We at TestCraft, a codeless automation testing platform, were lucky enough to host Bas Dijkstra, a leading test automation consultant, in our most recent webinar, “How to Become Better at Test Automation”.
In the webinar, Bas shares his beliefs on how test automation should be done right and what were the mistakes he had done at the beginning of his career. Bas believes that companies and automation testers should focus on the “why” rather than the “how”. We share the same belief and therefore decided to summarize the webinar for our community’s convenience. In this short blog post, we will bring you the highlights of Bas’s webinar.
Start with the Why
At the beginning of his career, Bas thought he knew it all about automation, only now did he realize he was far behind. He discussed in the webinar a couple of instances in his early career days where he only focused on the specific tools they used for automation. Now, he sees that automation engineers today are making the same mistakes and falling into the same traps as he once did. He comes across many questions from testers on Quora and Linkedin asking, which tools they should use and how to implement a code to a certain platform. No one seems to start with the why or what – The ‘why’ is the need for automation and the ‘what’ is what are you going to automate.
Bas explains that it is imperative to understand the purpose clearly as to why you need to apply a certain tool to your automation strategy. The question is, where do you start if you want to improve your automation testing capabilities?
How do you become a better automation engineer?
“We don’t need more automation engineers. We need better ones”
The first step to solving this question is the training implementation. Bas has stumbled upon many training curriculums that only discuss how to implement automation in a specific tool or set, for example, ‘Essential Selenium’, ‘Introduction to Cucumber’, etc. Tool-centric training should be avoided because you will miss the important underlying patterns and principles. An example of something that isn’t normally taught in a traditional training program is if there is a case where you must go through the same sequences of user interface screens or pages with many different sets of inputs and outputs parameter. This is a sign you might want to skip UI and instead verify business logic through an API or unit test. The training needs to be focused on how to build an automation strategy and how to manage certain expectations around automation. Another focus should be on when not to automate, as well.
The perfect automation training according to Bas starts with software testing, it’s the way to effectively move towards automation. Automation awareness is just simply to learn all you can about automation. Learn what automation can or can’t do and plan it in your daily software testing framework. Patterns and principles are independent of most of the tools. It would be smart to learn the patterns, this will lead you to easily pick up the knowledge for another tool.
Patterns and principles over tools and technique
Bas ended off the webinar with the advice of how to make the automation space better. He constantly reminds us to not only focus on tools alone. Like him, you should share your experiences and mistakes to the community so everyone can learn from each other. Start seeing automation for what it is – Automation is not the end goal. It will help make your software testing more productive and actively better, but it’s not the ‘holy grail’. Last but not least, answer the why while facing an automation task.
An automated codeless solution
Like Bas, we at TestCraft, believe that testers should be professionals in testing – they should know what to test and know the business itself inside and out. As Bas mentions, only after they know the ‘what’ and ‘why’ should they deal with the ‘how’.
That is the reason why we created our platform – to enable any tester to turn their test scenarios into automated ones, without coding. We believe they should focus on the test scenarios themselves, rather than the actual code. We also take care of the maintenance issues, so they can focus on the ‘what’ and ‘why’.
If you like to hear more on the subject feel free to sign up to watch the recorded webinar here.