Test Automation : Choosing What to Automate

    By: Mr. Brian J. Le Suer on Aug 01, 2013

    Job descriptions for QA engineers almost routinely require experience with one or more commercial automated testing tools. From a distance, it would appear that most software products were tested via scripting or record/playback. Yet despite how long these tools have been around, how many organizations really know how to harness the potential of test automation?

    One of the most fundamental reasons why organizations may not get the most from their investment in commercial testing tools is in choosing what and what not to automate. Most software applications do in fact provide plenty of good opportunities to increase productivity and improve reliability of testing through effective use of automated testing tools. Yet those choices, particularly when an organization makes its first foray into test automation, are made before experience is gained and they play a large part in the success or failure of initial projects. One bad experience often results in lost opportunities for years to come, not to mention a pile of shelf-ware.

    The purpose of this article is to provide a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate automation candidates. There are a number of questions that can help determine whether an organization will save costs and improve quality by automating the testing of a given application feature. These criteria can be broadly organized into two categories: efficiency, which involves a financial cost/benefit analysis and effectiveness of manual vs. automated testing. To evaluate either category, an analysis of the application environment along with a study of each feature will be necessary.

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    Released: August 1, 2013, 9:40 am | Updated: January 27, 2014, 6:30 pm
    Keywords: IT Strategy Article | Brian Le Suer | IT Strategy | Test Automation




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