上位5つの自動化テストの課題と最適なソリューションを発表

Challenges of Automation Testing

 

Automation Testing is trending. The skyrocketing advancement of this technology has been employed by numerous companies with the desire for digital transformation and a higher yield of ROI.

However, great benefits come with great challenges. Automation Testing may be the answer for advanced efficiency and test coverage, but it also poses tremendous automation testing challenges that many companies are not ready to tackle.

Top 5 Automation Testing Challenges

As in the comparison of Automation Testing vs. Manual Testing, Automation Testing is a testing technique utilizing specified and customized tools to write test scripts to implement on multiple platforms.

Since the dawn of Automated Testing, it has been reckoned as an innovation in the field of testing for better performance, efficiency and test execution. Coming along with the advantages of it is the huge automation testing challenges, including:

  • High initial investment cost
  • High demand for necessary skills
  • Complicated maintenance
  • Complicated execution
  • Difficulties in lab management

1. High initial investment cost

With the undeniable flux of Automation Testing, some of you must be thinking about the instant implementation of this technique.

Before rushing into any decision that could cost your firm hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps you should take a closer look at the initial investment cost of automation testing.

To estimate and calculate the Return of Investment, the first thing you need to know is the possible initial investment cost for an automation testing system.

The cost for the whole system includes:

  • Cost for human resources
  • Cost for automation tools

Cost for human resources

The overall In-Demand positions for software testers are plummeting, while the needs for automation testers are higher than ever, rather than less, over the years.

The automation testing process involves the utility of Automated Testing Tools and Automated Testing Engineers. These people are also called Software Development Engineers in Test.

When comparing the Non-Technical Testers and those with Industrial Knowledge, the later ones are far more expensive.

human resources in automation testing

Human Resources in Automation Testing

The dilemma of human resources lies upon the two forces, which are the Testing Engineers fluent in different coding languages and the Domain Expertise with non-technical knowledge and experience in coding.

Either the testers are onshore or offshore, the cost for those with coding skills is much higher than that of the non-technical testers. To put it differently, The Non-technical Testers with knowledge of the industry are the trade-off for the Automated Testing Engineers.

Solutions: The problem of high cost for automation test engineers has been the conundrum of many firms.

For an Automated Testing Engineer to really hit it off, the training and the initial time for any test execution takes a large amount of time.

Instead of spending months for training and coaching, many firms have chosen the solution of outsourcing automated testing engineers. For some vendors with staff augmentation, they can provide you with numerous choices of IT staff, whoever can fit your requirements.

At least with this, companies would not have to spend a lot of time, money and resources at the beginning of the testing process.

Cost for automation tools

One of the automation testing challenges is to select the right tool, with the appropriate price.

Developers and testers can use open-source or commercial tools and use them like a regular basis for building in-house tools. Each tool is suitable for each particular scenario.

Choosing the right one poses a challenge because of a variety of comprehensive test tools in the market. Particularly, the right tool has to match with many factors such as the long-term orientation of the project, framework, output of the project, the requirement of clients, and the skill of the tester team.

If you pick the wrong or inappropriate tool, the whole process can be failed from the start. Indeed, open-source tools often require a higher level of coding skill than commercial tools.

If you take Selenium as an example, this is an open-source tool that requests more programming skills from testers.

Solution: To avoid any regret in the automation tool, expert testers recommend the following steps to select from:

  1. Defining a set of tool requirements criteria
  2. Reviewing the chosen tools
  3. Conducting a trial test with the tools
  4. Making the final decision whether you use these tools or not?

2. High demand for necessary skills

The myth of automation testing is that it is always wrongly deemed as “simple”, “easy” or “quick”. In fact, the test execution including test design, writing test scripts, test maintenance and technical issue resolve, requires such high automation knowledge and solid grasp of automation tools that the salary range for automation testing engineers are very high.

Automation testing engineers are required to fulfill the job requirements in terms of automation frameworks, prominent programming skills and solid knowledge of the available automation tools.

The strategic skillsets of identifying the appropriate frameworks, applying the right tools and coordinating the testing process are vital for any automation testing engineers.

Solutions: Companies can weigh in the pros and cons of in-house or outsource teams for automation testing. These necessary skills above can be acquired through either in-house training or automation testing vendors.

3. Complicated maintenance

As automation testing is the hot issue of quality assurance services, its maintenance is imperative for the overall efficiency of the testing process.

Intermittent test failures and the frustrations entailed with them are the last things a testing team wants to deal with in automation testing.

Test Maintenance in Automation Testing

Test Maintenance in Automation Testing

Throughout the whole testing process, once a test case/script is written, it always necessitates maintenance, which is required every time the software application or features change.

The scope of test maintenance varies in accordance with the complication level of the changes themselves. Whether it is a functional or non-functional feature update in the application, viable test cases are to be executed prior to release. As in the comparison of Automation Testing vs. Manual Testing, Automation Testing has different maintainability levels, entailing high programming skills.

Solution:

Modular test framework

By applying a modular framework for automated tests, the testing execution is divided into smaller pieces with different functions. Each function of the update is tested, making it easier for automation testing engineers to locate the code that needs updating.

Separate test for each verification point

There might be a possibility that test developers of automation testing can create numerous verification points. However, the test scripts would hold the crux of complexity, making it difficult for anyone, other than the coder, to edit. With separate test for each verification point, it is easier for the team to update.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) are the methods in which the minor details/changes are well-attended. With these being applied, the development and testing process is faster and more efficient.

The implementation of CI/CD equals the robust reporting of test scripts and test results. If bugs are to be leaked into other environments, the CI/CD pipeline can help you with the testing process in identifying which part needs updating.

4. Complicated execution

During execution, automation scripts are run with input test data. Once execution is finished, detailed test reports will be available. From these reports, appropriate and viable changes and updates can be made.

Automation Testing Execution invokes some difficulties in:

  • Test approach selection
  • Automation testing tool selection
  • Communication and Collaboration

High Demand in Test Approach Selection

An appropriate automation test approach plays a key role in the effective result of a project.

At the management level, you certainly know what and how to make the test approach; however, to make this approach in test automation is another issue.

  • The first difficulty is making the long-run automation process associating with the lifespan of a product. For example, the average cycle of a desktop application is common from 12-18 months to over 15 years. Therefore, the test approach needs to be able to execute in the whole process of the software’s life span.
  • Secondly, the test approach has to make sure that when products change or update, it is capable of identifying and keeping up with these changes without human intervention. Taking the example of mobile application, the approach can’t be “one size fits all” because the user requirement rapidly changes.

Definitely, it is hard to address these difficulties on the test approach, facing the challenge of building an effective long-run-oriented framework at the beginning.

Solution: Identify the following features:

  • Testing process
  • Testing levels
  • Testing types
  • Automation tools applicable
  • HR allocation with different roles and responsibilities

Diverse choices of automation testing tools

One of the automation testing challenges is to select the right tool.

Developers and testers can use open-source or commercial tools and use them like a regular basis for building in-house tools. Each tool is suitable for each particular scenario.

Given that choosing the right one poses a challenge because of a variety of comprehensive test tools in the market.

Tools for Automation Testing

Tools for Automation Testing

Particularly, the right tool has to match with many factors such as the long-term orientation of the project, framework, output of the project, the requirement of clients, and the skill of the tester team.

If you pick the wrong or inappropriate tool, the whole process can be failed from the start. Indeed, open-source tools often require a higher level of coding skill than commercial tools.

Taking an example, Selenium is an open-source tool that requests more programming skills from testers.

Solution:

Our expert testers recommend the following steps to choose tools:

  1. Defining a set of tool requirements criteria
  2. Reviewing the chosen tools
  3. Conducting a trial test with the tools
  4. Making the final decision whether you use these tools or not?

Barriers in communication and collaboration

In comparison with manual testing and development, automated tests actually require more collaboration.

From the beginning, the must-have is good interaction between the delivery team and customer to analyze and understand completely the input and output of the project.

When it comes to the test strategy, the tester team needs to communicate with project managers about making a plan, scope, and framework.

The fact that automation testers not only talk with developers for understanding code but also manual testers about test cases, and infrastructure engineers about integration to build up the final product.

Needless to say, if the misunderstanding from the start is disregarded or neglected, the process can be messy.

Solution: Establishing a collaborative environment, such as a specific point of contact in each process, clear expectation and the responsibility of members will help everyone to deliver the information fast and conveniently. Plus, active involvement and a transparent framework will develop your unique company culture.

5. Difficulties in lab management

A device lab that can match the scope of automation testing has to be a big one. As some of the teams prefer building and maintaining their own device labs, this can be quite extravagant.

For every operating system, there are different versions of browsers, different devices. To fully capture and exploit the utility of this device lab, the up-to-date feature and lab maintenance has to be assured, hence the high cost.

Besides the spiking cost of having your own lab, lab management also poses a great challenge In today’s competitive world, teams need to have the ability to conduct a test at any time.

Your solution needs to provide open access to the lab and equips teams with the right tools to run and perform tests. This ultimately helps you be adaptable and keep pace with the new releases.

Solution: Cloud-Based Test Lab

Having a cloud-based lab is key for continuous testing unless there are some special testing requirements/scenarios with IoT, special networking (especially in the Telco space), etc.

To sum up, automation testing supports payoffs effectively and is a great method for companies to speed up the progress; however, test automation can not replace human intelligence. We still need humans to make the orientation in the whole process of automation testing.

Want to find the solutions for the automation testing challenges? Contact LQA now for FREE consultation with our specialists and experts.

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