Autotests: Myths And Reality

Myth: The Autotest can completely replace manual testing.

Reality: The reason to believe this assertion exactly the same as believing in the existence of a silver bullet. Auto-tests cannot be a panacea (and prevention) of all the bugs living in the software product. Do you believe in what the robot is able to identify all the ailments in humans organism and quickly get rid of them? That would be great. But in fact such a robot will not replace intuition, experience and doctors thought. But he is able to rid the Aesculapius from performing routine activities that can be clearly defined and regulated. The same is true in testing. 

Myth: The acquisition of the commercial, the use of free or develop of their own tools for writing autotests there is a guarantee of success on the field of test automation.

Reality: The tool is not a strategy or even tactics. We need a complete understanding of exactly what, how, when and why we want to test. What goals do we want to reach beyond "no software bugs"? Looking for help in TDD? Interested in regression tests? What kind of functionality, at what level (GUI, API, kernel), we want to check the self-test in the first place? How much time do we have and will have? How many workers? With what experience are they? All these and many other questions should get answers even when choosing a tool. It is one thing - to easily make the first move ("Oh, my program itself fills out a form!") and stop at a crossroads, and another thing - steadily growing library of autotests that run with each build. You cannot automate chaos. Tool is a tool and nothing more.

Myth: Autotest allows considerably saving money on the test.

Reality: Yes, it will, because they do not need to check the same hand dozens of times. However, cheese is not free: the cost of implementing autotests could be significant. Autotest do not ask to eat but you need to feed their creators:) The creation of autotests should be viewed not so much in terms of “now invest - and then saved on testing”, but to improve product quality and speed of its development. In other words investments in automated testing is moving forward, striving not only to save money, but to pick up.

Myth: If you create the autotests rightly once -  you can use them until the end of the century.

Reality: Not likely. Product changes – autotests change.

Myth: A well-written and updated auto-tests are infallible.

Reality: Autotest useful and paramount, but you need always look after them.