Streamlining Automated UI Testing: A Collaborative Approach

Streamlining Automated UI Testing: A Collaborative Approach

11 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Embarking on an extensive project often brings to light the need for effective automated UI testing. The goal is straightforward: to ensure that new builds are installable and functional before they reach the quality assurance (QA) team. This not only saves time but also prevents unnecessary frustration caused by significant breakages. Additionally, automated UI testing serves as a tool to alleviate the burden of repetitive tasks from testers.

Who Takes the Reins in Automated UI Testing?

When it comes to automated UI testing, a common dilemma arises: should developers or testers be responsible for creating these tests? While developers have intimate knowledge of the application’s inner workings, such as control IDs and classes, testers bring a different perspective that can lead to more insightful tests due to their lack of preconceived notions about the application’s functionality.

Considerations for Effective UI Test Automation

  • Learning Curve: Testers may face a steep learning curve when adopting programmatic tools for UI test automation. Developers can assist by mentoring and easing this transition, although it requires time and can temporarily impact development.
  • Tool Selection: Choosing the right tools is critical. Simple GUI tools that support a scripting language can empower QA to create tests visually, with developers stepping in when deeper technical knowledge is needed.
  • Test Harness: An in-house built test harness that overlays a scripting language like Groovy, Python, or Ruby can be particularly effective. This allows testers to input test data through a GUI or structured data files, like YAML or Excel, enabling the construction of basic smoke tests and more complex scenario-driven tests.

Practical Approaches to UI Testing

The most successful UI testing strategies observed in the industry involve collaboration between QA and development teams. Here are some practical approaches:

  • Utilizing tools like Selenium for simple web applications or JMeter for web services, which have been effective in certain scenarios.
  • Developing a custom test harness that simplifies the process of creating tests for QA while still providing the necessary depth for comprehensive testing.
  • Considering the nature of the application, especially for rich client applications where UI testing can be more challenging.

Collaboration Is Key

In practice, a collaborative approach often yields the best results. Testers can propose tests based on their understanding of the user requirements and workflows, while developers can implement these tests, ensuring technical accuracy and efficiency. This partnership leverages the strengths of both teams and supports a more robust testing framework.


Ultimately, the most effective strategy for automated UI testing hinges on a balanced and collaborative approach. By leveraging the technical expertise of developers and the user-centric perspective of testers, teams can create a seamless and effective testing process that catches issues early and ensures a higher quality product.

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