Test Automation

Fools rush in …

Test Automation is often rushed consideration, when the ideal is when it runs parallel to development. Add a decent acceptance testing framework such as Fitnesse, and you have effective environment to maintain effective automated testing.

The ideal environment to one where Continuous Integration is in place. Developers build, integrate their code changes back into source control, then a continuous build tool will periodically (typically nightly) build, test and report failures. This follows the Agile philosophy of developing smaller features and integrating/testing early. It has also caused one of the major Agile misunderstandings in business – that Agile is risky. It is, in fact, a lot less risky.

I can either work with the tools you have, or recommend ones best suited to your resources and environment.  There are no blanket solutions for test automation, as each project will have it’s own requirements and challenges.

The ideal environment to one where Continuous Integration is in place.  Developers build, integrate their code changes back into source control, then a continuous build tool will periodically (typically nightly) build, test and report failures. This follows the Agile philosophy of developing smaller features and integrating/testing early. It has also caused one of the major Agile misunderstandings in business – that Agile is risky. It is, in fact, a lot less risky.

One of the core principles of iterative and incremental development (Agile fundamental), is …

build -> integration -> test -> iterate

By ensuring developers are working from the same codebase, then integration issues (by far the most common issues in the software development lifecycle) are minimised as caught early.

The risk area is with implementation and management of the process, and having a test automation strategy will keep development process tighter. The Acceptance Testing framework, can be used as project monitoring tool, for use by all on project. Anyone should be able to run tests with minimal technical knowledge – it all helps with the all-important Agile transparency.

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