Intelligent Mistakes in Test Automation

Dorothy Graham, Software Test Consultant

A number of test automation ideas that at first glance seem very sensible actually contain pitfalls and problems that you should avoid. Dot Graham describes five of these “intelligent mistakes”—automated tests will find more bugs more quickly; spending a lot on a tool must guarantee great benefits; it’s necessary to automate all of our manual tests; tools are expensive so we have to show a substantial return on investment; and testing tools must be used by the testers. Dot points out that automation doesn’t find bugs; tests do. Good automation does not come out of the box and is not automatic. Automating everything may not give you better (or faster) testing. Determining the actual rate of return is not only surprisingly difficult but may actually be harmful. Turning testers into test automators may waste their skills and talents. Join Dot for a rousing discussion of intelligent mistakes—so you can be smart enough to avoid them.

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