Everyone falls flat on their face sometimes but don’t waste time running the marathon and face planting at the finish line!
Test automation is sometimes considered “the easy part” of quality assurance which encompasses so much more than writing a framework and test coverage. I’ve seen some very experienced professionals make some basic mistakes so I was motivated to start blogging. For example, one highly educated senior software test engineer with a fancy title was leading a team of three write test coverage for one of our products. The data setup was very difficult so they just generated “null” data because “one day” they would come back and fix it. Their validator always skipped when validating null results so it was always skipping. I call this a “do nothing” test case. They had a fancy report with a diagram showing 1400 passing test cases all beautifully colored green.
I inherited that project after a company re-org. After I studied the code and discovered the “do nothing” coverage I modified the test data generator to throw an exception immediately if the scenario was too difficult to setup. I re-generated the report and those 1400 beautiful green test cases disappeared and uncovered 400 failures.
Sorry I was too lazy to fix my diagram and change it from blue to green 🙂
Three highly paid software engineers (testers) spend one year writing “do nothing” test cases. I know the data setup was difficult but it would have been more valuable to invest the time to figure it out and bang out only a few valuable test cases rather than 400 do nothing test cases.
Software testing is difficult so expect to face plant sometimes, but do it at the starting line instead!