Letter From The Editor – September 2019

I was just recently at a company that had a beautiful test architecture, framework, and Cucumber with tons of well-automated tests. But there was no good test management on top of the Cucumber tests, and they did not do a good job tagging the tests. Although almost everybody on the team could write and maintain the tests in Cucumber, the Architect of the project left the company. Within a year, it turned into a giant mess: the maintenance costs tripled, it got a bad reputation, and people complained about it more than they talked about how many bugs it found. Test Automation needs a strategy—not only tests.

This issue of the LogiGear Magazine is focused on Test Automation—as the September issue has been over the past few years. We have known for a long time that business success is predicated on Task Automation.

Test Automation is an essential part of this. We are here to keep you up to date on not only the basic topics, but also in intermediate and advanced topics surrounding Test Automation and strategy as well.

When I started automating tests, the suite ran by my side on a machine next to my desk. Before I left at 5pm, I manually started the suite. Once I returned the next morning, after the suite ran automatically through the night, I received a great report of the tests that passed, the tests that failed, as well as those that did not run. This began my day of analyzing the fails.

Running Automation was free. It took a long time to write tests, but they helped get testing done faster, and, although maintenance took a while, it was worth it. But those days had smaller, more manageable suites. It started with dozens of tests, then evolved into hundreds of tests-never thousands and definitely not hundreds of thousands. They ran against weekly builds—not build-on-demand, and certainly not multiple builds per day. Running the Automation was sometimes a pain; sometimes it broke—but it was manageable. And I was proud of it. Test Automation was quite important, but small.

Most people would be surprised at the condition and situation of automated regression suites many companies have today. It is very common to find companies who have been automating with the same tool for 10+ years. For example: browser Test Automation with Selenium. It is common to find companies automating with the same tool, having hundreds of thousands of tests that take a long time to run, with additional high costs to maintain, manage, and analyze.

Often, these suites are fat, bloated, slow, missing bugs, and a pain in the neck. Rather than an asset, they can be the biggest problem for a test team—whose main job is to find bugs!

What was lacking in the past is still needed today: a smarter Automation strategy. While more developers are doing unit testing today than ever before, there is still a need for speed from most development teams to get the Test Team’s API/Service/UI/GUI Automation run, results analyzed, and then code delivered as fast as possible. The idea of all Automation being through the user interface (or a graphical user interface [GUI]) is just not going to work anymore. It didn’t work in the past, but it was the only solution some organizations tried.

The days of trying to “automate everything” are gone. Test teams must automate smarter. Where and how much to automate for speed of running, cost, immediate feedback, maintenance, coverage, and risk analysis… it’s complicated.

Whether your organization needs Test Automation for a back-end server, a database, on the desktop, in a browser, on a mobile device, an “Internet of Things” device, or some emulators and simulators, sophisticated products need sophisticated Test Automation, including a tool suite and an Automation strategy. Strategies are complex, require transparency, risk analysis, and communication.

That’s why this issue of LogiGear Magazine deals largely with Test Automation strategy. Our cover story was written by Noah Peters with help from Van Pham and talks about the new “hot-topic” in the Software Testing industry: Automated Testing strategies for Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs). If you’re looking to start your Automation journey, the article 12 Best Automation Tools for Testing Desktop Apps in 2019 is a great place for you to begin looking at different tool offerings, and the article These are the Best Uses for Test Automation outlines the various types of tests that benefit the most from Test Automation. This issue’s Blogger of the Month, Kristin Jackvony, offers great insight to the 12 do’s and don’ts of Automation with her article, How to Decide What to Automate. Or, perhaps you’re looking at expanding your testing skillset; our article, Hack Your Test Team’s Productivity, written by Christian Touhey, explores the growing aspect of skilling-up in the workplace at the expense of artificial intelligence replacing low-skilled labor jobs. In TestArchitect corner, we guide you step-by-step on how to leverage TestArchitect for web app testing. And finally, I finish my 2-part series on Emotional Intelligence in this issue’s Leader’s Pulse. We hope you enjoy this issue!

Michael Hackett
Michael is a co-founder of LogiGear Corporation, and has over two decades of experience in software engineering in banking, securities, healthcare and consumer electronics. Michael is a Certified Scrum Master and has co-authored two books on software testing. Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Mobile and Internet-Based Systems (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2003), and Global Software Test Automation (Happy About Publishing, 2006). He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors at the University of California Berkeley Extension and has taught for the Certificate in Software Quality Engineering and Management at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension. As a member of IEEE, his training courses have brought Silicon Valley testing expertise to over 16 countries. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Related Post

Our plan for the December LogiGear Magazine was to have a forward-looking Trends and Challenges issue. However, whilst assembling our September issue on SMAC, we realized the momentum SMAC was gaining in the industry. We had a large amount of content on our hands from a range of excellent contributors. Thus, we decided to split ...
Hello everyone – I’m hoping each one of us is having a great October. This time of the year is always my favorite, with the changing of the seasons, Fall was always my favorite time of year; it signified change and renewal – but I don’t want to digress to much from what’s going on ...
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 ...
We launched the first ever software testing conference in Vietnam, VISTACON. It was a resounding success, with well over 200 participants and 20+ speakers from around the globe; each speaking on a wide range of cutting-edge testing topics. In this month’s magazine, we have uploaded several video recordings of event presentations – giving our readers ...
Testing the Software Car. As usual with the LogiGear Magazine, we are tackling a big subject. With our goal of having single-topic issues, we have the ability to grab and disseminate as much information as we can related to a current topic that is interesting and also on the frontier of Software Testing.   Some ...
Software development projects are multifaceted. There is staffing and budget work. There are communication and team dynamics. There are project and process issues from what the customer wants, when they want it, revenue projections, and production dates. As part of my work in helping people deliver software, I get involved in all aspects mentioned above. ...
What is testing in Agile? It’s analogous to three blind men attempting to describe an elephant by the way it feels to them. Agile is difficult to define and everyone has their own perspective of what Agile is. When it comes to testing and Agile the rules are what you make them. Agile is ideas ...
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 ...
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 ...
Integrated teams Something we’ve learned in the Covid-19 pandemic is that we have to work together-whatever together means. Very few teams stayed co-located; even teams in the same town worked at home. We’re all working remote. Hopefully all the thinking, tools, work and effort we put into having offshore teams work together benefited us here. ...
How do you test software? How do you validate it? How do you find bugs? These are all good questions anyone on your project team or anyone responsible for customers may ask you. Can you articulate your test strategy─not your test process, but explain your approach to testing? I find that this can be a ...
This is our first Trends issue in our 10- year history. Trends are important to help foresee what is on the horizon and coming next.

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