Letter from the Editor

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.

As software development has changed so dramatically in the past decade — from same sprint Test Automation in agile, to Selenium as a universal browser test tool, to service testing using containers in DevOps — so has Test Automation.

But at the same time I am noticing a new trend that has not been as obvious, or as striking in the past. It’s the phenomenon of the ‘have’ and ‘have nots’! That is, those who have significant Test Automation programs and those who do not.

Some organizations have become quite sophisticated in their automation, some struggle with the very basics, and most organizations are somewhere in between.

From the first survey we did in spring earlier this year, we found that there was a very large number of companies who do not have Test Automation at all. At the same time, we know that there are companies where the Test Automation software development project is nearly as sophisticated as the production code project. Tens of thousands of automated tests with sophisticated development and maintenance methods are running on hundreds of virtual machines or real devices in a state of continuous testing.

Between these extremes, there are many levels of automation. For example:

  • Small, but hopefully, effective automation, such as one automated test or smoke test suite that run against each build.
  • A few happy path workflow, or transaction tests, or full transaction tests that touch perhaps — all the outside services or major functionality and are run against each platform.
  • A small regression suite with test design and maintenance and cross platform abilities, but also with gaps, perhaps, of various services, subsystems, or devices and platforms.
  • Significant automation program, high coverage diverse platforms, significant maintenance, and manageable.
  • Sophisticated automation that scales at a high volume, with an automated process that runs on a significant amount of systems and has its own development team.

As always there are constant demands to go faster, do more with less, and automate more.

Three aspects of this situation put pressure on test automation programs:

  1. There are also universal goals to test automation, such as higher coverage and lower maintenance.
  2. That each level of automation has its own unique issues.
  3. That with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery in DevOps, each of these levels need to tie into the ALM tool chain and run automatically.

A critical task when optimizing your test automation suite, or beginning to build a test automation program, is recognizing the issues. This is where LogiGear Magazine can help.

I suggest that you look at the infographic “Top 10 Must-Haves for Test Automation” to help you recognize areas you can improve on in your practice.

In this issue, we take a dive into the world of API testing, a growing skill for testers in automation. But more exclusively we have a fresh cover story breaking down voice apps and the effect it has on Test Automation.

Prashant Hedge tells us everything we need to know about API testing in the Blogger of the Month spread. Lawrence Nuanez acts as our guide in “Climbing Mount Automation.” The 3rd survey results are here to help us reflect on test automation, based on the feedback from our readers.

Beware of the dangers of Test Automation in yet another exciting infographic, and don’t miss out on your chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card by taking our last survey in the State of Software Testing Survey Series — this one is on “Modern Distributed Test Teams.”

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

This is a very special issue of LogiGear Magazine. When we were putting together the Editorial Calendar for this year, we decided that instead of a technology issue, we would focus on the human side of quality and test engineering. We want to focus on individual Test Engineers and their jobs. We talked to a ...
In the November 2011 issue: Mobile Application Testing, I began my column with the statement, “Everything is mobile.” One year later the statement is even more true. More devices, more platforms, more diversity, more apps. It boggles the mind how fast the landscape changes. Blackberry has been kicked to the curb by cooler and slicker ...
Because of the type of work I do (consulting projects at different companies), I’ve been lucky in my Software Development career to have worked on a bunch of software projects specific to hardware devices or integrating new hardware into software systems. Starting with the Palm Pilot, I worked on some operating systems (OS) projects, firmware, ...
A while ago, I helped start a Software Quality Certificate Program as a part of the Software Engineering Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz Extension in Silicon Valley. I was on the Board of Advisors. While putting the curriculum together, a few people suggested a Measurement and Metrics course. Since I was teaching ...
In our continuing effort to be the best source of information for keeping testers and test teams current, we have another issue to explore testing in Agile development. As Agile evolves, systemic problems arise and common rough situations become apparent. We want to provide solutions. For anyone who has worked on Agile projects, especially if ...
As part of my work, I spend a lot of time at client’s sites and talk to various software development organizations. I am beginning to see a problem arise regarding Test Automation. There is too much automation! Surprised? While there are still many teams struggling to make progress with Test Automation, many teams have been doing ...
There is a growing software development dynamic of teams without Testers. When I first went into Software Quality, I learned one thing right away: My role was user advocate. My main job was to find bugs. This is the Lean principle called Amplified Learning. We learn about behavior by testing. Even then, validation was not ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Hi everyone and welcome to our fourth edition of LogiGear Magazine. This month we finish Michael Hackett’s piece on “Agile in Testing” with part five, Tools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe