Should you Automate existing functionality

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  • #11077

    Hi All

    As the title suggests, should you automation existing functionality?

    A bit of background, I’ve recently join a team where they were no Test Function at all. They have an application which is pretty well defined, and as part of my remit, I’ve been asked to create an automation suite of tests so they can be used their CI.

    Their is little to none requirement documentation to work against, and I’ve started automating against what I think is best.

    Any Advice?


    Perhaps: consider yourself an agile process. Who is your PO / oracle and how often will you demo what you have worked on. (not just what you think is best).

    Existing functionality is a good place for tool assisted testing (aka automation) so dig in, but be carefull – the space is infinite, and you xcan come around doing it forever without adding value.

    Oh, and there is always requirements. They might have another form than you are used to. Look into these perhaps:

    Devanathan Ram

    I totally agree to the above comment. An existing functionality, especially a well defined ones as you say, are the best things to automate. But its not possible without a well defined document (a requirement or any form of it that you may not see in the usual place). There must be some information (Jesper had rightly said it might be in place with a different format). The primary rule of a tester is not to rely on any software without proper requirements in place. Do not work and understand a software’s behavior. Go through the requirements, understand the software and then play around it.

    If you are to automate against what you think is best, well its not gonna stop. It will keep growing one by one. With the current methodology and technology in mind (say Agile), nothing is done without a well defined requirement. Even a comma, full stop changes are properly documented. Forms of documentation might change based on the process being followed in the organization. But, nothing is built without a document (because everything is derived considering the cost factor). Hope this helps!


    Hi Christopher,

    I think automation should be used for testing existing functionality. But documented requirements define what should be tested. As Jesper said, you can start automating everything and this can be infinite; there will be no limit for creating any test. You should talk to somebody in your team who knows very well the application (maybe an architect) and decide which are the most important workflows to be automated, select only these workflows and further used them in CI. You should also think about documenting these tests; documentation will be useful when the application will grow and more tests will be added in CI.


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