Sunday, May 06, 2012

A brief introduction of Test Automation...

I was asked by a blog reader to give a quick introduction of how automation helps in testing. Here is how I replied. I thought this might kick off some interesting off shoots...

"Certain portions of testing such data validation etc can be efficiently verified by automation programs than humans in repeated way (humans make mistakes and often are terrible at repeated executions). By carefully identifying portions of application under test that could be "safely" checked (validated) by automation - you can speed up testing (you can run many test cases in parallel, in the night etc) through automation. 

But beware - automation is a dumb and (humble?) servant - will do exactly what you ask it to do million times without cribbing - it does not have intelligence. A good tester can recognize something that is not in test script and looks like a problem. Automation cannot do this."

Do you like it?

One offshoot I am reminded of when wrote this piece - Automation is like people trying to losing weight. It requires patience, discipline and dedication. There are many quacks that operate in both automation and "weight loss" industry that promise "over-night" benefits.

If you are aware of how weight loss works or does not work - you can safely extend the analogy to benefits of automation.

Do not expect your testing or your application to become slim and trim with automation - overnight and most importantly - do not expect it remain so with no investment on ongoing basis. The later part - neither automation consultants (especially those who sell tools) nor those folks that run weight-loss industry - will tell you.