Getting started with test automation: do's and don'ts

Dirk Sanders
Agile team ontfermt zich over het GTP

You've finally decided that you want to start with automated software testing in your organization, but how can you ensure it will be successful? Find out in this blog. But only after we cover some common mistakes to avoid.


3 common mistakes in automated software testing

To begin with, let's dispel a myth: test automation doesn't happen by itself. The medium- and long-term benefits are significant, but before you experience these benefits, your organization needs to invest time and money.

By avoiding the following common mistakes, your organization or team can be one step closer to success with test automation:

1. Unrealistic expectations about test automation

One important reason why automation projects fail is because of unrealistic expectations beforehand. And this is especially true for implementing test automation within an organization. What unrealistic expectations are we talking about?

  • Test automation requires investments that, especially initially, may not always immediately pay off in results. 
  • Test automation is not a guarantee to prevent bugs, a common misconception.
  • Testers may have an unwarranted fear that test automation will put their jobs at risk. This causes them to resist automation, while test automation makes their work less monotonous and allows them to focus on other tasks.


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2. Seeing the tool as the goal

Like with other innovation and automation projects, the tool is a means to achieve a goal, not a goal itself.

Before an organization starts with test automation and selecting a tool, it's important to consider what they want to achieve, how they will implement it, and which scenarios they wish to test.

Choosing a tool that can be customized to your specific needs is even better because this ensures that the tool and its implementation align with your team and organization rather than the other way around.

3. Stopping manual testing

Teams using test automation for some time may stop manual testing completely. But quitting is a mistake you should avoid.

Although test automation makes some manual testing redundant, it still has its uses. Especially when testing a functionality for the first time - also known as exploratory testing in testing jargon - it's wise to do this manually. It provides a clear picture of the potential errors that may occur with a particular functionality, which can help determine test scenarios.

Additionally, test automation is less suitable for testing user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). A combination of test automation and manual testing will yield the best results.


Kickstart test automation

We've talked about avoiding common mistakes. But what are the things you should do to start enjoying the benefits of test automation more quickly? 

  • Identify important functionalities
    First things first: find out the most important functionalities for your organization and which tests take up the most time. Start by automating these tests for the quickest results.

  • Write out the test steps first 
    The temptation is great to start writing automated test scripts right away, but it's better to wait a bit. Determine first what you want to test and what test steps are involved. Have you not forgotten any steps? Then your team can start writing the scripts.

  • Engage an expert 
    Test automation is something a team can relatively quickly take on themselves, but to give it a kickstart, it's a good idea to engage the help of an expert. Take a test automation training course, ask for help setting up the tools, and/or have a test consultant join your (agile) team.


How GX can help with test automation

GX is an expert in test automation. We developed our own CMS system, XperienCentral, and websites for leading clients such as PSV, KPN, and Klaverblad Insurance. As a reliable partner in marketing software, software testing plays an important role. So what do we do in the field of test automation?

• Test automation platform: writing tests, executing them, and collecting reports in one place.

• Test automation training: (in-house) training to enable organizations to start with test automation themselves.

• Test automation consultancy: advice and support when needed.


Discover how GX puts test automation into practice

Would you like to know more about GX's services in test automation? I will happily tell you more over a (digital) cup of coffee.