Identifying and Avoiding Anti-Patterns in Test Automation

Identifying and Avoiding Anti-Patterns in Test Automation

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Test automation is an essential part of modern software development, but it comes with its own set of challenges. One common issue is the inadvertent adoption of anti-patterns—practices that seem beneficial initially but lead to more problems in the long run. This guide will help you recognize and avoid some of the most prevalent anti-patterns in test automation.

Common Anti-Patterns in Test Automation

Dependence on Record and Playback

While record and playback tools can quickly generate test scripts, they often result in brittle tests that break with any minor change in the UI. Instead, use recorded actions to understand the structure of the GUI elements and then parameterize them. This approach makes your tests more resilient to changes.

Making Intermittent Bugs Low Priority

Intermittent bugs, often dismissed as minor glitches, can be disastrous for automated tests. These bugs can cause tests to fail unpredictably, requiring multiple reruns and reducing the reliability of your test suite. Addressing these bugs early can save significant time and effort.

Ignoring Accessibility Development Standards

Accessibility standards are not only crucial for users with disabilities but also enhance the testability of applications. Implementing these standards can make your application more robust and easier to test, both manually and automatically.

Not Testing in Isolation

Running tests in a shared environment can lead to dependencies between tests and corrupted test data. Instead, use tools like Vagrant to create isolated test environments for each test run. This approach ensures that tests do not interfere with each other and can be run in parallel without issues.

PageObject Littered with Assertions

Including assertions within PageObject classes can make your tests harder to maintain. Instead, PageObject classes should only provide the status of elements, leaving the assertions to the test cases. This separation of concerns makes your tests cleaner and more modular.

Better Practices for Test Automation

  • Use Parameterized Functions: Instead of relying on record and playback, parameterize your functions to locate GUI elements dynamically.
  • Address Intermittent Bugs: Treat intermittent bugs with high priority to ensure the reliability of your test suite.
  • Implement Accessibility Standards: Follow accessibility standards to improve both user experience and testability.
  • Isolate Test Environments: Use tools like Vagrant to create isolated environments for each test run.
  • Separate Assertions from PageObjects: Keep assertions out of PageObject classes to make your tests more maintainable.

How Repeato Can Help

For those looking to streamline their test automation process, Repeato offers a no-code solution that can significantly simplify the creation, running, and maintenance of automated tests for iOS and Android apps. Repeato uses computer vision and AI to make tests more resilient to UI changes, addressing one of the key issues with traditional record and playback methods. Additionally, Repeato’s ease of setup and use makes it an excellent choice for quality assurance teams looking to avoid common anti-patterns and improve their overall testing strategy.

For further reading on test automation best practices, check out our blog or visit our documentation section.

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