Key Takeaways from the "30 Days of Automation in Testing"

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We’re proud to have sponsored the Ministry of Testing (MoT) “30 Days of Automation in Testing” challenge!

For those who don’t know, MoT is one of the biggest and most supportive global testing communities. Every so often, they organize the “30 Days of Testing” event, each time based on a different testing area - this July they’ve gone for automation in testing.

Below are some of the highlights we have from 30 Days of Automation in Testing.

 

​1. Automation vs. Test Automation

The first challenge was to look up and compare these two definitions: Automation and Test Automation.

We have put together the information from several sources and have come up with the following definitions:

Automation:

  • Automation is the creation of technology and its application in order to control and monitor the production and delivery of various goods and services. - Techopedia
  • It is the technique, method, system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices. - Dictionary
  • Automation is being used in a number of areas such as manufacturing, transport, utilities, defense, facilities, operations and lately, information technology. - Techopedia

​Test Automation:

  • In software testing and other kinds of IT related testing or quality assurance, test automation is the use of special software (separate from the software being tested) to control the execution of tests and the comparison of actual outcomes with predicted outcomes. - Techopedia
  • Test automation can automate some repetitive but necessary tasks in a formalized testing process already in place or perform additional testing that would be difficult to do manually. - Wikipedia

Additionally, there were some interesting comparisons and quotes some participants made for this first challenge:

“So, the comparison seems simple. Different sectors like Industry, Agriculture, Sports, Information, Technology, etc. uses Automation. Whereas Test Automation, is a subset of Automation which is applicable to the Information Technology area, specific to Software Testing”.

- Helena (helena21)

“The crucial difference between the two, seems to be the feedback loop, which is not a part of Test Automation itself.”

“For now, paradoxically, it still requires a human to reach the levels of what true automation can do elsewhere already”.

- Magda (maos)

See the whole discussion on Ministry of Testing for more.

 

2. Types of testing that can be supported by automation

Testing is not an easy task! The purpose of automation should be to free up time for more manual and exploratory testing. However, there are sometimes when it doesn’t make sense to automate a task. One of the challenges was to discuss some tasks and types of testing automation can support you with.

Since we regularly discuss about test automation here at SmartBear, we have come up with a list of ideas that could work as “Good Task Automation Candidates”:

  • Environment Setup/Teardown
  • Data Entry (Form Filling and Varying Data Inputs in a Repetitive Process)
  • Exposing backend data (APIs, DB tables, etc.)
  • Repetitive tasks that are prone to inattention errors
  • Tasks with high reuse value across many workflows
  • Tests with timing or screen responsiveness as criteria for success
  • Many non-functional test types, such as Performance testing
  • Smoke Test Suites – key user workflows as a screening tool

 

3. Testing tools

The 30 Days of Automation in Testing included two challenges based on finding and sharing thoughts about some API and UI testing tools.

I could be a little biased here, but if you haven’t checked out our SmartBear tools yet…

We have a bunch of API testing tools!

  • Write, run, integrate and automate advanced API tests with SoapUI Pro
  • Ensure your APIs perform flawlessly under various traffic conditions with LoadUI Pro
  • Eliminate dependencies by virtualizing the APIs you need with ServiceV Pro
  • Design, build and manage your APIs, collaboratively and interactively with SwaggerHub

And some UI testing tools too!

Visit our website and find out more about these and other testing tools.

 

4. Automation in testing experts

Following Day 14, we wanted to give you our own recommendations on five testing experts we think will add great value to your network.

Richard Bradshaw

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Here we have the Ministry of Testing’s BossBoss, Richard Bradshaw. Richard is a software tester, speaker, and trainer.

I strongly suggest you visit his website for interesting and useful advice.

Angie Jones

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“Angie Jones is a Senior Automation Engineer at Twitter who has developed automation strategies and frameworks for countless software products”.

Click here to find out more about Angie Jones.

Bas Dijkstra

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“Bas Dijkstrta is a test automation and service virtualization consultant who's always looking for more intelligent ways to use tools to improve test processes and software quality”.

Take a look at his website and learn about Bas’ experiences and thoughts:

Katrina Clokie

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“Katrina Clokie is an active contributor to the international testing community, an international keynote speaker, a co-founder of the WeTest New Zealand testing community, the founder of Testing Trapeze magazine, as well as a frequent blogger and tweeter”.

Do you want to know more about Katrina? Visit her blog here.

Paul Grizzaffi

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Paul Grizzaffi is the principal automation architect at Magenic. He describes himself as a “quality and testing leader, software architect, manager, and developer with expertise in planning and implementing test automation initiatives, frameworks, and tool systems”.

Click here to learn more about Paul and automation in testing.

 

5. Getting started with automation in testing?

Another interesting challenge of the 30 Days of Testing was to give beginners some advice and tips to make sure they are well prepared for a good start in automation. At SmartBear we are happy to help and provide both professional testers and beginners with helpful testing tutorials.

Below you can find links to useful videos that will help you get started with automation in testing:

Don’t hesitate to visit our Youtube Channel and take a look at more useful video tutorials.

 

If you haven’t participated yet in the famous “30 Days of Testing”, here are three major reasons why you should join the challenge next time.

 

1. Always Continue Learning

The 30 Days of Testing challenge welcomes new testers and motivates them to get out of their comfort zone and immerse themselves into a whole new world of testing.

This year, while some participants have seen this as an opportunity to get started with automation testing, others have used the challenge to acquire a better understanding and improve their skills.

Every new lesson comes with a bunch of endless questions waiting to be answered. The testing world is no exception!

In addition to the 30 Days of Automation in Testing, the Ministry of Testing has made sure to leave no question unanswered by creating multiple resources such as The Club or MoT Slack, where testers can ask for clarification and express their concerns.

The Club Discussion: Converting Legacy Automation Tests to Specflow or Not

 

2. Grow your Network

Participants realize that doing the challenge means more than simply learning about testing for your own personal and professional satisfaction. Testers are making an effort to be more connected than ever through social media.

Ministry of Testing has encouraged testers not only to participate, but also to interact, follow new people, and share what they have learned. Is there a better way to learn than from each other?

 

3. Have Fun!

If you are a tester, you have probably felt overwhelmed trying to process new information and stay up to date with changing trends at the same time.

The 30 Days of Automation in Testing has made participants forget about the tough side of testing by encouraging them to contribute in a fun and enjoyable way.

 

 

 

 

 


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