to be or not to be automated

to be or not to be

reverse engineering,posted this a while ago on thought it might make sense on the blog as well.

so,here goes why should we automate a test or not automate it ?

depends on several factors , some which I can recall at the moment are..

1. how many times/often would the test be executed ?

2. how easily and accurately the test can be executed manually ?

3. how accurately measured you want the test to be ? are we talking micro seconds here ?

4. are you be able to correctly determine whether the test is a pass or fail using a manual execution method ?
how accurately can the automated test record relevant side effects ?

5. do you have the resources ( time,tools,people) to automate the test ?

6. would it be worth it ? cost vs value of automating it ? what service would the automated test do for you over and above manual tests?….provide funcitonal , UI , regression , security( to your manager…”we are a good test team..because we automate 🙂 ) , documentation , free u up with some time from the mundane work ?

7. would the automated test be easily,accurately maintainable as time & project complexity multiplies ? cost vs value again to maintain it ?

8. one aspect which personally influences me a lot in this decision is that I prefer not to automate newly impplemented funcitonalities , go for manual execution first and with time as the UI , functionality matures and I have fewer things to observe , worry about in the area …automate it for alerts e.g regression . So, regression testing is a strong contender for automation.

9. how would the results be recorded ? how reliable would they be ? how would the results be compared with legacy builds ? how do you record/observe quality deltas ?

10. what about the interesting things that happen as/as a side effect of the automated test being executed ? can you afford to miss them or you dont worry about them ( e.g. functioality is mature we are not expecting surprises along the way )

test leadership

leadership  has always confused me . At time it feels real and inspirational , other times it seems paradoxical and confuses me even further .

why ? that is another post .

what this post is about , is test leadership and how I have seen it being implemented or have implemented myself ( during the precious little i was allowed to )


Test Leadership through :

1. Example : clichéd but very hard to follow . One of my favorite modes of leadership . Demonstrate to your flock as to how to do things by doing them excellently .

Pros : You are the sun of the team and you would create other stars in the team and lift the performance level of the team.

Cons : You could overawe , demoralize  or make people green with envy . If implemented without care could be counter productive / lead to under performance . and someone can poison your food one day .

2.Direction: Point your team in the “right” direction and let them do it .

Pros : Team will falter , learn ( you need to make sure ) , improve and perform

Cons : Risk of failure . Leader needs to take a call on risk vs cost of failure .

How do you know that the direction is “right” ?

3. Delegation : Just assign stuff and compile beautiful reports.

Pros : Umm…

Cons : hard to gain your team’s respect.

4. Servitude : Just do what the test manager or project manager says . If something goes wrong you have some big fish to blame.

Pros : You stay on your manager’s right side. Avoid conflict and stress.

Cons : You can not keep everyone happy , so you might end up with a very unhappy and frustrated team .

5. Seduction : Can be implemented literally to varying degrees of success. Also means cajoling , coaxing your team from time to time , to make them do unpopular things .

Pros : Success in implementing thorny stuff

Cons : You might use this to implementing things which you yourself do not believe in or stand for . You just give in arm twisting from higher up . Paradox ?

How is it different from sugar coating bitter pills ?

6. Proxy : You are the figurehead !

Pros : If the person ( who is pulling your strings ) is brilliant then it is honeymoon

Cons : Honeymoon can turn into a Freddy Kruger nightmare

Wake up and take control !

7.Diplomacy:  You are a PR champion . Right friends in the right places who give you the right advice.

Pros : Smooth sailing if you have the team to churn it out.

Cons : You could be stuck alone when the ship starts sinking.

8.Discussion: You are a great debater , you can reason and convince people . You like to win and make people shut up.

Pros : You win

Cons : Things turn ugly when you are wrong .

9. Balls :  Show some . Dont be a limp

Pros : You defend your team and the team stands for you. “answers your call ”

Cons : Establishment can shunt you out.

I think leadership is varying shades of ALL the above .

In addition to the above mode , Luck and professional relationships play a crucial role.

What do you guys say ?

great test work

great test work creates joy and fulfilment


just like any great artist paints great paintings

great composers create great music

a great chef cooks great food

great testers find great information (bugs) , for better products which enable customers to accomplish/achieve what they want,to fulfill their needs , to deliver joy to them. ( try to read in a non cheesy way).

anything other than that is secondary