I Believe in Test Automation, Do You?

August 29th, 2014 by inflectra

If you grew up in the 1990s you will remember the science fiction program 'The X-Files' where agent Mulder had to convince a skeptical agent Scully that aliens did exist. Well unlike aliens, test automation is not something you have to believe in or not believe in, automation exists and it works.

I have been testing, in some form of QA, for the last 25 years. Starting with Traffic data management on the telco system,  green-screens,  through browsers, and onto pc software.  Basically, been there, done that. Just setting the stage.
I don't need to believe in automation, it is not a matter of faith. test automation exists and works.
I have encountered many who tell me that they do not "believe" in automation.  Perhaps they had a bad experience, one driven by unclear requirements or expectations which could, and should not be met. I would highly suggest that all testers who are serious about doing a good job, take a look at how automation can fit into their test plan.

Use Automation Appropriately

Automation should not be looked at as the only approach to testing, it is a tool to be used when appropriate.  I do not suggest using a ball peen hammer to drive nails, but it is great for shaping metal. Understand what automation can do for you and how it can meet requirements of your test plan.
Automation allows you to address repetitive tasks in such a way as human error is removed from the equation, once it is tested. With the current complexity of the typical software implementation it would be good to draw down on the manual effort required to check thousands of permutations, this is where automation shines.
As a QA tools vendor, yes we are biased.  We believe in great planning and in using the appropriate tools to get the job done and deliver quality to the customer.  This means that sometimes you will default to manual processes, and sometimes you will be able to automate tasks such that the manual effort can be applied to unique circumstances.
Rapise is a fantastic tool, it is very open in that you can build your own extensions and make it into what you need.  give it a spin, you might be surprised at how much benefit you can get form automation.

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