Thursday, September 13, 2007

Physicians, Surgeons, X Ray Lab Technicians ....

Heard of this rant?
“We would like our business users, domain experts and subject matter experts write automated scripts (tests?)”
“Our next generation automation tool – allows persons with ZERO programming and testing knowledge generate automation scripts in MINUTES”

Think about it …. Will you ask a Physician (Medical Doctors) or Surgeon to work as XRay or Ultra Sound Lab Technician and vice versa? Or An Aneathesian to perform a surgical operation?
Each one in professional life are known to have some core competencies. Best bet will be to utilize each one to their strengths….

Business users know business domain while Automation engineers and Tester know programming and software testing.

IMHO, asking business users to do “main stream” testing and automation is sure recipe for “failure”.

Any views? Do you think the analogy presented here is logical?

More as I hear from you ….

Shrini

3 comments:

Ben Simo said...

One of the claims of the purveyors of keyword-driven automation is that the technical scripting of the automation can be separated from the designing of the test cases.

It makes sense to allow the testing experts to design the tests and the automation tool experts to code the tests. However, much of the marketing and talk about these tools removes the testers and replaces them with business subject matter experts.

This results in tests designed by business people that don't know testing and implemented by toolsmiths that don't know testing.

This would be like having surgeons that understand the technical details of performing surgery but have no understanding of why a procedure is being executed.

I would not want to be operated on by a surgeon that receives directions from my doctor telling them what memorized procedures to execute with no understanding of the goals.

I would not want a doctor that understands my medical problem but does not understand the surgical procedures to determine what surgical tasks are to be performed.

The same goes for testing.

There needs to be a complete team with a variety of expertise. There also needs to be some overlap in knowledge by team members for them to effectively communicate and perform their part of the work.

We need specialists but we also need a team that works together for the best result.

Most importantly, we don't want to remove the skilled testers from the team.

Ben Simo
QuestioningSoftware.com

amagazine said...

To me, the claims about ZERO pogramming automation sound like easier said than done. May be it would be possible for users to generate automated scripts but to decide "What to test and what not to" considering the variables of time and resouces available is always an immense challenge and require no lesser people than Experts to decide.
It all boils down to age old debate- whether testing is an art or science or both.
Well, if it were 100% science than the claims about Zero programming automation would have been a possibility but in reality there is always an "Art" element to testing that in some ways helps distibguish between a good test and a bad one.

Anuj Magazine said...

To me, the claims about ZERO pogramming automation sound like easier said than done. May be it would be possible for users to generate automated scripts but to decide "What to test and what not to" considering the variables of time and resouces available is always an immense challenge and require no lesser people than Experts to decide.
It all boils down to age old debate- whether testing is an art or science or both.
Well, if it were 100% science than the claims about Zero programming automation would have been a possibility but in reality there is always an "Art" element to testing that in some ways helps distibguish between a good test and a bad one.