Friday, October 15, 2021

The Mindset to Embrace and Encourage Automation in Software Testing


I was brainstorming about the automation practice setup. Before getting technical, I was looking at the mindset needed. Besides this, I was with a mentee Chidambara and answering the questions.

I'm sharing the gist of pointers that we discussed and which are essential for having the encouraging mindset towards getting started and value adding automation in testing.


  • Build the culture that supports and encourages the Testing and Automation

  • Communicate and Collaborate

    • With testers, developers, product owners, business teams

    • Build the relationship and trust; understand the system better; seek help when needed

    • Help the team to know the value they bring from their testing and automation

  • Learn the problem; understand the problem; step up to solve the problem

    • Ask, is this a problem worth solving for the business

  • Human is a key center of the engineering

    • Human is needed for developing

    • Human is needed for testing

    • Human is needed for automation

    • Human is needed for the maintenance of all above said

    • Humans cannot be removed from action saying automation takes care of all

  • Automation is not a replacement for Testing

    • Automation exists to assist the Testing and not to replace

  • Automation involves programming and is about programming to leverage the testing

    • The libraries as Selenium, Appium, Cypress, etc., are 30% to 35% of code in automation what we write

    • The rest of the code is about how we program to build, organize, scale, and maintain the automation

    • Practice programming to write better automation

    • Embrace Programming

    • Practice Object Oriented Programming and Design Patterns

  • Automate which has to be automated

    • Automate first what has to be automated

    • Do not automate everything – yes not to automate everything!

    • What needs to be tested by humans, has to be tested by human

  • Build the skills which will help you to do the Automation in Testing

    • This is very important and not to ignore it

  • Know and confirm what is expected out of automation from business and stakeholders

    • This helps to think and define the value return from the automation

  • Know what to automate, where to automate, and how to automate

    • Automating 100% is good to hear but it is not practical and logical

    • Figure out what to automate i.e. what cases or ideas to automate

    • Identify the right layer where it is appropriate to automate

      • Automating at UI layer is a cost; automate minimal at UI layer

      • Automate at service layer i.e. API layer

      • Encourage the Unit Testing practice and culture in the engineering

  • Automate at the lowest layer which returns the maximum value and that has a low probability of failing

  • Know what should be covered from Automation in Testing

  • Understand the system being tested and its internals

    • Without understanding the use cases and business expectations out of a system, writing automation might not return the expected value

  • Have the automation strategy in place than just having/working on the proof of concept

  • Know and understand the tech stack of the product

    • Learn the architecture of the product

    • Understand the DevOps operation of the product

  • Automation is a separate project within a project that builds the product

    • The time needed for thinking, setup, configuring, coding, maintaining, and collaborating within teams are unique tasks

    • This needs its time and it cannot be adjusted with the time available for Testing

      • Note that, Testing and Automation are two different activities though automation exists to assist the testing

    • Testing and Automation are two different activities that overlap

  • Have the deterministic testability and automatability attributes in the product to leverage the value of automation and Testing

    • Ask for it with product owners and developers

  • Be informed about the value returned from the automation and its limitation

    • Keep the stakeholders informed about the same

  • Testability is the foundation in a system for Testing and Automation in Testing

    • Automatability attribute together with Testability makes the system very responsive for testing and automation

  • Do not be scared of automation; encourage the team to start thinking about it and practice it

    • Listen to all groups who are for automation and who are not for automation

    • Understand what they mean for what is being said by them

    • Learn the context in which they are talking

    • Pick what works for you, but do not ignore and be away from the practice of automation

  • Automation is a need today and for coming days; it is a skill looked for and it helps a Test Engineer very much

  • Embrace automation!

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