Fighting your way through the jungle of test automation: a checklist
Making the switch to automated functional testing can seem daunting. There is a wealth of information available, and a great deal of details you’re sure you should be thinking of but don’t necessarily know. Which aspects are important, which are less important? Obviously, many priorities are individual to specific projects, but a list of points to consider would be a great help when faced with the choices available.
Based on our experiences with customers searching for test tools, and our own experiences of writing automated tests and developing a test tool, we’d like to present a tool-neutral checklist of aspects to think about when starting out automating tests.
The checklist is divided into 5 areas:
- The test tool: what things should you consider when looking for a test tool? Next to the obvious things like platform and application support, there are a variety of points which you may want to prioritize or look into. Taking some time to think about what you want to achieve with testing will also help you to define what you need in a test tool. This area of the talk provides a comprehensive checklist of considerations, their meanings and how they can be coupled with your requirements for automated testing.
- Test environment: regardless of the tool you choose, you will most likely have to set up a test environment for your tests to run in. This in itself can be a difficult task if you are doing it for the first time. We’ll present some tips about how to make setting up a test environment as simple as possible.
- Tester skills: it is important to think about who will be doing the testing and what sort of skills a tester should have. We’ll discuss capabilities like communication, analytical thinking and creativity, and their importance for successful testing.
- Test strategy: it’s most likely that your project has already been running for some time. Finding a starting point can be challenging. The team also has to adapt to thinking in terms of testability, test design and analysis and reactions to test results. We offer a few helpful hints about organizing your test efforts to the benefit of the whole team.
- Economics: many of the points to consider about test automation are from the technical perspective. Your managers may also have their own criteria concerning money, time and effort. We offer suggestions on how to avoid the aspects of test automation that can end up hiding extra costs and present ways of maximizing the advantages of automation.
Participants will benefit from our expertise and experience in a variety of test projects and learn what to consider when starting automation. After the talk, the checklist will be made available for download.
Alexandra earned a degree and an MA in linguistics from York University before starting work at Bredex GmbH. She is engaged in various roles in the product development process, including conception, design and planning as well as documentation, web demos and customer support. She knows enough about Java to understand the developers, but not enough to stop her understanding the customers!
Hans-Joachim (Achim) Brede is the founder of BREDEX GmbH and is one of the managing directors of the company. He has implemented and managed multiple, highly complex customer projects and is responsible for the concepts in the development of the automated test tool GUIdancer. Achim holds a Masters in Computer Science and has worked with the University of Braunschweig and Digital Equipment as a technical consultant. He was elected to the Eclipse Board of Directors in 2009.