What steps can I take when my tests pass in debug mode but fail when run by a test runner?


Debugging Test Failures in @playwright/test

When your tests pass in debug mode but fail when run by a test runner, it can be due to differences in timing, environment setup, and configuration.

Timing Issues

Debug mode allows you to step through your code and pause at breakpoints. This can affect the timing of actions or assertions in your tests. When tests are run by a test runner without debugging, they execute at their normal pace. If you suspect timing issues, consider adding explicit delays or waits in your tests.

import { test } from '@playwright/test';

test('example test', async ({ page }) => {
  await page.goto('https://ray.run/');
  await page.waitForTimeout(2000); // explicit delay
  // rest of your test

Environment Setup

Ensure that your environment setup is consistent when running tests in debug mode and with a test runner. This includes configurations or dependencies that might be set up differently.

Configuration Settings

Review your configuration files and ensure that all relevant settings are properly configured for both scenarios.

import { test } from '@playwright/test';

test.setTimeout(20000); // set timeout

Debugging Steps

  1. Review your codebase for differences in handling actions or assertions during debugging versus regular execution.
  2. Analyze logs and error messages that occur only during non-debug runs.
  3. Enable detailed logging during test runs with the test runner.
  4. Try to replicate the failure scenario on your local machine using the same test runner and configuration.
  5. Discuss the issue with your team members.

Remember, debugging requires a systematic approach. Gather as much information as possible, analyze it thoroughly, and make targeted adjustments based on your findings. For more tips, check out Mastering the Art of Detecting and Handling Flaky Tests in Playwright.


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Rayrun is a community for QA engineers. I am constantly looking for new ways to add value to people learning Playwright and other browser automation frameworks. If you have feedback, email luc@ray.run.