Having an effective test automation system is an absolute necessity in today’s agile software development environments. Automation works great, especially in case of smoke and regression tests and helps the QA teams to easily create and execute test cases that are complex in nature.
Though automation can act as a power booster for your product pipeline of development projects, there are certain pitfalls in automation which slow down the automation pipelines if not tackled upfront.
Here are the 7 most common test automation challenges that teams usually face while adopting automation testing along with the best solutions to overcome these pitfalls.
1. Network Disconnections
Network disconnection is a common automation challenge that a QA team faces wherein they find it hard to access databases, VPN, third party services, APIs, specific testing environments, etc. due to unstable network connections. These network disconnections cause unnecessary delays and hinder the testing process.
Apart from disconnections, another cause of worry is the inability to access virtual environments which are generally used by the testers for testing applications. QA teams need to have a good monitoring solution in place that can help fix the issue as soon as it occurs and prevent the whole software delivery pipeline from getting affected.
2. Test Script Issues
QA teams may face various problems related to test scripts if they lack the coding related skill sets. Teams facing these issues can leverage reusability (reusing test scripts) to solve the problems and maintain their code. They can maintain the code in a better way by treating test code as production code. Apart from this, periodic testing of the code should be done along with scheduling debugging sessions and identifying key issues with object identifiers.
3. Fixing Code Smell
A code smell is basically any characteristic in the code of a program that has a negative impact on the design quality. Maintaining the code quality is not only important for the programmers but also for the testers.
Fixing code smell can help a QA team achieve:
- Faster test results in lesser execution time
- Help make the automation test suite more robust
- Reduce maintenance cost and effort significantly
It is not possible to find most of the code smell by manual reviewing. In many cases, automated code review tools are used to identify all the bad smell present in the source code.
4. Testing Against Wrong Data
In most of the cases, the QA teams are found to be testing against wrong data as it sometimes becomes difficult to get the right data. This right data is the one that the application will be processing in production.
Data relevancy and data accuracy are the two most important prerequisites for automated testing to give good results. Complicated processes and communication gaps can also prevent the testing teams from getting the updated and most relevant data.
The QA teams should use a robust reporting and analytics solution in order to achieve fast feedback and enhance the overall productivity of the team by working on the data lags.
5. Upfront Investment
One of the most common concerns, especially for teams not having big budgets is the high amount of investment required at the initial phase of implementing automation. In fact, the investment involved in setting up a test automation suite prevents the testers from implementing automation testing. On top of operational costs, you may have to bear licensing costs as well.
Even if you are considering using an open-source tool such as Selenium or Appium, there is a level of investment required in training the testers to use these frameworks. Here’s a good read on the hidden costs of test automation.
Convincing the stakeholders may prove to be a tough task when so many invisible costs are involved. So, it is better to choose a tool that gives you ROI. Choose an automation tool that helps you to reduce costs in all areas of your concern.
6. Stability Issues
Stability of the devices is one of the key issues with device labs as mobile devices are unstable in nature. There are many elements in mobile devices that are subject to constant change including operating systems, regular updates, performance etc.
The solution is to keep updating and maintaining the labs to ensure the stability and testability of the devices. Better yet – is the option or make use of a cloud-based lab having real devices to test your applications. This cloud-based lab would cost a fraction of the cost of setting up a real device lab at your location. Also, you need to pay only according to use.
If you are looking for a test automation tool, then go for one that supports extensive cross-browser testing by default and gives you the option to plug and do that when needed. An example of one such tool is Testsigma.
Testsigma lets you create test cases on the web as well as mobile and APIs in one place and execute them on real devices of your choice.
Create simple English automated tests and run your tests on the devices of your choice. No setup or ramp-up delays!
7. Picking the Right Automation Tool
According to the Gemini World Quality Report released in 2018, more than 50% of IT giants reported that their organization lacks suitable automation tools for their testing teams.
As you are aware of the fact that there are a variety of automation tools available in the market, selecting the right one becomes a real challenge. Without the right automation tool, your automation efforts will be worthless and are bound to fail.
Lack of knowledge whether the tool is capable to meet the specific needs, lack of expertise to make the most of the automation tool, and tool costs exceeding the budget are some of the most common reasons for automation failure.
You can decide the best-suited one based on the nature and extent of your automation testing, whether the automation tool falls in your budget, and it matches your organization’s technical and business-related requirements.
And just that is why we have also compiled a list that you can check before you choose a test automation tool specific to your needs: Tips to choose the right tool for test automation.
These are some of the most common test automation challenges that QA teams face while tackling automation testing. If a team jumps into test automation without having a proper plan in place, there is a high chance that the automation journey will not be a smooth one.
Most of the QA teams face test automation challenges and failure to some extent. Start early, keep an eye for these top common test automation challenges and deal with them like a pro!
If you are looking for a one-stop test automation tool to speed up test case creation and execution, give Testsigma a try. It offers a unified end-to-end test automation ecosystem which helps you run automated tests in a huge test lab on the cloud.
The robust reporting and analytics facility helps get dynamic test reports at all levels to analyse the test case results and mitigate the key issues as soon as they are found.
Testsigma also saves a significant amount of time and effort in setting up test cases through its scriptless test case creation in simple English language.