The Testing Pyramid

The Test Automation Pyramid (accredited to Mike Cohn but popularised by Martin Fowler from Thoughtworks offers a useful model to think about the best way to structure your test automation. The key message is that the majority of the testing should be done at the unit test level as opposed to the GUI level.

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Use the Testing Pyramid to create an effective test automation strategy

The number of unit tests > number of server tests > number of GUI tests = a testing pyramid.

The alternative – the inverted pyramid or “ice cream cone” – means a slower feedback loop between developers and testing, more bugs found later in the product lifecycle, when they are generally more expensive to fix, and fewer opportunities for developers to learn from their mistakes. ​ ​


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