Five Signs It’s Time To Automate Your Testing



Let’s face it – testing manually is both faster and cheaper in the beginning. While the product requirements are very unclear, pouring time and resources to automate the testing might be a waste. In the end of the day, automation is a long-term strategy, but it has no value if we don’t know whether there will be a “long-term”.

That being said, there are signs that indicate it is time for us to abandon manual and look for the “robots”. Look for these indicators as missing them might spell big trouble in the future. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 indicators it is time to start automating. Here it is:


1. No matter how many test engineers in our team, they are never quite enough


Have you ever encountered a scenario where a new colleague in testing joins the team and couple of months later we are still not quite enough and not covering all the cases? This is the most obvious tell it is time to automate. The reason for this lies in the main thing test automation promises – to not do the same test twice manually. The more releases there are the more regression tests we need to run. Only the robots can save you from this downward spiral of death.


2. Sensor-specific features start to be added

How do you test accelerometer data or the location data? If you have a skiing app, do you go to the mountain every day? The first few time you might get up and start going around the building. This won’t work for long as your simulated data is not even close to the real data. It is then the sure tell that it is time to start automating very very soon.


3. Missing things even though we have them in the test cases

Sand slipping through the fingers

We are not machines! As humans, we are very very prone to mistakes during monotonous manual testing. Once these regressions start to slip through our fingers it is time to put “the robots” to work.


4. Developers spend too much time finding the source of the defect

This one is a bit more hidden than the previous ones. Automated tests provide much more information for the developers when investigating. As test engineers we just log what we think is relevant, but the developer sees much more in the code than we can comprehend and verbally explain.


5. Team morale problems and developer-QA conflicts arise


This one is much more hidden than the previous four, but it is very very important. Conflicts between QA and developers naturally arise in a project, and normally the cause of it is the different nature of the two jobs. However writing automated tests creates a new-found level of appreciation and respect both ways. Test engineers start to understand what are the challenges of “code-writing” and developers appreciate the ability of test engineers to actually create something through code.



Automation brings much more positives than just saving time and money in the long run. If we are fairly sure that we will have a “long run” then the benefits of automating the testing process run much deeper into the heart of the team – its morale, appreciation and respect. Keep your eyes open for the signs it is time to start automating your work and let the robots do the heavy lifting for you.

You have decided, now what?

There are still few things to consider before starting – here is our guide on starting with test automation – guide.

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