on every automated test run. In this case, it won’t be easy to verify the correctness of the test run and then eventually debug it.

4. Choose the right test automation tool

The next crucial factor in automated testing is choosing the right software testing tool for your application. There are currently plenty of automated testing tools, and it is very important to analyze them. Consider the below points before selecting the automated testing tool,

  • Type of application

Is your application type web, mobile, API, or desktop? This analysis is important as it will help you select the best fit.

  • Platform support

Will the application run on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS? Check if the tool allows you to run your tests across multiple platforms and versions.

  • Skillset required

Scripted testing tools require the testers to be strong in programming languages like Java, Python, Ruby, Perl, etc. One test engineer may be well versed in one language and unaware of the other. Hence, it is important to discuss with the QA team if they are comfortable with the language and the automated testing tool. 

On the contrary, scriptess testing tools like Testsigma allow testers to create and run automated testing using low-code techniques. That is, testers need not write any test code to create automated tests. This makes test automation accessible for both technical and non-technical users in the project. 

Also, Testsigma is a unified cloud-based AI-driven low-code testing platform that allows you to run web, mobile, API, and desktop apps in one place.

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5. Use Data-driven Tests

Using quality test data is crucial to ensure accurate and efficient testing. That is, with the help of realistic test data, you can simulate real-world scenarios, thus mimicking actual user interactions. 

Use both valid and invalid (positive and negative) test data to make sure the app behaves as expected for any type of input. Also, this helps you achieve high test coverage as you cover most of the user scenarios.

Testsigma supports data-driven testing allowing you to test across a wide range of test data, thereby helping you get high test coverage and test accuracy. 

6. Create tests that are resistant to UI changes

Create automated tests that are resistant to changes in the UI to maintain the stability and reliability of your test suite. If your UI changes drastically after creating automated tests, then your tests will fail. To prevent this, ensure your app’s UI is stable before creating and executing automated tests. 

7. Divide and conquer testing efforts

Testing is a very important part of the SDLC cycle. It takes a good amount of time, effort, and resources for proper and efficient testing. Instead of assigning all the QA tasks to a single tester, divide and assign tasks to every QA tester to ensure every module is properly tested in a given time. This helps prevent testing gaps, and you can cover most of the test scenarios. 

Using a scripted testing tool will requires the entire QA team to be strong in programming languages to create test code. This will consume a lot of time to train every tester in that particular language. You can avoid this with the help of scriptless testing tools like Testsigma. 

Testsigma allows testers to create automated tests that are similar to natural language with the help of NLPs and Recorder. No coding is required. Also, it supports Java for code-based testing. So, both technical and non-technical members can collaborate and perform automated testing with this tool.

8. Test on real devices

Use real devices to test your application to get accurate test results. Running your test across all devices manually is impossible and highly expensive. Automate your tests and use a real device cloud, that is you can run your automated tests across multiple real devices and platforms on the cloud. 

Testsigma supports more than 3000+ real devices/tablets and 1000+ browser/OS combinations for comprehensive testing. No setup is required, just a one-click sign in to test your web, mobile, API, and desktop apps across different devices, screen sizes, resolutions, platforms, and versions on the cloud.

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9. Early and frequent testing

Start automation testing early in the development cycle and run tests frequently. This helps catch bugs earlier, saving time and cost compared to fixing them later in development or production.


Automated testing is an important aspect of SDL, but it’s essential to follow test automation best practices to get the most value out of your tests. Time, cost, quality, and risk mitigation are key points to be kept in mind when discussing SDLC. The perfect balance of these four factors does the actual magic.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you Automate QA Testing?

Ans: As part of Test Automation Best Practices, you must know the following to automate QA testing:

  • Specify which parts of testing you need to automate.
  • Choose the right automation tool.
  • Plan the test automation strategy and setup environment.
  • Write and execute automated tests frequently.
  • Examine test results and maintain tests.

Suggested Reading


Scriptless Test Automation | What , Why it Matters & Examples
Top 6 Game Testing Tools You Need to Know
Power of POC in Testing: Your Exclusive Guide to Success