How much testing is too much testing?


Testing is finally getting its due notice as a necessary and irreplaceable process. However, stakeholders sometimes wonder if the continuous flow of tests being conducted are really required or not. This query stems from the constant investment of resources in the process, often becoming a taxing ordeal.

While it is important to reiterate that testing is extremely essential to the procedure of software development, especially today, it is also not unfounded to explore the possibility of excess. It is possible that a point emerges at which testing is not supporting the primary goals of your organization anymore. Experts opine that the only way out of such a situation is through taking a holistic, adaptive, and risk-driven approach. The following article will focus on the instances in which testing is working against our actual aims, instead of supporting them.

The common issues with testing

Does mobile app test automation automatically equate to reliability, flexibility, and time efficiency? The simple answer is: not always, and not necessarily. It can become a burden if the endeavor is not well thought out in the beginning. It could also be too much or too little when measured against what is actually required. There are some very common reasons because of which automated testing can go wrong.

An approach which isn’t holistic

Though the idea of best practices is important for the knowledge of both developers and other stakeholders, it is important to understand that when it comes to the development and testing of your software and applications there are no one-fit-all solutions which can be leveraged. The contextuality needs to be taken into consideration. You must know what is required of you, and when.

Automation can be considered in two main contexts-

  • As a part of the maintenance process: The first instance is the one in which mobile app test automation is a part of maintenance. This is usually done in case of organizations in which IT is not a product in itself, but a support function. Here, cost-effectiveness that drives these tests. 
  • As a part of the production process: This is done for institutions that sell software as products and services. Testing is important here because it saves time, and makes the process flexible and innovative. 

Hence, developers must listen, watch, and make wise decisions. If what you need is cost, or time-effectiveness, or to have flawlessness in quality, good decision-making in terms of cross browser automation testing is crucial. Also, usually the focus on one ability comes at the cost of another- to be decisive therefore, is necessary.

So, when testing is conducted for the sake of it, without considering the real needs of the hour, it ends up working against company goals, thereby wasting resources.

When methods have changed

In the past few years, the way in which mobile applications are designed, developed, and even tested have seen significant change. To keep pace with the changing climate, chances are that your organization has also been shifting in its methods, processes, and technological faculties, maybe even introducing new roles like scrum masters

For instance, the most common change these days is that organizations are moving to an agile procedure for the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The change from a traditional approach also means a change from an entirely automated process of testing to a hybrid one. An agile approach provides feedback and mitigates risks constantly. For agile SDLC, the speed of the test isn’t the most important- efficiency is, especially in comparison to manual labor. 

The measurement isn’t supposed to be dependent on direct comparison with manual testing and how many hours are saved in the former. Running seamlessly and continuously at each test level is more crucial.  

While most people believe that test automation is essential as a part of the Quality Assurance process, there are still some who find it new and unfavorable and this could be due to methodological discrepancies which they find are difficult to work with.

Proper risk assessment 

This is where the whole crisis comes to a crescendo. Automation specialists and engineers can deftly solve technical hurdles but where they face obstacles is the judgment as to where automated testing is required and where it might be overkill. It is important to remember testing exists to mitigate risks. Sometimes, the browser testing automation is detached from the assessment and can grow in areas where it cannot mitigate risks sufficiently. A high percentage of higher-level tests are sometimes completely redundant and don’t really play a significant role in risk assessment.

People forget to ask the quintessential question of what impact does this risk mitigation hold, as in, what is changing with the elimination of these risks. If this is asked at the right time, you might realize that several parts of the risk have already been covered by other tests (like unit testing). The metrics sometimes show measurements which are not relevant to business purposes. 

Lack of effective flight control

Sometimes tests reveal that there are no defects at all- these are called green runs. A basic metric calculation reveals that an hour of mobile app test automation covers up to 20 hours of manual testing. But what is not revealed here is that even though this may have saved a lot of time, no cross-cutting company would entertain spending any time to find absolutely no defects. Perhaps the more useful metric here would be a measurement of the cost of maintenance and effectiveness in finding defects. 


So, to answer the question is – yes, there can be instances when people have engaged in too much testing, or unnecessary testing, in other words.

Implementing any automation strategy is difficult and it is easy to fall into the recognized and common patterns which people swear by, without paying heed to the real-life needs of the organization which you are working for. If there is a way out of this, it must include the assessment of risks and approaching the whole business of cross browser testing automation, and mobile app test automation from a holistic perspective. In this way, the overall organizational goals can be kept in mind and a cost effective testing strategy can be implemented.

Maisie Jones

Tech Stormy is a Tech innovation blog, Where you get the latest news, information and trends about technology,

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