Understanding and Writing High-Quality Automated Tests

Understanding and Writing High-Quality Automated Tests

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

In the realm of software testing, ensuring the quality of automated tests is paramount. Automated tests are essential for maintaining code quality, but how can one determine if these tests are of high quality? This guide will help you understand the standards, guidelines, and approaches to writing high-quality tests.

Characteristics of High-Quality Tests

To evaluate the quality of your tests, consider the following characteristics:

General Attributes

  • Readability: Tests should be clear and act as documentation for the system.
  • Reliability: Tests should consistently produce the same results under the same conditions.
  • Relevance: Tests should focus on current functionality and avoid obsolete or removed features.
  • Plain Language: Tests should be written in plain English, avoiding obscure terms and acronyms.
  • Accuracy: Tests should not produce false positives or negatives.

Unit Tests

  • Mocking Dependencies: External dependencies such as databases should be mocked or stubbed out.
  • Speed: Unit tests should run quickly.
  • Focus: Each test should evaluate a single piece of functionality.

UI Feature Tests

  • Real User Workflows: Tests should reflect actual user actions and workflows.
  • Stability: The tests should not fail intermittently.
  • Relevance: Failures should indicate real user issues.
  • Robustness: Use a Page Object approach for selectors, actions, and services.

Identifying Low-Quality Tests

Low-quality tests often exhibit the following issues:

  • Fragility: Tests that break with every minor change to the system.
  • Inaccuracy: Tests that produce false positives or negatives.
  • Lack of Focus: Tests that attempt to cover too much functionality at once.
  • Complexity: Tests that contain logic, making them prone to bugs.

Approaches to Enhancing Test Quality

To write higher quality tests, consider the following approaches:

Test-Driven Development (TDD)

TDD involves writing tests before the actual code. This approach ensures that the code meets the desired requirements from the outset.

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)

BDD focuses on the behavior of the application from the user’s perspective. This approach helps in writing tests that are more aligned with user expectations and requirements.

Domain Testing

Domain Testing, also known as Boundary Analysis and Equivalence Class Partitioning, involves selecting a small number of test values with a high probability of revealing failures. This approach ensures that tests are powerful and efficient.


Writing high-quality tests is crucial for effective software development and maintenance. By adhering to the characteristics and approaches outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your tests are reliable, accurate, and valuable.

For those looking to streamline their testing process, tools like Repeato offer a no-code solution for automated testing of iOS and Android apps. Repeato utilizes computer vision and AI to create, run, and maintain tests efficiently, making it an excellent choice for quality assurance professionals seeking simplicity and speed.

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