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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Approval Testing–better ROI for UI testing?

A recent episode of Herding Code interviewed the creator of the Approval Tests project, Llewellyn Falco.  Initially, I was vehemently against the idea.  Rather, I consider automated UI testing (building scripts that execute the UI and inspect what happens) incredibly time-consuming and flaky. In other words, you spend a lot of time producing something that has limited value - the ROI is just not there.

But, by the end of the podcast, I was sold.  The concept of Approval Tests seems to drastically reduce the time it takes to create – and, more importantly, maintain – automated UI tests.  The value stays the same but the effort is reduced, which means that the ROI numbers start to become much more tolerable.  Frankly, I think the ROI of backend (non-UI) tests way overshadows UI testing…  but at least it’s palatable.