Underneath the (UI) Surface


Thursday 15th,

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Talks (Track 1) – Main Stage at the Beach

Session Type

25-minute Talk,

All levels


Anyone who works in or with teams where automated end-to-end UI testing being done.


  • Understand in which situations UI end-to-end testing is appropriate and which ones it isn’t.
  • Learn about the drawbacks of doing too much UI testing.
  • Learn about the value of having the right amount of UI testing.
  • Find out how you can do less automated UI testing without necessarily sacrificing test coverage.

Knowing what should and shouldn't be tested through the UI in your test automation.

If you've worked on a product with a graphical user interface, you might have come across automated User Interface (UI) end-to-end tests. After all, what could be more intuitive? In many types of software, users interact with the system through a UI, so we should test exactly that same experience, right? In my experience there are a lot of problems that arise from having your test automation strategy relying a lot on these UI end-to-end tests. They can be flaky, slow to run or even hard to debug! Because of that, I’ve even adopted this rule of thumb: “don’t use UI end-to-end tests to cover what should be tested at unit or integration level”. But how exactly do we know what should and shouldn’t be tested through the UI? In this talk I will tell you about the experiences I’ve had with automated UI end-to-end testing and how I’ve shaped my own reasoning about where to use it. You’ll learn about alternatives that you may or may not have considered before, like using subcutaneous testing, investing on testability or even looking at your team’s day-to-day habits. Hopefully, you will come out of this presentation with a fresh set of ideas on how to improve your overall test automation by making it more diverse, reliable and providing fast-feedback.