Test automation is a cornerstone of teams that deliver quality at speed, but naive approaches are costly. Getting test automation right requires a dee

Test Automation Strategy

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2022-10-01 05:00:19

Test automation is a cornerstone of teams that deliver quality at speed, but naive approaches are costly. Getting test automation right requires a deep understanding of the tools in your testing toolbox.

Continuous automated testing enables teams to create value at a high rate of speed while maintaining quality and stability. However, despite the evidence, there’s plenty of skepticism remaining in the industry about the value of test automation. In my experience that skepticism comes from two places.

The first is that people correctly point out that when you write automated tests you have to write and maintain more code than you would otherwise write, but incorrectly deduce that testing, therefore, reduces speed. If I have to write a feature that is going to take 100 lines of production code and another 100 lines of test code then I’ve effectively doubled the amount of work I have to do, and therefore testing slows me down by an unacceptable amount, right? This conclusion is flawed for a ton of reasons, but the most important is that the argument only works if you narrow your focus down to a single programming task. Sometimes a single coding task WILL take longer because of all of the test automation needed to support that work safely. But, with good test automation in place, the team will create more value week over week because they are working with tight feedback loops and are dealing with vastly less unplanned work.

The second reason that people are skeptical of automated testing is that they’ve tried to implement it in the past, or they’ve worked on teams where it was implemented, and the results were middling or horrible. That’s because test automation, implemented naively, adds little or no value. It’s important to get it right in order realize the benefits.

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