What You Need to Know About Test Automation in a Production Environment

As more and more organizations move towards a DevOps model, the role of test automation becomes increasingly important. In a production environment, tests must be automated to ensure that the software works as intended and meets all quality standards.

Understand the Goal Clearly

The first and most important thing about automation is to have a clear understanding of the end goal. What are you trying to achieve with automation?

For example, here are some common goals:

  • Speed up the test process
  • Reduce human error
  • Increase test coverage
  • Improve accuracy

Once you know the end goal, you can determine which tests you should automate. This saves you time and effort in the long run.

Consider the Risks

When automating tests, you also need to consider the risks involved.

For example, if you’re automating a test that checks for the correct display of an image, what happens if the image is not displayed correctly? In this case, you need to have a plan to deal with the potential error. 

In another example, let’s say you need to implement an automated electronics test in your production line. Some risks you might think about include whether or not the test will work correctly on all types of electronics if there are any safety concerns using automation in this way, and what will happen if the test fails.

Know the Limitations

It’s essential to understand the limitations of test automation before you begin.

For example, test automation can’t replace manual testing altogether. There will always be specific tests that need to be done manually (such as exploratory or usability testing).

In addition, test automation doesn’t eliminate the need for human involvement. There will always be a need for someone to review the automated tests’ results and make decisions about whether or not to proceed with the next steps in the development process.

Finally, test automation can’t solve all of your problems. It’s important to remember that test automation is just one tool in your toolbox. It’s not a silver bullet that magically makes all of your problems disappear.

For example, exploratory testing may weed out more bugs than automated testing alone, which may miss potential scenarios that manual testing could specify.

Choose the Right Tool

There are many different test automation tools on the market, so choose the right one for your needs.

Consider the following factors when selecting a tool:

  • Programming language
  • Support
  • User interface
  • Cost
  • Ease of use

There are several automation tools available for each programming language. For example, if you’re using Java, you can choose tools such as JUnit, TestNG, and Selenium.

It’s also important to consider the support you’ll need throughout the process. Some tools offer more support than others. For example, if you’re new to automation, you might want to choose a tool that provides a lot of documentation and tutorials.

The user interface is another crucial factor to consider. Some tools have a more user-friendly interface than others. Choose a tool that is easy for you to use and understand.

Automate Strategically

Once you’ve chosen the right tool, it’s time to start automating your tests. However, automate strategically. You should only automate the tests that will benefit from automation. For example, if you’re trying to speed up the test process, you might want to automate the tests that take the longest to run.

On the other hand, if your goal is to reduce human error, you might want to automate the tests that are most likely to be affected by it.

In general, you should automate the most critical tests for your organization. That way, you can ensure that your automation efforts are focused on the right things.

Monitor Automation Results

Finally, it’s important to monitor the results of your automation. Make sure to keep track of the following during your tests:

  • Test results
  • Pass/fail rate
  • Bugs found
  • Time saved

Once you have this data, you can analyze it to see if your automation efforts are paying off. If not, you can change your automation strategy while there’s still time to improve the results.


Test automation is a powerful tool that can help you speed up the testing process, reduce human error, and increase test coverage. However, consider the risks involved and choose the right tool for your needs. Additionally, you should automate strategically and monitor the results of your automation. Implementing test automation in your production environment could save you time and money better invested elsewhere!

Author Bio

Daniel Jackson – Community Manager

NI, Twitter

Daniel is a community manager for NI (formerly National Instruments), where they create the tools needed for companies to Engineer Ambitiously™. His current interests are at the intersection of software engineering and DevOps. Outside of work, he is a marathon runner and is working on his first novel.

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