Evaluating the Effectiveness of Automated Tests in a New Project

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Automated Tests in a New Project

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Starting on a new project with an existing set of automated tests can be challenging, especially when determining their effectiveness. This guide will help you evaluate whether the current tests are sufficient and what areas might need improvement.

Understanding the Product

First, familiarize yourself with the product as an end user. Understand all its functions, error pages, and workflows. This knowledge is crucial in assessing the coverage and relevance of the existing tests.

Key Questions to Ask

Once you are comfortable with the product, consider the following questions while reviewing the tests:

  • Is there functionality in the UI that you do not see UI tests for?
  • Are there automated UI tests for things you cannot do in the UI?
  • Do feature tests cover happy, sad, and optional workflows?
  • Do unit and integration tests exist for the backend functions that support the UI?
  • Is security tested?

Measuring Coverage

Determine the coverage of the source code by the existing tests. Check if the most frequently used paths through the system and different user types are adequately covered. Coverage tools can help identify parts of the code that are not exercised by any test.

Assessing Test Effectiveness Over Time

Over time, you can measure test effectiveness by tracking whether the tests catch newly introduced bugs. If an easy-to-catch bug slips into production, it indicates that the test suite needs improvement. Comparing your test cases with those of similar products can also provide valuable insights.

Version Control Insights

Use your version control system to answer these questions:

  • Were there any code changes due to issues found by the tests?
  • Were there issues found that were not detected by the tests?
  • Were tests introduced for such issues, and do they fail on code from before the fix?
  • Are there any currently failing tests?

Applying the RCRCRC Mnemonic

The RCRCRC mnemonic by Karen Johnson can help evaluate the effectiveness of your tests:

  • Recent: How recent are the tests? Do they cover new features or changes?
  • Core: Do the tests cover critical or essential functionality?
  • Risky: Are riskier features adequately tested?
  • Configuration Sensitive: Are environment-dependent codes tested in different settings?
  • Repaired: Are recently fixed features tested for potential new bugs?
  • Chronic: Are frequently problematic features well covered?

Enhancing Your Test Suite

To further enhance your test suite, consider implementing mutation testing. This method involves introducing small changes (mutations) to the code and verifying that the tests catch these changes. Combining mutation testing with code coverage analysis can significantly improve the robustness of your test suite.

Leveraging Repeato for Efficient Test Automation

For those looking to streamline their test automation process, Repeato offers a powerful no-code solution. With its computer vision and AI capabilities, Repeato simplifies the creation, execution, and maintenance of automated tests for iOS and Android applications. This tool is particularly useful for quickly editing and running tests, ensuring that your quality assurance processes are both efficient and effective.

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