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Cross-platform test automation, is it worth it?

jjsantos profile image Juan De los santos ・1 min read

To understand this clearly, I think the main problem here lies in the way that some people talk about these kinds of solutions. When someone introduces a cross-platform test automation such as Appium, for example, in a conversation, most of the time they tells you that all your tests will work (almost magically) on different devices and operating systems, but that's a half-truth.

When I started using a cross-platform test automation framework, the hardest part was to start facing the truth about how everything really works; So if I want my tests to run on different devices, I have to write those particular scenarios correctly for each operating system, it was not that bad, but my expectations were way too high due to what they told me before.

The cross-platform test automation system may not be perfect (no, it is not), but it definitely helps you improve the way you write your test and reduces the time you invest on it.

It would be incredible if the same test that you write for an Android application works perfectly in iOS, but this is not our current case for multiple factors.

TL; DR
In my experience, it's worth it because it reduces the time I spend writing each test for different platforms and I have everything in the same project.

Please, let me know in the comments if you prefer the cross-platform test automation, and what was your experience so far.

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Juan De los santos

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Discussion

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I haven't worked directly with cross-platform test automation, traditionally most services I write are deployed on AWS linux boxes, however I would think when it does come to cross-platform testing, that the value comes into your active userbase i.e. if 80% of your customers are on Android... why should you optimize for iOS? Its a similar problem facing frontend devs trying to support legacy Internet Explorer editions that are in use by < 5% of the customer base.

If it is a priority for your customers and makes the end user experience better (and more likely to result in purchases/converstion) I think it makes sense to invest the time, otherwise I would stick to a single platforms test suite :)