Devising a Good Answer for an Acceptable Percentage of Tests that Are Automated
The question has been posed for years, "What percentage of manual tests should be automated?" Most people that have been involved in test automation for a number of years can provide some guidance for estimating an acceptable percentage, but the reason this is so difficult to answer is because every project builds manual tests at a different level of detail and also deals with applications of varying complexity. Therefore, 75 percent automation may be feasible for one organization, while only 15 percent is feasible for another. We could, as an industry, evaluate these different conditions, and devise a standardized approach for calculating an acceptable percentage.
The lack of growth in test automation largely is due to the fact that test automation has not been treated as a separate discipline from manual software testing. There hasn't been a separate body of knowledge or a comprehensive resource that focuses on automation processes and procedures, as opposed to just automation tools. We must correct this, so that we can move the discipline of test automation forward and stop the automation déjà vu that we've been stuck in.
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