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Over the past year or so, I have been tasked to clean up the automation stack in our feature area. During that time there were days when I just wanted to throw my hands in the air, but instead I just beat my head against my desk a few more times. It seemed that knocking myself senseless was the only way to try to make sense of what was going on inside some of the legacy automated test cases in our code base. After removing around 5000 lines of redundant code, reducing runtime by more than 20 minutes, and improving maintainability of the tests in our feature area I came up with a list of things to avoid when coding automated tests. Although not an exhaustive list of best practices, here are some ideas that can help testers develop automated tests that will be more robust, efficient, and potentially improve the effectiveness of your automation test suites.
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