Virtual Lab Automation (VLA) is a ground-breaking technology that promises quantifiable benefits for application development and test organizations, including faster lab deployment, less manual setup work, greater resource flexibility and utilization, and easier reproduction of defects. In this article, Skytap's Ian Knox discusses the best practices and common pitfalls associated with adopting a VLA solution. In addition, he outlines the steps to evaluate a virtualization solution for your test organization and provides further resources to help you get started.
Reloadable test data takes more time up front (as compared to on-the-fly data creation), but saves blood, sweat, and tears in the long term. It also virtually eliminates "works on my machine" bugs, creates a more intricate and realistic environment, and is the first step on the road to test automation.
Few would think that the tactics employed by military and law-enforcement Special Forces to breach buildings under siege bears any relation to software project teams. After a number of weekends training with ex-military and ex-law-enforcement Special Forces—just for fun—Antony Marcano draws a surprising parallel between the dynamics of modern Special Forces "room-clearing" methods and the dynamics of modern software development teams.
Rapid testers don't think of test automation merely as something that controls a program and checks for some expected result. Instead, we think of test automation as any use of tools to support testing. With that definition in mind, it may not be the most obvious automation tool that is the most useful.
Software development has always been an exercise in managing complexity because there appears to be no end to the problems to which we can apply automatic computation. It has progressed as a discipline as good minds have created abstractions that transform that complexity into simplicity.
Instead of viewing software test automation as an effort to replace manual tests think of it as a means to extend the abilities of the tester. Combining the power of the human mind with automation tools helps fuel observation and discovery and provides a different perspective of the software under test.
Can software test automation ever replace manual software testing? Dion Johnson says no, but he does think it’s time that test automation is recognized as a mature discipline with its own body of knowledge. This ABOK allows test-automation professionals to hone their skills and provides organizations wishing to automate a pool of able resources from which to hire.
Ever wondered why one team's automated tests pass but your tests of the same software fail? Jonathan Kohl has an explanation. Perhaps we should all take a page from Marvin Gaye's songbook and test our project ideals in real-world environments. After all, "there ain't nothin' like the real thing."