9 months Opinion Pieces

Pragmatic Automation

“In everyday language a pragmatist is a person focused on results and solutions to problems, despite ideological and political differences”.

Test automation can create game-changing competitive advantages for organisations. Improving the flow of work and amplifying feedback loops provides the ability to make changes more frequently and remain competitive by reducing the time-to-market.

So why aren’t we automating everything?

Many people, often key decision makers, have experienced test automation implemented badly and it is for this reason that automated testing is often viewed with scepticism. “It takes too long to implement and when it’s finally done, it’s slow”, “Tools are expensive and I may need more than one”, “It requires constant maintenance, doesn’t always work and I can’t rely on the results when it does” are phrases we hear from organisations needing our help all too often – or put more simply - “Time”, “Cost” and “Quality”.

These are all business factors dissuading people from investing in test automation but, when approached pragmatically, results can be realised quickly and with limited costs, especially where best practice approaches are applied, and where open source tools can be leveraged. Time, cost & quality factors will always be present and will apply to most business decisions - not just test automation. However, there is sometimes a more personal factor affecting the decision whether to invest in test automation or not – protectionism.

Protectionism is born through the fear that test automation could make the human tester’s role redundant. Although, when approached with pragmatism a healthy blend of human vs computer can be achieved by relying on computers (or automated tests) to do the “boring” and/or repetitive tasks (aka regression testing), leaving humans to focus on the new and interesting features of an application, either through exploratory testing or user experience testing. This focuses humans where they can add the most value, doing the things a computer can’t.

ROQ has seen many objections when it comes to test automation but some of our favourites are; “It is impossible to automate” or “I’ll never see a return on my investment” – these are challenges we relish and we’d love to prove you wrong, using a pragmatic approach to test automation.

Please contact us at ask@roq.co.uk to see if we can help you.

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