Continuous Iteration in Automation

I’ve been teaching a lot lately, was in India for one week, and I’m off to Seattle in two weeks to teach on performance topics. I thoroughly enjoy teaching, it allows me to stay sharp with current trends, and provides a nice break from the “implementation focus” that I generally have day to day.

One topic however that has been gnawing at me lately is the notion of “continuous iteration” in automation. With virtualization, my feeling is that you should be running the automation you create all the time. I’ve coined a new term lately, “Test Everything all the Time”.

I find that many automation teams shelve the automation until runs are needed. I’m finding this to be a real bone of contention when it comes to automation credibility. The automation should always be in a state of readiness, in that I can run all my tests all the time if I want to. We used to be plagued by machine constraints and “unstable” platforms, but I’ve found that these issues are becoming increasingly less, but we seem to be still holding on to old automation ideas.

I’ve setup our labs here with machines that are constantly running our clients’ automation, while the testers are always adding more tests to that bank of tests. Automation should free us up to do this, but I still see too many people attending automation tests, which to me is like watching paint dry.

We have a “readiness” dashboard on all of tests all the time, so if I choose to run a set of tests immediately, we can dispatch those tests to a bank of machines and run them. It makes my job as a quality director easy, in that I never ever ask if the “automation” is ready, I have that information at my fingertips, for all types of tests. I’ve attached a simple dashboard report that I’ve used since I started working on automation projects in the early 90’s.

Remember, your automation needs to be credible and usable, not one or the other.

7-Sep-09
Test Cases Created and in Development25
Test Case Create Goal for Week40
Goal Delta-15
Test Cases to be Certified150
Test Cases Modified* (timing only)5
TOTAL TEST CASES IN PRODUCTION1253
Passive (Functional) Test Cases631
Negative Test Cases320
Boundary Test Cases40
Work Flow Test Cases78
User Story Based Test Cases24
Miscellaneous Test Cases160
Test Cases Ready for Automation1065
Test Cases Ready for Automation %85%
Test Cases NOT Ready for Automation %15%
Test Cases NOT Ready for Automation188
Test Case Error/Wrong5
Application Error23
Missing Application Functionality59
Interface Changes (GUI)2
Timing Problems70
Techincal Limitations6
Requests to Change Test(change control)23
Sum Check188
TOTAL MACHINE TIME REQUIRED TO RUN23:45:00
TOTAL MACHINES AVAILABLE TO RUN TESTS7
TOTAL SINGLE MACHINE RUN TIME3:23:34

 

LogiGear Corporation

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.

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