Software Test Automation is a software, code, or process built using software or a programming language to test a software or application under test to validate tests. This helps in validating checks against expected results and actual results attained by running the automation scripts/software. Test Automation software focuses primarily on automating repetitive, monotonous, and manual tasks. Some of the advanced test automation software could fully automate the validation of end-to-end process flows of a software application. IT Management teams, business stakeholders, and testers to an extent have some beliefs that are largely myth than fact.
So let’s bust some of the myths of Test Automation:
100% automation is possible
It is not possible and not recommended. Test automation removes the checking part of testing. A Manual Test verification is needed for assuring that the functionalities emulate the business logic accurately and hence SME verification of the test process is needed.
Test automation saves a lot of time
It depends on the test automation strategy, how it is implemented, and the effectiveness of automation. Many test automation projects have resulted in unnecessary costs due to poor implementation.
Test automation scripts are faster than manual testing
Not always, true. Most of the scripts have embedded wait times for SUT to respond and the sum of all these waits can be more than the total end-to-end effort for manual testing. In addition, the efficiency of shortcuts used by skilled testers may not be available in automated scripts. The benefits of timesaving are seen in the reaction time and data entry time of automated scripts. This does not apply to all scripts.
Test automation eliminates the needs for manual effort
A test automation script’s execution results need validation with a periodic audit. The scripts need maintenance. Scripts need control and configuration. Test automation is an addendum and not a replacement.
Test automation generates more defects than manual testing
Not True. Test automation is for the areas that are likely to be very stable and for scenarios where it is difficult to find any rare defects. If test automation scripts fail, it is largely due to data configurations and environmental issues and automation scripts are good for sanity testing. Manual testing captures most of the valuable functional defects needing business domain knowledge. The new tools leveraging machine-learning models may change this a bit.
Automation is scripting repeating test actions
All applications undergo a life cycle of change and keep on changing. The testing of active, complex applications is a dynamic process and automated testing for a dynamic application will not be a fully repetitive process. However, automation helps in reducing the effort of monotonous tasks through full or partial automation for the regression tests.
If you want to make a career in test automation or want to learn how to use Selenium, then check this book — Science of Selenium. You will find several examples to help ignite your understanding and usage of Selenium across a myriad of languages and frameworks.