UI Test Automation Tools are Snake Oil

It happens over and over again. I visit a team and I ask about their testing situation. We talk about unit tests, exploratory testing, the works. Then, I ask about automated end-to-end testing and they point at a machine in the corner. That poor machine has an installation of some highly-priced per seat testing tool (or an open source one, it doesn’t matter), and the chair in front of it is empty. We walk over, sweep the dust away from the keyboard, and load up the tool. Then, we glance through their set of test scripts and try to run them. The system falls over a couple of times and then they give me that sheepish grin and say “we tried.” I say, “don’t worry, everyone does.

Make sure you go to the link and read the entire post. I generally agree with the points. We're headed in this direction with a new project and luckily the packages we're looking at provide API's into the application that the UI uses. We'll be able to automate many tests without directly going through the UI. But... the UI must still be tested thoroughly and UI testing tools are required.