This doesn’t replace the face-to-face communication that’s a necessary part of software development. Instead, it enhances that aspect by providing another channel through which to communicate. Think of it this way – email didn’t replace the telephone; it was just an additional tool that could be used to communicate. The same holds true with tools like TestComplete by SmartBear – they’re not replacements for face-to-face communication as much as they’re ways to improve communication.
Angie Jones is a Consulting Automation Engineer who advises several Scrum teams on automation strategies and has developed automation frameworks for many software products. Angie speaks and teaches internationally at software conferences, serving as an Adjunct College Professor of Computer Programming, and also teaches tech workshops to young girls through TechGirlz and Black Girls Code. Find out more on LinkedIn and at angiejones.tech
Many people have tried to make this point in different ways (e.g. this is also the quintessence of the discussion about testing vs. checking, started by James Bach and Michael Bolton). But the emotionally loaded discussions (because it is about peoples self-image and their jobs) often split discussants into two broad camps: those that think test automation is “snake oil” and should be used sparsely and with caution, and those that think it is a silver bullet and the solution to all of our quality problems. Test automation is an indispensable tool of today’s quality assurance but as every tool it can also be misused.
Robot is a keyword-driven framework available for use with Python, Java, or .NET. It is not just for web-based applications; it can also test products ranging from Android to MongoDB. With numerous APIs available, the Robot Framework can easily be extended and customized depending on your development environment. A keyword-based approach makes the Robot framework more tester-focused than developer-focused, as compared to some of the other products on this list. Robot Framework relies heavily upon the Selenium WebDriver library, but has some significant functionality in addition to this.
Take a step up from Google Sheets or Excel by moving your data over to a real database. In the past, databases have been the reserve of the IT team, but with tools like Airtable and Fieldbook, non-technical teams can easily get the power of relational databases to create their own tools and systems (like we did for our content asset tracking, as explained here).
I think we can all agree that automation is a critical part of any organization's software delivery pipeline, especially if you call yourself "agile." It's pretty intuitive that if you automate testing, your release cycles are going to get shorter. "So, if that's the case," you might say, "why don't we just automate everything?" There's a good reason: automation comes with a price.

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