Why Recording Videos for Automated Test Execution in Test Scripts is Wrong?

Avoid capturing automated E2E test execution into video, as it is a waste of time. Promoting video reporting is a sign of ‘fake test automation engineers’.

Zhimin Zhan
10 min readApr 5, 2022


This article is one of the “Be aware of Fake Test Automation/DevOps Engineers” series.

In Automated End-to-End Testing, many so-called ‘cool’ features like the ones below are mostly unnecessary.

Some commercial test automation tools, such as Ranorex, highlight a ‘cool’ feature: capturing the whole test execution video (also known as video-reporting). A variation of this feature is taking a sequence of screenshots after each test step. These so-called test automation tools all failed.

Recently, I saw a couple of articles comparing Selenium WebDriver vs Playwright. The authors claimed one main Playwright’s advantage (over Selenium) is Video-Reporting. This is very wrong! (as a web test automation framework, raw Selenium WebDriver is much much better than Playwright, in every way).

WARNING: bad! set up recording in Playwright test scripts.# taken from PlayWright doc: https://playwright.dev/docs/videos
const context = await browser.newContext({
recordVideo: {
dir: 'videos/',
size: { width: 640, height: 480 },

I understand the above is optional. People, who think this feature is very helpful for developing/debugging automated tests, do not understand test automation, they are fakes or amateurs.

Table of Contents:· Real Test Automation Engineers do not have time to check videos
· Video/Screenshots reporting is tempting, but wrong
· Video/Screenshots reporting is bad
1. Counter-productive to resolve the issue
2. Slower test execution
3. Disk space, Cost and other complications
· If you do need Video reporting, there is a free and simpler way

Real Test Automation Engineers do not have time to watch/check



Zhimin Zhan

Test automation & CT coach, author, speaker and award-winning software developer. Help teams succeed with Agile/DevOps by implementing real Continuous Testing.

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