ONE CLEAR PURPOSE

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Pattern summary

Each test has only one clear purpose

Category

Design

Context

Use this pattern to build efficient, modular and maintainable testware
It's not necessary for disposable scripts

Description

Examples and the resulting tests should have a single clear purpose derived from one business rule.

Implementation

Make sure that each automated test has just one clearly defined job to do. If you have SET STANDARDS, there should be guidelines for this, and how to describe the purpose of the test.

Potential problems

Issues addressed by this pattern

GIANT SCRIPTS
MANUAL MIMICRY
OBSCURE TESTS

Experiences

Added by Wietze Veld

In our company we started to automate the tests for our existing application by rewriting the manual tests to automated tests. The manual tests were all scripted in documents. The test steps were generally copied one by one from the manual script to the automated script -we use an in-house tool built over Selenium webdriver that allows our testers to write command driven test scripts in MS Excel-. Our first goal in this process was to get as much coverage with automated tests as possible.

After this entire process of converting manual test scripts to automated tests, we experienced some problems.

  • Other teams executing these tests were often not able to easily determine why a test failed
  • Tests failed for reasons not in the scope of the test script

Reasons why:

  • Too much was being validated
  • Multiple scenarios in one test script
  • Unrelated scenarios in one test script
  • Purpose of the test was not clearly documented

Identified causes:

  • Original manual tests already covered too much, test were not being reevaluated before converting to automated tests (MANUAL MIMICRY)
  • Testers tended not to stick to the scenario but also validate what happens to be in the user interface in that test step
  • Test efficiency was being misunderstood, less setup time if you put multiple scenarios in one test script was often the solution

Solution:
Write test scripts with one clearly documented scenario.
The testers needed not to concern themselves with efficiency of the steps in the test setup -which in our application shows the same pattern with variable input-, this was improved by the Test Automation team.

This is an ongoing process wherein the teams will be reevaluating their test scripts and optimize where needed.

Solution for the near future:

  • Introduce the same in-house test framework but without MS Excel but for coded tests.
  • Use Behavior Driven Development with SpecFlow, so the scenarios are clearly defined and documented.




If you have also used this pattern and would like to contribute your experience to the wiki, please go to Feedback to submit your experience or comment.


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