A recent episode of Herding Code interviewed the creator of the Approval Tests project, Llewellyn Falco. Initially, I was vehemently against the idea. Rather, I consider automated UI testing (building scripts that execute the UI and inspect what happens) incredibly time-consuming and flaky. In other words, you spend a lot of time producing something that has limited value - the ROI is just not there.
But, by the end of the podcast, I was sold. The concept of Approval Tests seems to drastically reduce the time it takes to create – and, more importantly, maintain – automated UI tests. The value stays the same but the effort is reduced, which means that the ROI numbers start to become much more tolerable. Frankly, I think the ROI of backend (non-UI) tests way overshadows UI testing… but at least it’s palatable.