You are required to read and agree to the below before accessing a full-text version of an article in the IDE article repository.

The full-text document you are about to access is subject to national and international copyright laws. In most cases (but not necessarily all) the consequence is that personal use is allowed given that the copyright owner is duly acknowledged and respected. All other use (typically) require an explicit permission (often in writing) by the copyright owner.

For the reports in this repository we specifically note that

  • the use of articles under IEEE copyright is governed by the IEEE copyright policy (available at
  • the use of articles under ACM copyright is governed by the ACM copyright policy (available at
  • technical reports and other articles issued by M‰lardalen University is free for personal use. For other use, the explicit consent of the authors is required
  • in other cases, please contact the copyright owner for detailed information

By accepting I agree to acknowledge and respect the rights of the copyright owner of the document I am about to access.

If you are in doubt, feel free to contact

Impediments for Automated Testing - An Empirical Analysis of a User Support Discussion Board

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Seventh IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation




To better understand the challenges encountered by users and developers of automatic software testing, we have performed an empirical investigation of a discussion board used for support of a test automation framework having several hundred users. The messages on the discussion board were stratified into problem reports, help requests, development information, and feature requests. The messages in the problem report and help request strata were then sampled and analyzed using thematic analysis, searching for common patterns. Our analysis indicate that a large part of the impediments discussed on the board are related to issues related to the centralized IT environment, and to erroneous behavior connected to the use of the framework and related components. We also observed a large amount of impediments related to the use of software development tools. Turning to the help requests, we found that the majority of the help requests were about designing test scripts and not about the areas that appear to be most problematic. From our results and previous publications, we see a clear need to simplify the use, installation, and configuration of test systems of this type. The problems attributable to software development tools suggest that testers implementing test automation need more skills in handling those tools, than historically has been assumed. Finally, we propose that further research into the benefits of centralization of tools and IT environments, as well as structured deployment and efficient use of test automation, is performed.


author = {Kristian Wiklund and Daniel Sundmark and Sigrid Eldh and Kristina Lundqvist},
title = {Impediments for Automated Testing - An Empirical Analysis of a User Support Discussion Board},
month = {April},
year = {2014},
booktitle = {Seventh IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation },
publisher = {IEEE},
url = {}