I was tasked with researching 'ways to apply automated testing'. I have never done automated testing. Only manual with test plans written by developers. Not sure where to begin.

Anyone have any websites that explain this to a newbie easily that have helped you in the past? Looking for advice on where the best places are to begin this research based on other testers/businesses experience.


Well, if you just want an entrance to test automation (and keeping in mind what @JoaoFarias said about the difference between testing and checking) the best way to show 'something' to your superiors would be to automate some key test cases you already have. A typical example is automating the login page.

There are multiple tools available:

  • TestCafe has some nasty bugs in the documentation, but I guess they want to keep people alert :) Seriously, TestCafe is really easy to use, a nice lightweight tool. – pavelsaman Jun 8 '20 at 14:12
  • I haven't been using it for very long so I must admit I haven't noticed the bugs. Can you give some examples? – Mate Mrše Jun 8 '20 at 14:28
  • I reported this one github.com/DevExpress/testcafe/issues/5145 perhaps it's been fixed already. – pavelsaman Jun 8 '20 at 16:21

My experience, and I heard the same from a couple of colleagues that manage companies in the test automation domain, is that the best approach is to start small and "look under the street-lamp".

The logic behind it is that there is simply too much to learn and try in order to achieve good test automation (or checking, whatever) and while you are doing that the product is being developed and changed, technologies change, and the test frameworks themselves change.

So what I suggest, and this is not the BEST approach but simply a feasible one that has a good chance not to waste a lot of un-successful trials and resources, is to do a very short investigation like the other answers suggest, but shorter, choose one way and implement a very very basic test.

But, and there is a but, make sure that this test is reliable, can be extended easily, can be understood by others and if I haven't emphasized enough it should be super stable and reliable.

You will get a simple smoke test, but on the way you will also learn a lot for the next round of automation.


Awhile back, I was also task on how to start with automation testing too. This is how I did:

1. Identify what you will be testing

  • Either it will be for web or mobile application. When you start with automation you need to have the right tools that is applicable to the system that you are testing.

2. After identifying, search for the right tool to integrate

  • For example for web based application you can used selenium (with java, python or c#)
  • For android, you can used EspressoJS for iOS, I don't have any experience in such.

3. After gathering these tool, you need to filter your test cases.

  • When we create test cases, there must be a lot specially for manual. Just remember that you will be automating the test cases that you think that is redundant/repetitive to your daily cycle of testing. For example: user login successfully.

So with this you need to know what test cases will be assign to below:

    - Unit Test (UT) - usually the dev will be doing this
    - Integration Test (IT) - you can use cucumber
    - GUI Test - you can use selenium

4. After doing all the above, then you can start integrating it.

  • There are lot of website with good information that you can try out as long you know what tools you will be using and in which language you will be implementing. The hardest part for me when transitioning from manual to automation was the setup. You might encounter a lot of problems but just don't give up. Remember that you are not alone in terms of starting new. :)

By doing automation, does not mean that you will be obsoleting the manual test. Manual test is really important since we need to have user experience on hand. Automation just just make the tester focused on more on important things or more vital point of the system not being stress out on doing those repetitive test cases.


I would start with a book, as it contains the practical experience most likely of a decade. Articles might get you started, but you will miss the big picture, the traps, the mistakes, the good patterns. Test automation is easy to learn, if you know basic programming, but hard to master.

Suggested reads:


For starters, let's clarify that there are no such things as:

  • "Automated Testing", because testing is an investigation activity. By its nature, it is exploratory and not algorithmic.
  • "Automation Testing", which I guess it's not even grammatically correct. Are you testing automation? Robot automation? It doesn't seem to fit the context...

What people usually call "Automated Testing" is the "operation of a product to check facts about it" performed by a computer, algorithmically. We can call it "Automated Checking".

enter image description here Reference

So, Automated Checking can be used whenever we know (explicit knowledge) that we want to operate the product in a very specific way and check some specific facts. And it is particularly beneficial when this operation would be too difficult (access to components or effort-size), error-prone or unnecessary for a human to do; when we realized the tester can bring more value in other ways; when the operation will be realized repeatedly throughout time.

If the check is a one-time thing; it's simply too easy for a human, etc, maybe Automated Checking not the best approach. It depends on the context.

If we want to learn or evaluate something, we are outside the reach for computers, it is necessary to do testing, explore the product and its systems.

  • 1
    Please don't drag the testing vs checking discussion here, it will discourage people from asking. To the point, there are actually some ways of real testing (your definition) done automatically and even better than by human. Take for example anomaly detection algorithms running on log file of long tests. – Rsf Jun 8 '20 at 13:47
  • 1 - "Please don't say XYZ" is what discourage people from asking and debating. 2 - My treplic to close the discussion you raised, anomalies detection algorithms follow data/randomization-driven algoritms (A.I.), but still, algoritms. They don't learn, question, model, evaluate anything outside what their programming is capable of; they don't use implicit knowledge. Their structure, algoritms and oracles were designed by humans. So, they are not in the sphere of the light blue are of the image above. They are great for the dark blue scope, even better than humans, but only in this area. – João Farias Jun 10 '20 at 20:36
  • We should focus on the question at hand, taking the discussion to terminology doesn't contribute especially when it is not the essence of the question. If you want you can always ask a new question with reference to this one, or start by a very short comment like "checking (testing is the mental work done)....". – Rsf Jun 11 '20 at 7:18

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