What If Your Testers Could Automate?
For every software company, there comes a time where the testing team won’t be able to move any faster. There’s only so much testing that can happen and still hit reasonable deadlines.
That same company will usually solve this with test automation. Either they’ll hire one or more automation engineers, or buy an external tool.
But I’d like to suggest a third option. What if you build test automation with a different target audience in mind? What if you could reuse the domain knowledge and skills already present in your team?
What if your testers could automate?
Sound crazy? It’s not. Here are the core traits of automation that can do that for you:
Simplify the Complex
Good tools get the job done. Great ones don’t force you to learn a ton about them first. Tools that do, get in the way and actually put focus on them instead of where it belongs: on the app under test.
That’s why getting rid of complexity is the primary goal. The simpler it is, the easier it is to use and the more productive you’ll be.
The place where people use the tool the most is where it should be the simplest. That’s because complexity here will slow you down the most. And that’s why frameworks written to combat that use plain English to describe tests.
Hide the Ugly
Any test framework will have some deep grungy code. It’s like a car. Nobody would drive them if you had to have your hands in the engine all the time. And yet many frameworks make users work with some of that code to use the tool.
This causes a huge shift in focus. When someone works with tools like that, that ugly code slows people down. Energy gets spent on understanding test code instead of the application under test.
That’s why writing a framework that keeps the low-level out of sight is important. If a user doesn’t need to think about it, don’t force them to. Abstract all the greasy gears away and expose exactly only what the users need to automate. Let them focus on what’s important: testing the application.
Shrink the Maintenance
Maintenance often gets overlooked, or treated as a necessary evil. But it takes much less time to create code than the length of time it’s alive for. It may be 10% creation and 90% maintenance. As soon as the code’s complete, it needs maintenance. Forever.
That’s why low maintenance in an automation framework is key. Frameworks written like this will be more resilient to change. They’ll also make the required maintenance easier to do. Anything else means you’ll be maintaining tools more than maintaining pace with competition.
So Guess What?
With a simple, readable, low-maintenance framework, you give God Mode to your testers. It helps them turn the excellent test cases they know, right into test automation. It saves them time for better testing, and you get better coverage.
The result is automation with a wide reach. Automation engineers and developers can write automation, but now so can testers. Business Analysts too.
Many more facets of your team can contribute to automating and maintaining tests. This results in better product shipped to your customers and less bandwidth headaches.
And it’s doable for much less than the cost of a full time employee.
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