Giving an Atomic Bomb to a Caveman…

rman2739l - retouchThe 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.

When I teach, I call this moment .. “it’s like giving and atomic bomb to a caveman”

Why do I call it this? well, because if I gave an atomic bomb to a caveman and then said to the caveman, “hey, I just gave you the most powerful weapon ever designed by man, and go use it against your enemies”… he would look at me and say, “thanks, but how do I use it.. “.. and I say.. “you’ll figure it out, just don’t be near it when it goes off..”

The caveman takes his spear and axe and hits the bomb, shakes it, kicks it around, and finally say to his clan mates.. “see…this thing doesn’t work.. I have no idea what that guy was talking about when he said it was the most powerful weapon, he’s full of it..”

That’s what happens to most automation tools that are not properly setup for your teams.

If you give a complex Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to tester who doesn’t or hasn’t programmed in years, you are just asking for trouble. However, this practice continues to this day, and what I’ve found it happens far more often then I think most companies would care to admit.

So how do you fix this problem?

Test Design…

Our solution to this problem was to develop Action Based Testing.

“Action Based Testing” is an attempt to give testers/biz analysts who don’t program a test design model that easily supports automation. When we talk about automation, we aren’t talking thousands of tests.. we are talking millions of tests. That’s the level you want to get to, since automation affords us the ability to geometrically scale our testing coverage. But you can only do this, if you have a test design framework that supports the scale and supports your testers. AND!! – if you have a tool that has adoption characteristics that support all members of the team, otherwise, you’re back to giving nukes out.

There are tools out there, cucumber, which is a context aware automation tool that is designed around the subject matter experts, that is the blackbox testers or business analysts. I’ve used this framework in addition to the framework (ABT) I helped develop at LogiGear.

The point of this post is to get you away from thinking tools are panacea’s and get down to thinking about test design and how the tools fit into this framework. I tend to use a lot of tools in my automation strategy, since I’m not one that believes in one size fits all.

Go out and choose a good automation friendly test design framework, learn it, get others involved with it and see how they interact with the new framework, and see if they are capable of applying the test design parameters you’ve setup for them inside the tool.

Good luck.. and don’t press the red button.

 

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.

The Related Post

For those that are new to test automation, it can look like a daunting task to undertake For those who are new to Automation, it can look like a daunting task to undertake, but it only seems that way. If we unpack it and pinpoint the fundamentals, we can have the formula for the desired ...
This book isn’t for everyone, but everyone can get some value out of it. What I mean by that rather confusing statement is that folks working in Agile environments will likely want to throw the book across the room while folks in more bureaucratic environments like CMMI or other waterfall environments will likely get a ...
LogiGear Magazine September Issue 2020: Testing Transformations: Modernizing QA in the SDLC
What is the Automation ROI ticker? The LogiGear Automation Return on Investment (ROI) ticker, the set of colored numbers that you see above the page, shows how much money we presumably save our customers over time by employing test automation as compared to doing those same tests manually, both at the design and execution level.
LogiGear Magazine, December 2015: Test Automation
How to do UI test automation with the fewest headaches I’m currently interviewing lots of teams that have implemented acceptance testing for my new book. A majority of those interviewed so far have at some point shot themselves in the foot with UI test automation. After speaking to several people who are about to do ...
Introduction A common issue that I come across in projects is the relationship between test automation and programming. In this article I want to highlight some of the differences that I feel exist between the two.
Test Strategy A test strategy describes how the test effort will reach the quality goals set out by the development team. Sometimes called the test approach, test strategy includes, among other things, the testing objective, methods and techniques of testing and the testing environment.
An Overview of Four Methods for Systematic Test Design Strategy Many people test, but few people use the well-known black-box and white-box test design techniques. The technique most used, however, seems to be testing randomly chosen valid values, followed by error guessing, exploratory testing and the like. Could it be that the more systematic test ...
Introduction A characteristic of data warehouse (DW) development is the frequent release of high-quality data for user feedback and acceptance. At the end of each iteration of DW ETLs (Extract-Transform-Load), data tables are expected to be of sufficient quality for the next ETL phase. This objective requires a unique approach to quality assurance methods and ...
As our world continues its digital transformation with excitement in the advancement and convergence of so many technologies- from AI, machine learning, big data and analytics, to device mesh connectivity, nor should we forget VR and AR- 2017 promises to be a year that further transforms the way we work, play and take care of ...

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