There are a number of considerations.

You should avoid thinking of ‘x number of ’ means ‘x number of automated ’. As attractive as automation is, it is very limited in what it can do effectively, reliably and in a timely fashion. Some things it will be able to do better, others not as well. Humans do not have ‘intermittent failures’ – or at least not the same kind ๐Ÿ˜‰ so a different approach is needed.

These are some of the considerations you should have:

  • Think about automated UI tests… along with back end Unit and Integrated tests that will run in seconds and minutes instead of minutes and hours.

  • Avoid testing different data combinations through the UI

  • Have Smoke tests at both UI and backend levels for extremely fast feedback in a few seconds as code is changed.

  • Have Happy, Sad and Optional types of tests to cover the different scenarios

  • UI tests are flaky. Everyone discovers this over time. We do not control the asynchronous devices (browsers, mobile devices, etc). and their asynchronous nature usually leads to failures over time

  • Ask for a review group to go through the cases that are not understood. Management need to make sure that time is allocated (at a high level) to do this. If the task seems too overwhelming, try tackling 10 a week.

  • Examine what actual bugs have happened recently and focus testing on that to add real value and not just test for testing sake (like those old tests you have inherited that no-one know what they do)

  • Make sure application engineers, automation engineers and release engineers get together and have a good shared understanding instead of remaining in their own silos.

Think about how you are going to operate going forward on a daily and weekly basis. Clearly the development process will need to change to accommodate new approaches. This should start now and not wait for the ‘cleanup’ to be done first. Figure out how to create appropriate tests at all levels for new and changed functionality. Otherwise the tide will return and wash away the benefits you started to receive from your temporary sandcastles of automated testing.

Also buy some books, for example:

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