One of the basic challenges with test automation is adoption. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cataloged licenses for a company and found out they already have many different automation software packages, none of which is being used. Traditionally I’ve been told that is because the tools don’t work and that the teams had a hard time implementing the automation.
I had the privilege to visit and present at the 2009 Star West conference in the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.
I got some comments on my post “Test Everything all the Time” — most notably people commenting that it’s impossible to test “everything”. I can’t agree more. The intention of the post was to make the point that we need to be able to test “everything we can” all the time. That is, you should be constantly iterating your automation, and not “waiting to run” the automation. Also, the point was to talk about how test design can solve all of your problems, not the automation tool. The tool is just an means to an end.
The challenges with any automation effort is to know your capability. I’ve seen too many automation efforts begin and end with a tool decision. Generally these tools are very complex pieces of software that do many more things then we would ever use in our normal everyday testing. It even adds more misery to the situation when we give this new tool to people who are entirely incapable of using and scaling the “newly” selected savior to our automation effort. Continue reading