Automation Anti-Patterns That You Must Avoid

Regardless of your testing experience or the effectiveness of your automation infrastructure, you should use a robust test design to initiate automation. The lack of strong test design can force testing teams to face a wide range of issues which generate incomplete, inefficient, and difficult-to-maintain tests. In order to make sure the cost efficiency, quality, and delivery are not affected, it is necessary to familiarize with those indicators which represent the performance of tests. To begin with, consider the following automation anti-patterns to improve testing.

Longer Length of Sequence

Often, tests are created with small steps for long sequences, thus their management and maintenance is hard. For instance, while an application which is currently being tested undergoes changes, it is considerably complex to work around these modifications with other tests.

Instead of using a bottom-up approach first, generate a high-level design. In accordance with the respective method, such a design can consist of features like scopes and definitions of test products which are included in the main objective and test objective for different tests. For instance, a product could consist of test cases which test the calculation process of home loan mortgage premiums.


When testers focus too much on interaction tests, it is possible that they may design weak tests which do not factor major business-level concerns like the interaction of application responses for unusual circumstances.

Testers should emphasize on the use of businesses tests which represent rules, objects, and processes of business alongside the interaction tests. For instance, with a business test, a user can log in, type a few orders, and view the financial information with the help of high-level activities which mask the details of the interaction.

In interaction tests, a user can type name/password combination and assess whether or not the button of submission (submit) is enabled or not—such a test can occur in any business environment type.

Blurred Lines

While it is important to run interaction and business tests, however, keep in mind that they should be run separately. For instance, the rules and lifecycles of business objects along with their processes and calculations must not be combined with interaction test details like confirming the presence of submit button or determining whether or not a login message is displayed after the login process. Such a scenario can make maintenance hard due to the mix. For instance, if the welcome message is generated in a new application version, all the associated tests have to be checked and maintained.

A modular and high-quality test can help testers with the correct vision about how these blurred lines should be avoided to make sure the maintainability and manageability is strong. Test modules are known to carry a well-defined scope with test modules. They prevent checks which are not suitable for their scope and mask comprehensive steps for the UI interactions.

Life Cycle Tests

Most of the global applications work with business objects like products, invoices, orders, and customers. The application lifecycles of such objects are updated, retrieve, create, and delete—known as CRUD. The major issue is that the tests for these lifecycles are hard to find, incomplete, and scattered. Hence, there can be real vulnerabilities in the tests’ scope especially in the case of business objects, particularly when the business objects are ever-changing. For a car rental, while one can try several vans and cars, however, the coverage is lesser for both the buses and motorcycles.

It is easy to design life cycle tests. You can initiate by choosing business objects along with their operations. Such a process can also consist of variations like updating or canceling an order. It is important to remember that life cycle tests are similar to business tests, instead of the interaction tests.

Poorly Developed Tests

Factors like pressure, time, and others can culminate in the creation of shallow test cases which are not good enough to properly test the application. As a result, quality suffers, like missed situations which are not responded. Doing this can also affect the test maintenance, making it more expensive.

More importantly, it is necessary to sync both the testing and test automation for the entire Scrum sprint. These tests and their automation require a greater degree of cooperation which is tougher in case they are still running after the completion of the sprint.

When improved automation architecture and test design are not good enough in keeping up with the velocity, then you can think about the outsourcing of a number of tasks so the testers are able to match the speed.

You have to think in terms of a professional tester—as an individual who has a knack of breaking things. For instance, if different testing methods like error guessing decision tables are used then they can assist to pinpoint those situations which require immediate assistance with the test cases. On a similar note, equivalence partitioning and state-transition diagrams can help to think about different design to test the cases.


Lack of scope in tests is quite a common problem like when an entry dialog has to be tested by a test or with a group of financial transactions. It is easy to find the tests and also update in case of changes in the application while duplication is also possible.

Duplicate Checks

Testers usually use to assess steps by using an unexpected output for all the steps; this is also encouraged by different management tools. What this indicates is that separate tests can be used for the same check. For instance, the previous test determined whether or not the welcome screen is generated after the login.

Begin with a test design on which the testers focused heavily. You have to ensure that all the modules in the test have well-differentiated and clear scopes. Hence, during the development of such tests, you have to avoid checking after each step. Add checks according to the scope.


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