The 8 ‘Commendments’ for Maintainable Test Automation


Wednesday 14th,

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Talks (Track 2) – Indoor Hall

Session Type

25-minute Talk,

Advanced session


Test automation engineer, tester, developer


  • Test automation architecture
  • How maintainable are my automated tests?
  • Get the conversation started within your team on how to improve maintainability of your automated tests

Maintainability starts with proper test automation architecture. This talk will provide you with tips on how to setup your test automation with maintainability at its core.

Have you ever had a project where more time was spent on maintaining the automated tests than doing actual test work? Have you had a project where the automated tests fail constantly? Like many fellow testers, I have experienced the pain of spending more time analyzing the test failure than I would have spent manually testing the functionality.

This is a talk inspired by test automation efforts that were started with much enthusiasm but failed hopelessly due to low maintainability. Luckily, I also found inspiration in successful projects where maintainability was at the core of its implementation. In this talk, I will share my experiences and tips on how to create maintainable automated tests.

After a short summary of the most common issues that I identified in the failed automation efforts, I will discuss how to avoid these issues by setting up a solid test automation architecture. An architecture with layers of abstraction, where each layer has its own responsibilities, forms the basis for maintainable test automation. Implementing these layers properly can be quite the challenge. That is why I will then dive into the 8 ‘Commendments’. Commendments being a wordplay on recommendations and commandments. These commendments will cover how to write maintainable tests using the different layers of your test architecture. More importantly, I will discuss why I think each commendment is necessary for maintainable test automation. For each commendment I will show practical examples using Java, Cucumber and/or Gherkin. This presentation will focus on UI tests, however the commendments can be applied to other forms of automated tests as well.

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