Every now and then we keep seeing automation failures. Most of Testers have been part of these failure stories as actors or audience or directors 🙂
I am sharing top 3 reasons for automation failure in this post which is kind of little modified from my post on blogspot @ http://infomine-software.blogspot.com/#!/2010/10/why-does-test-automation-fail-every-now.html:-
1- How many tester's are really tester, may be 50%, rest 50% were circumferenced into testing world. (Dont beat me for that:-))
A good tester generally does not like coding, he/she likes to be always in test execution phase, hitting severity one bugs all the time..... bottom line, A good tester generally does not like creating scripts. So how do we motivate such folks to start writting automation scripts/code, well show them value of automation to find bugs, that may just fly with them.
2- Well done, we have got the automation done - date X.................................................................Scripts are not working, due to environment or other issues on date X + 2 months..........Most of us will be able to relate to this scenario, why do scripts fail, because they were probably poor in the first place. Person maintaining scripts are not deep into ocean of automation. Its hard but thats how it goes down!!!
You need deep knowledge of any tools or technology you use for automation, folks floating on surface can give few demo's or write good paper's but for a long term automation ROI, you need someone to do automation design for you whom you can call as SME in say Coded UI or Middle tier web services. Having someone in the automation team who can lead that R&D effort will save from lot of re-work in future.
3- Biggest tempation for a tester working on test automation is technology and coding. With little code understanding automation tester's make mistake of targeting low hanging fruits. So it works for a release and then die's or involves so much manual effort before running it, that there is absolutely no ROI.
Automate for ROI, without productivity gains automation is waste. Future of Automation is in ROI to start with, next level is to find bugs with automation. Keep that in mind from very begining, low hanging fruits are not always a good choice to run after especially when it comes to automation.
My vision of automation goes something like below:-
Good Tester's write testcases in a predefined manner (or using some test case writting tool) and say Run, he/she never has to worry about code. So who handles code, a dedicate person from test team who works with Dev team to understand their code structure, suggests them to insert some hooks, which will be used by automation framework. This automation framework just calls the hooks and results scripts from test cases.
From a management perspective if i have to implement above vision, i would have folks who have good knowledge of automation as directors and good testers as actors to build a successful automation story!!!
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