Test Automation Challenges and Solutions

Automation testing is one of the most important factors that helps developers improve the quality and functionality of modern app development cycles. For instance, with the integration of test automation, it is possible to conduct the development and testing processes side by side.  

By properly implementing this process, the developers can detect and remove the bugs as soon as they appear in the application’s infrastructure. By using various automated testing tools, developers and testers can gain access to unique features for test efficiency. A current market study shows that more than 66% of app development companies have transitioned and adopted complete automation test cycles. Experts also believe that test automation will continue to become one of the most dominant trends in the future.

Since automation testing is relatively new to the market, there is a lot unknown about this advanced process. So, with this article, we will discuss some of the most common challenges that developers will face while implementing automation testing. We will also analyze some of the most effective solutions for these problems.

Exploring Test Automation and Automated Testing Tools

Previously, the developers had to rely on manual test cases to complete all the testing cycles. This was a complex and time-consuming process, as it took several months to complete the entire testing project. However, with the implementation of test automation, the developers can run multiple test instances automatically based on pre-determined test parameters. These parameters are present in a text file which is commonly referred to as automation testing script. Using these parameters, the system can emulate human interactions while communicating with the application.

Based on the communications, the system will generate a detailed test report showing the usability and stability of the app undergoing the development project. The developers can also change these parameters to ensure that the results are accurate according to the customized requirements of the application.

By properly implementing test automation, the testers can boost the app development in the following ways:

  • It conducts repetitive test cases like regression testing, visual element testing, and unit testing. So, the developers can focus on creative areas like developing a new feature for future app updates.
  • While using automation testing, the developers can integrate various automated testing tools, frameworks, libraries, and dependencies to boost the quality of the application further.
  • Automation testing is very accurate as it does not involve human testers. Moreover, the system can run the automation test cases continuously 24 hours round the clock which is much beyond the capabilities of a human tester.
  • Automation testing also has a role in boosting company resources as it eliminates the requirements of having a human testing team.

Some of the Common Test Automation Challenges and Solutions

Depending on our research and understanding, we have created a list of some of the most common challenges that can occur during test automation. Moreover, we  have listed the most accurate solutions for each of these challenges:

Choosing the Perfect Automated Testing Tool

  • Challenge: Considering there are thousands of automated testing tools available in the market, it can be a very difficult choice to choose the correct tool that not only synchronizes with the app project but also the preferences of the developers.
  • Effective Solution: The developers can begin the selection process by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the selection criteria, which involves their knowledge of programming languages, the application type, the preferences of the target audience, and the company budget. They should also consider whether their preferred tool supports the browser version, operating system, and other parameters that they are targeting.

Configuring the Test Environment

  • Challenge: It is a very complex and challenging process to set up and maintain a test environment. This is because the environment must be efficient and accurate to ensure the quality of the development and production process.
  • Effective Solution: The application developers can solve this process by implementing reproducible test environments. For this process, they can implement infrastructure-as-code solutions like Kubernetes or Docker. To further improve the efficiency of the test environment, the testers can automate the test environment using configuration management tools like Puppet.

Managing the Test Data

  • Challenge: Modern applications consist of thousands of different elements that must be tested individually. So the app testers can find it very confusing and challenging to maintain and manage the test data. It becomes even more complex when they are working on challenging testing scenarios like data-driven testing.
  • Effective Solution: With the proper implementation of data generation tools or frameworks, app developers can easily maintain and manage the test data for thousands of different testing instances. It is also possible to implement a data masking technique which ensures the privacy and security of the user data. It is a very effective solution when app developers are working on sensitive apps like health or banking apps.

Maintaining the Automation Test Scripts

  • Challenge: The developers must remember that the automation test scripts will become outdated or irrelevant depending on the evolution of the application. So updating the automation test scripts along with the app is a very challenging and extensive process.
  • Effective Solution: The easiest and most effective solution to this problem is employing a well-structured testing framework and following the best practices for test script designing. The testers can also consider the implementation of version control for test scripts. They can also maintain test documentation to track changes effectively using the test log and history.

Dealing with Test Flakiness

  • Challenge: Certain unavoidable factors like test timing issues, synchronization problems, or application instability can cause the taste automation result flaky. This is a serious issue as it, in turn, can give rise to false positives or false negatives in the final testing data.
  • Effective Solution: The developers can easily solve this issue by implementing modern testing methods like automatic waits, retries, and advanced error-handling mechanisms. It is also important for the testers to constantly monitor and analyze the test report. This process will help them to identify and address test flakiness as soon as they appear in the core infrastructure of the application.

Implementation of Test Execution Parallelization

 

  • Challenge: Modern apps consist of thousands of different elements that can take several months to complete if executed individually. This process will massively slow down the final production and release of the app.
  • Effective Solution: By implementing parallel testing, the app developers can initiate multiple test configurations on different machines simultaneously. This process will help them to conclude thousands of different test instances within just a few days.

Proper Infrastructure for Test Reporting and Analysis

 

  • Challenge: The process of gathering and analyzing test results can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for the new automation testers and developers. In this process, they have to identify several issues that might not be prominent in the report
  • Effective Solution: By implementing robust test reporting frameworks, the app developers can not only receive detailed test reports but also valuable insights into the test data. Certain cloud platforms like LambdaTest have native features to generate highly comprehensive and visually appealing test reports.

LambdaTest and How it Solves Test Automation Challenges

LambdaTest is an artificial intelligence integrated platform for initiating and executing automation test cases on a cloud environment. Using the LambdaTest real device testing cloud, the app developers can run the test cases on real device cloud and browsers at the same time. It is also possible to combine these test reports with emulation software to further boost the accuracy of the test cases:

By implementing the LambdaTest real device cloud and the LambdaTest API, the app developers can solve the test automation challenges in the following ways:

  • LambdaTest allows the integration of parallel testing to execute large test suits simultaneously. For this feature, it uses the concept of a hub that is connected to several nodes. Here each node represents the elements of the application. Whenever the LambdaTest cloud receives a test case, it analyses its parameters and forwards it to the target element for the execution process. The following code prepares LambdaTest API for automated parallel testing:
A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated
  • Using LambdaTest, the app developers can generate highly comprehensive test reports for the analysis process. These reports not only consist of test activity logs but also have visual data like screenshots and videos to highlight the faulty elements in the application. Using this data, the app developers can also easily navigate through the app for the debugging and troubleshooting process.
  • While using LambdaTest, the app developers can integrate test management frameworks like TestNG to manage the test scripts. Using this framework, the application developers can not only keep track of the existing test data but also review them to ensure that they are suitable according to the changing market standards. 
  • LambdaTest provides an extensive support system with a mailing feature, live chat, and over-the-phone support. Using these features, the app developers can give adequate information about all the tools and features available with this platform. This platform also has a community where the developers and testers can discuss among themselves.

Finally, we would advise the readers to go through the official documentation of LambdaTest present on their website. This will provide more information about various methods, features, and tools that can be relevant according to the requirements of the test automation project. They also have an elaborate list of various test automation challenges and ways to overcome them.

The Final Verdict

We believe that this article will allow the new testers and developers to have a smooth automation testing process. It will also prepare them for any unforeseen circumstances that might arise in the testing environment. In this regard, we will advise the app testers to constantly gain adequate information regarding all the innovations and trends in this segment. To improve the app quality, the developers can survey and monitor the target audience to have more information about their requirements. This data will help them to customize the application accordingly for a wider audience reach. These factors will not only boost the app quality but also help improve the productivity of the testing environment. 

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