Letter from the Editor – December 2015

Michael_Hackett.20150723Every year, LogiGear Magazine devotes one full issue to Test Automation. We could do more than one, and perhaps even that would not be enough.

The problems around automation have become increasingly complex. And now, automation is much more integrated into the software development process. For over a decade teams have been faced with “do more with less”: do more testing, do more automation, and do it all with less staff. Then Agile/Scrum came along and we had to automate it faster. As the XP practice of continuous integration (CI) caught fire, our automation suites – smoke tests and full regression suites – got integrated into the autobuild development process, which in most cases was out of our control. Other people and tools are now running our automation and reporting back results – not by us kicking off automation when we choose to, but whenever a build takes place.

Today this process is moving at an even more extreme pace and further away from us. We see CI moving onto virtual machines and DevOps running our automation all the time (continuous testing), on all kinds of environments.

Many teams are still struggling with getting automated test into their current sprints, or Sprint +1 (getting new functionality automated, but only in the sprint following that function’s development). Some teams struggle just to get more tests automated in their development cycle at all, and end up settling for adding new automation after a release, because they just do not have the time. This is not OK. If this is your situation, you need to fix it. It may not be an easy fix, but not fixing it has a negative impact on development.

What do we have to do?

  • First, automate more and automate faster. With shorter cycles, you need automated tests, or you will never reach levels of coverage acceptable enough to have confidence in your product. Yes, automate faster.
  • You need a framework with reusable and low maintenance functions.
  • Finally, choose effective methods. We all know the idea that tests need to be low maintenance. But how do you do that? When you have a big suite of tests and some break – and not because of application bugs – how do you unbreak the test suite to run again? Simply automating step-by-step test scripts is a surefire formula for failure. Instead, choose a more sophisticated method for developing tests, like Action Based Testing.

Our tests have to be effective at validating functionality and finding bugs or breaks. And they must be efficient – suites should do this in the minimum number of tests possible.

We know that our tests are going to be run, in most cases these days, across a large matrix of configurations, browsers, devices, and appliances. In addition, now the tests will more than likely be run on a variety of build environments. It is becoming increasingly common to run the same suite of tests on a dev environment, testing environment, user acceptance or staging environment, and sometimes live/production environments. For some tools and suites, the performance demands are too great: the tool itself becomes an issue, not just the suites it runs. I myself have used some tools that develop huge problems running tests as the number of virtual machines increases. And that is only the start.

Our automation has to get better. But more automation is not always the answer. Today, the answer must be: better and faster automation. I hope this issue of our magazine gives you valuable guidance to achieve this.

We’ve also just published our 2016 editorial calendar, to give you an idea of what’s ahead for next year. As always, if you’d like to submit an article, just let us know.

All of us at LogiGear wish you a joyful and healthy holiday season and a happy new year. We look forward to continuing to provide you with great software test information in 2016!

 

LogiGear Corporation

LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software-testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast and cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with hundreds of companies from the Fortune 500 to early-stage startups, creating unique solutions to exactly meet their needs. With facilities in the US and Vietnam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.

For more information, contact Joe Hughes + 01 650.572.1400

LogiGear Corporation
LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast, cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with Fortune 500 companies to early-stage start-ups in, creating unique solutions to meet their clients’ needs. With facilities in the US and Viet Nam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.

The Related Post

This is our third issue concerning topics of Continuous Delivery (CD) and DevOps with the inclusion of Continuous Testing. DevOps has been around for a while and I hope the period of buzz is over and companies moving towards building a development pipeline have begun their process, including changing their test strategies.
I led the Editor’s Note in our very first mobile issue with “Everything is mobile”, but it is now way beyond what we thought. Mobile has come to mean only the smart phone, mobility is the word that describes everything a smart phone enables you to do. Mobility is more than a device! Mobility is ...
Methods and strategy have been my favorite topics since I started working in testing. It’s essentially engineering problem-solving. It’s both looking for efficiency and attempting to measure effectiveness. So, how do we develop a set of practices to solve our Software Testing engineering problems?
Every organization goes through times when the internal, or home team, cannot execute the testing project easily or quickly enough. The reasons are many, from the lack of an effective test strategy to low automation engineering skill, to staff positions going unfilled due to a great job market. With everyone working and very few people ...
As fast as Mobile is growing, the platform is still immature and is evolving at a very rapid pace. While there are whole countries that have migrated large government services to mobile, countries ranging from Estonia to Turkey to Kenya have many longtime mobile users have yet to use mPay or other mobile payment systems. ...
If you are reading this issue, you are probably aware of the impact on the business world of cloud computing. Most people do not have a good grasp on what the cloud is or how people and products can use it. BTW, you are already a cloud user. If your email is stored somewhere “on ...
I spend about half my work time in the role of a consultant assessing, auditing and examining software development team practices and processes for the purpose of process improvement. I am regularly surprised to find teams that lack basic skills, management support, tools, information, access to users, Product Owners and to developers. And yet they’re ...
Test automation is a big topic. There are so many different areas to talk about: tool choice, jumpstart, cross platform, services, cloud… Each of these areas have changed so much in the recent past that they could each be worth their own magazine issue.
There has been a tectonic shift in software development tools in just the past few years. Agile practices and increasingly distributed teams have been significant factors but, in my opinion, the main reason is a new and more intense focus on tools for testing driven by more complex software and shorter development cycles. There have ...
Testers need to learn their craft and hone in on their skill set. That means building skills, sharpening their tools, and becoming creative detectives. There is no cookie-cutter tester and no best practice. The best circumstance is a fully-skilled, aggressive tester mixed with curiosity, nimbleness, and agility.
I have been training testers for about 15 years in universities, corporations, online, and individually – in both a training, managing and coaching capacity. So far, I have executed these various training efforts in 16 countries, under good and rough conditions – from simultaneous translation, to video broadcast to multiple sites, to group games with ...
Automation is a mantra in testing. Anyone associated with software development wants more test automation, but it’s often misunderstood. People who do test automation know how difficult it can be. But some people do not understand that automation is code, and that it needs to have architecture and design just like production code. They do ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe