Letter from the Editor – April 2013

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 not understand that it needs code review, and especially ongoing maintenance, which can be more expensive than maintenance of the production code. These misunderstandings about automation in addition to misunderstandings about testing in general, make test automation a political problem as much as it is a software problem.

In this issue, just as with last year’s September issue, test automation is the focus. As we know, test tools have always lagged development tools. At the same time, as software development lifecycles speed up and faster testing is needed, there is an ever greater need for test automation. As the business has grown more aware of these facts, the test automation tool market has rapidly grown. Today, most ALM tools (which we’ve written about here) include test automation tools or an ability to easily integrate test automation tools as normal practice. But remember the old saying “a fool with a tool is still a fool.” Tools will not solve your test automation problems. Great test design, architecture, great data design, and knowledgeable testers along with a great tool will get you started.

One of the most profound findings from the automation section of our 2010 Global Testing Survey is that 1/3 of respondents did 100% manual regression testing. What kind of confidence will you have from that? It is difficult for product teams to fully realize what a risk this is. If they did realize, I think many more companies would make the investment in staff, training, methodology and tools to make automation as important as their production code. The risk is that high.

Test automation is more complicated today. Most test teams today have to support far more platforms than ever in addition to traditional platform combinations, additional browser combinations, matrices of client/server combinations, and now multiple mobile platforms . Supporting a large suite of automated tests is hard enough. Supporting multiple tools due to inabilities for many tools to work across platforms, browsers and especially mobile devices makes an exponential nightmare. At this point, mobile automation can be so problematic for traditional teams we devoted an issue entirely to automating tests for mobile devices in December 2012.

In this issue, Karthik KK gives recommendations for organizing your automation code; LogiGear CTO Hans Buwalda addresses misconceptions about test automation; Randall Rice shows us why automation is not automatic; Amol Kher, Wello CTO, discusses the challenges his Netflix testing team faced when implementing their mobile application; LogiGear, Halliburton and Simco collaborate on a case study to show how to leverage test automation to increase the efficiency of distributed teams; Jonathan Khol urges testing teams to use games to make testing more engaging, productive and fun; and finally, Tad Anderson reviews the book Experiences of Test Automation by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster.

As always, we at LogiGear Magazine hope you find useful information to help in your test efforts. Automate more!

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

Change is constant. What’s different today is the rate of change. Moore’s law resulted from the observation that that the rate of change in computing power is exponential. The products, services and software landscape appears just as dynamic. At the same time, we pretty much take for granted the ubiquitous presence of software running our ...
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 ...
I remember the times when test teams sat in their own area and we were not allowed to “bother” developers.
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.
On the whole, everyone wants to do a great job, have a better work environment, happy clients and customers, and to be employed by a company earning lots of money. All great goals! But this is not always the case. When it is not, you can suggest process improvements, better tool use, different estimating techniques, ...
API testing– an old school technology gets way cool again. APIs and testing them is nothing new; the technology has been around for decades. The most basic definition of an API is an exposed function— a producer (person or company) writes a function and exposes it so that others, consumers, can use it. We copy ...
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. ...
As we settle into autumn, we’re taking the time to start some new traditions. This is LogiGear magazine’s first issue on SMAC. SMAC—social, mobile, analytics and cloud. We will be doing more issues in the next few years on these topics since so much of the product world is moving to this development stack.
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.
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 ...
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. ...
Digital Transformation and IT Modernization projects have shifted into high gear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tough on some teams is having to do more with less and speed up projects on reduced budgets due to the resulting COVID-19 business climate. On the other hand, other companies are adding funding and pressing the schedule under the ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe