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June 11, 2019

Top 5 Automation Testing Challenges (and How to Overcome Them)

Automation
Continuous Testing

Test automation is important. But is your team facing automation testing challenges? In this blog, you'll learn how to solve automation testing challenges. 

Top 5 Automation Testing Challenges

Here are the top 5 challenges in automation testing:

1. The lack of necessary skills needed for testing.

2. Lack of stabilization prior to test automation.

3. Labor-intensive lab management.

4. Dynamic test automation.

5. Overwhelming amounts of test results data.

Any of these sound familiar? You're not alone. Learn how to solve the top 5 challenges today. 

1. The Lack of Necessary Skills

Test automation is an art. But, not everyone is an artist. Although test automation offers teams a number of benefits, not everyone has the right skills to do it successfully.

Because of this, manual testing still occurs as teams compensate for any existing automation gaps. Or, they see it as a stable alternative.

This results in delays and a disconnect with the R&D team, who is usually two or three steps ahead. In order to match their pace, testers need to complete their cycles in four to six hours.

But manual testing cannot meet the development pace. It is then pushed to the end of the cycle. As a result, teams need to add a manual regression — also called “stabilization phase” — at the end of the sprint. Instead of reducing the release cadence, they extend it.

Best Practice: Build the Right Skills

Either hire the right skillset to execute on automated tests or train your team to do it the right way. 

2. Teams Don’t Stabilize Tests Before Automating

If you're just getting started with automation, the process is similar to riding a bike. Before you take off, you need to balance.

We often see DevOps teams building all their tests and running them together without stabilizing first. The result is failure, frustration, and trust issues with automation. Because of this, teams revert back to manual testing.

Best Practice: Build a Modular Approach

The best practice for building a test automation foundation is this modular execution approach:

  • Build your test locally over a real device/browser.
  • Run your test daily to ensure a balanced execution and that there are no blockers.
  • Tie your execution to CI and run your test constantly (at least nightly).
  • Increase your digital platform test coverage and execute more frequently.
  • Maximize your automation coverage up to 90% (to get into the DevOps-friendly zone).

3. Lab Management is Burdensome

Today, there are still teams that prefer to build and maintain their own labs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, in-house labs are hard to manage — and expensive.

With new operating systems, devices, and browser versions consistently being released, labs can quickly become out of date. As a result, teams can spend a lot of time maintaining and running their lab as opposed to testing.  

An executive at a large US-based bank recently made this point about the issue:

“We are in the business of creating and maintaining the bank’s testing activity. We are not in the business of managing IT resources. This tradeoff should always guide us, and we should keep the balance in favor of testing at all time.”

Best Practice: Use a 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.

4. Test Automation Becomes Dynamic

Different from the Waterfall methodology, the DevOps process requires unique testing capacity at each and every step of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). 

With that said, the execution layer should be geared towards automation at scale. This allows teams to scale up or down at different points of time.

In order to achieve coverage metrics, teams should be able to run their tests in a parallel mode and define priorities for executions. They should also be able to queue and better orchestrate their overall testing process between teams.

Best Practice: Start Small, Then Scale

The best and most successful way to approach automation is to start small and then scale. However, many teams do not have the right tools to scale appropriately. When teams don’t have the right tools, it creates a disconnect with the R&D team. Automating at scale requires the right combination of people, skills, and tools.

5. Sorting Through All the Data

There's often a huge influx of data with DevOps automation. That data needs to be reviewed and analyzed. Teams often find they are swimming in a sea of data made up of log files, architects, and test results. However, this data does contain a lot of useful information. The challenge is actually spotting it.

For example, insights from data can inform R&D teams on what fixes need to be made. Making sense of all the data is a big undertaking for many teams, especially those that are not equipped with the right tools.

Best Practice: Utilize Analytics

To achieve fast feedback, you need to be able to sort through the noise. Today, the reality of CI/CD is that it requires teams to execute in minutes and analyze in minutes, understanding where problem is. Using test analytics can help you understand the problem and avoid it.

[Related Resource: Test Automation Basics]

How to Solve Your Automation Testing Challenges

If you want to be successful with continuous testing, you need to leverage modern tools.

Here are the 4 components you should look for to solve your automation testing challenges today:

1. Creation

This refers to test automation creation and the tools used to do it.

Test creation tools should be agnostic to the level of user — whether a tester is an automation ninja or a manual user with basic knowledge. Ultimately these tools will allow manual testers to begin executing automation. And these tools should enable advanced testers to focus on higher priority tests.

Perfecto's test creation tool helps you with every aspect of testing. Test scripts. Test authoring. Test validation. Test maintenance. And so much more. 

2. Execution

This refers to the ability to successfully scale test automation operations.

The solution should offer capabilities that help teams take a small, locally-run test and expand it across multiple platforms, devices, and browsers. This ensures the right scale and coverage.

Perfecto's test execution tool helps you accelerate automated testing. You can even run automated tests across multiple platforms with one script. 

3. Lab

In today’s competitive world, teams need to have the ability to conduct a test at anytime.

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.

Perfecto's test lab gives your team the ability to test apps against thousands of devices and browsers — from one spot.

4. Analysis

To achieve success with continuous testing and automation, teams need to be able to effectively see clear and accurate test results quickly. What’s more, they need to identify problems quickly.

Remember, automation creates noise and false negatives, so teams need to be able sort through this to provide the necessary evidence.

Perfecto's analytics and reporting tool helps you cut through the chaos. You'll know exactly what's going on with your continuous testing and test automation efforts.

You Need All 4 Components

The only way to successfully address the top testing challenges is to use a solution that combines the 4 components listed above.

If a solution is missing one of the components, a critical part of the continuous testing process is lost. What’s more, there is a good chance teams will spend a significant amount of money accounting for gaps or compromising quality.

Solve Test Automation Challenges With Perfecto

As teams make their way towards effective continuous testing, achieving good test automation and analysis is key to that success.

Want to learn more about effective test analysis? Quit digging through the data. Explore Perfecto’s Smart Reporting and Analytics. It’s a powerful automation management dashboard that can give you the insights and fast feedback you need.

Smart Reporting and Analytics

See for yourself what Perfecto's end-to-end continuous testing platform can do for you. Get started today for free.

Try Perfecto

 

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