5 Common Mistakes in Test Automation

Test automation is highly adopted by enterprises nowadays. Automated testing helps to take over the tedious, time-consuming, and resource-intensive daily testing of apps and systems. However, testing teams often make the same mistakes that can cause the test automation to fail and impact the ROI as a result. In this article, you’ll find the most common errors and mistakes in test automation that affect not only test automation efficiency but overall product quality.

Top 5 Test Automation Mistakes

In 2020, 78% of organisations have already leveraged test automation for regression or functional testing. Yet, 11% of organizations use no automation test for QA (quality assurance). Maybe, the reason is the following 5 common test automation mistakes. Let’s check out the top errors and ways to avoid them so that you can get most of the automated testing.


Wrong Tool Selection

Having such a variety of tools to fit any budget and requirements, it seems like nonsense to make the wrong decision. Yet, such diversity often leads to poor decision-making and wrong tool selection. The most common reasons why organizations’ automated testing fails or its efficiency level is not as high as expected are as follows:

  • The main choice criteria is the tool’s price;
  • You didn’t analyze all the testing requirements of the AUT (application under test) thoroughly;
  • You didn’t lay out the test tool requirements clearly;
  • You didn’t assess the readiness and/or skill set of your testing team accurately;
  • You didn’t evaluate the tool vendor and capability properly;
  • You selected the tool solely because it was open-source.

Actually, it’s not enough to consider the price and features of the tool for automated testing, it’s crucial to check the next aspects:

  • Real-time project recommendations;
  • Feedback of real users;
  • Community support provided;
  • Features provided and if they meet your project’s requirements and needs, and so on.

What’s more, your team of testers who will use this tool should take part in the evolution process to make the adoption smooth and effective.


Record and Play Trap

In addition to the previous mistake, all the modern tools offer built-in record-and-play features. Such features enable your testers to create automated scripts for the scenarios quickly. Yet, it’s where the biggest trap is hidden: these automation scripts are built with static data (generally not reusable). What’s more, such tools do not record any validations and every time there is a change in the recorded scenario, testers are to re-record it and that can wipe out any dynamic data.

It doesn’t mean that this feature is useless. The fact is that the customization of the generated script is a must for successful and effective automated testing. Herewith, you can use the record feature to create a skeletal script that is to be customized with data parameterization and added checkpoints for validation. Besides that, modularizing the script can be involved so that several testers from your team can work on it at one time.

Insufficient Test Validation

The test engineers don’t validate a scenario at all levels when data validation is a critical aspect of automated testing. And that’s one of the crucial mistakes committed. It amazes but it’s commonly that enterprises:

  • Run no validation.

It’s a huge mistake to create and use scripts without any validation at all. It’s crucial to use the checkpoints for script validation. It’s recommended to place checkpoints at as many points as possible to detect web objects, page parameters, text on the page, and so on.

  • Consider visible validation only.

Even if everything works perfectly fine when testing UI (user interface), it doesn’t mean that it’s done properly behind the scenes. So, keep validations that show that the process has been completed in the right way with the expected data integrity ensured.

To avoid such mistakes, validate functionality at all levels, using checkpoints and not only at visible UI elements (texts, buttons, combo boxes, hyperlinks, etc.) to avoid bug leakage in AUT production.

Opting for Inappropriate Test Cases

A significant portion of user activity is to be represented as test cases chosen for automation. Yet, there are a huge variety of paths that can be taken by the user. And many test engineers commit mistakes while preparing such test cases. That leads to decreasing the product quality and a lot of bugs in functionality missed because of inappropriate test cases used.

The trick is to analyze all possible paths so that you can condense them to a small sample of a highly representative test suite that represents the entire functional flow of the software/app.

Replacing Human Testing

Another common mistake is to try to automate all the test cases. Yet, not all the features should be tested in that way. Such an approach can lead to a useless expenditure of money and effort without contributing value to the overall product. Ideally, automated testing is to be used as a way to improve manual testing only.

That’s why create a checklist of features to define which ones are better to automate and which ones you’d leave to manual testing. For example, exploratory and usability are better to test manually, when some scripts are faster to test using automation. So, don’t try to replace human testing at all. Automate just those tests that require a lot of manual testing and consume a lot of time in executing manually.


Today test automation activities can be considered an integral part of project quality assurance. Test automation success and efficiency depend a lot on the right decisions and proper process ensured. Yet, these top 5 mistakes can affect the project efficiency a lot. And, perhaps, every test engineer commits at least one of the mistakes mentioned in the article. However, by knowing the ways you can avoid them, you can improve the efficiency and efforts of test automation to increase the overall product quality as a result.

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About the Author


I am CTO at DDI development. Having an advanced degree in software engineering and 7 years of experience allows me to build a successful technology strategy for all the company’s projects. I've got deep understanding of network security, compliance, and operational security.
Find out more about @ddidevelopment

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