I met with my team’s automation experts a few weeks back to get their input on when to automate and when to manually test. The general rule of thumb has always been to use common sense. If you’re only going to run the test one or two times or the test is really expensive to automation, it is most likely a manual test. But then again, what good is saying “use common sense” when you need to come up with deterministic set of guidelines on how and when to automate?
Pros of Automation
Cons of Automation
Pros of Manual
Cons of Manual
Other deciding factors
Criteria for automating
There are two sets of questions to determine whether automation is right for your test case:
Is this test scenario automatable?
How important is this test scenario?
If you answered #1 to both questions – definitely automate that test
If you answered #1 or #2 to both questions – you should automate that test
If you answered #2 to both questions – you need to consider if it is really worth the investment to automate
What happens if you can’t automate?
Let’s say that you have a test that you absolutely need to run whenever possible, but it isn’t possible to automate. Your options are