Does Record-and-Playback create good Automation Tests?

Robot conductor
Robot conductor

Does Record-and-Playback create good Automation Tests?

Jun 6, 2023

No, record and playback does not create good tests.

Imagine you're a conductor leading a grand orchestra. Record and playback is like having a robot that can replicate your every move. You record your precise conducting gestures once, and the device flawlessly plays them back for every performance.

However, the quality of the music ultimately depends on your initial performance and ongoing practice. If your original conducting lacked finesse or if you neglect to fine-tune and adapt the playback, the resulting music may not be of the highest quality. Similarly, record and playback in testing allow you to create tests quickly, but the quality of the test depends on the initial design and ongoing maintenance.

Good tests require critical thinking, a thorough understanding of the application, and the ability to adapt to different scenarios. Record and playback tools, in their simplistic nature, tend to create rigid scripts that lack the flexibility needed to handle variations in the application's behaviour.

They often produce fragile tests that break easily when the user interface or application changes. Furthermore, they may not account for the underlying logic or business rules, resulting in superficial tests that do not effectively cover the desired test scenarios.

To create good tests, employing a thoughtful and structured approach involving manual test design is crucial. Testers should understand the application's requirements, design tests that cover different scenarios, and incorporate proper validation and verification techniques.

Good test design allows testers to apply their expertise, adapt to changes, and craft tests that truly validate the software's functionality, user experience, and performance. It provides the opportunity to think critically, identify potential issues, and create test cases that provide meaningful and reliable results.

Now give these buttons a good test 😜

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