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Impediments for Automated Testing - An Empirical Analysis of a User Support Discussion Board

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper

Venue:

Seventh IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation

Publisher:

IEEE


Abstract

To better understand the challenges encountered by users and developers of automatic software testing, we have performed an empirical investigation of a discussion board used for support of a test automation framework having several hundred users. The messages on the discussion board were stratified into problem reports, help requests, development information, and feature requests. The messages in the problem report and help request strata were then sampled and analyzed using thematic analysis, searching for common patterns. Our analysis indicate that a large part of the impediments discussed on the board are related to issues related to the centralized IT environment, and to erroneous behavior connected to the use of the framework and related components. We also observed a large amount of impediments related to the use of software development tools. Turning to the help requests, we found that the majority of the help requests were about designing test scripts and not about the areas that appear to be most problematic. From our results and previous publications, we see a clear need to simplify the use, installation, and configuration of test systems of this type. The problems attributable to software development tools suggest that testers implementing test automation need more skills in handling those tools, than historically has been assumed. Finally, we propose that further research into the benefits of centralization of tools and IT environments, as well as structured deployment and efficient use of test automation, is performed.

Bibtex

@inproceedings{Wiklund3480,
author = {Kristian Wiklund and Daniel Sundmark and Sigrid Eldh and Kristina Lundqvist},
title = {Impediments for Automated Testing - An Empirical Analysis of a User Support Discussion Board},
month = {April},
year = {2014},
booktitle = {Seventh IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation },
publisher = {IEEE},
url = {http://www.es.mdh.se/publications/3480-}
}