Testing express

Testing express

Friday, May 4, 2012

Automation - The buzz word

There is a flood of automation tools in market in the past few years. "Automation" has become a buzz word. Every manager wants his team to find automated solutions to speed up the testing efforts.

From a tester's perspective, what does it mean?

1. Opportunity to explore and learn new tools
2. Learn a new scripting language that can give  new insight to a tester
3. Break routine patterns as a tester. Eg; thinking beyond black box
4. Chance to think from a development perspective

From a management perspective, what does it mean?

1. How much do we save with automation
2. Can we automate everything?
3. Can we move testers to other projects, because automation will free up their time
4. There is a new automation tool in market, can we do a quick POC and implement?

There are lot of expectations that cannot be fulfilled because the perception is "Automation can solve all problems on click of a button"

This cannot be true, because automation is similar to development effort and can be complex if you plan to automate big projects.

Few questions to ask before thinking of automation:

1. What are the testing requirements?
2. What tools are available that suit the testing requirements?
3. Is the product stable enough to start automation?
4. How much do we want to automate?
5. Does the tool support automation for the application under test(AUT) or do we need testability in the AUT ?
6. Are the testers skilled enough to do automation?
7. If testers don't have automation skills, is company ready to groom them or hire people with skills?
8. What value does automation add? 
9. What are the expectations/timelines for automation efforts?
10. How mature is the automation tool?
11. What community support does it have?
12. Is the tool open-source or commercial?

Automation is not bad, It can be a powerful tool in a testers toolkit, if used effectively. Over use and hype of "Automation" will not solve problems. Thinking and Implementing smart automation solutions is the need.

No comments:

Post a Comment