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

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.
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 ...
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. ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
Every year, LogiGear Magazine devotes one full issue to Test Automation. We could do more than one, and perhaps even that would not be enough. The problems around automation have become increasingly complex. And now, automation is much more integrated into the software development process. For over a decade teams have been faced with “do ...
Happy New Year from LogiGear to those of us who celebrated New Years on January 1! And for our lunar calendar followers, an almost Happy New Year come February 3rd. We look forward to an exciting and full 2011 as its predecessor was a tough year for many in the software business. At LogiGear Magazine, ...
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 ...
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 ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe