Experiences of Test Automation

Software test automation has moved beyond a luxury to become a necessity. Applications and systems have grown ever larger and more complex, and manual testing simply cannot keep up. As technology changes, and more organizations move into agile development, testing must adapt—and quickly. Test automation is essential, but poor automation is wasteful—how do you know where your efforts will take you?

Authors Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster wrote the field’s seminal text, Software Test Automation, which has guided many organizations toward success. Now, in Experiences of Test Automation, they reveal test automation at work in a wide spectrum of organizations and projects, from complex government systems to medical devices, SAP business process development to Android mobile apps and cloud migrations. This book addresses both management and technical issues, describing failures and successes, brilliant ideas and disastrous decisions and, above all, offers specific lessons you can use.

  • Test automation in agile development
  • How management support can make or break successful automation
  • The importance of a good testware architecture and abstraction levels
  • Measuring benefits and Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Management issues, including skills, planning, scope, and expectations
  • Model-Based Testing (MBT), monkey testing, and exploratory test automation
  • The importance of standards, communication, documentation, and flexibility in enterprise-wide automation
  • Automating support activities
  • Which tests to automate, and what not to automate
  • Hidden costs of automation: maintenance and failure analysis
  • The right objectives for test automation: why “finding bugs” may not be a good objective
  • Highlights, consisting of lessons learned, good points, and helpful tips

Experiences of Test Automation will be invaluable to everyone considering, implementing, using, or managing test automation. Testers, analysts, developers, automators and automation architects, test managers, project managers, QA professionals, and technical directors will all benefit from reading this book.

“What you hold in your hands is a treasure trove of hard-won knowledge about what works and what doesn’t in test automation. It can save you untold hours and costs by steering you away from paths that lead nowhere and guiding you towards those that lead to success.”
–Linda Hayes

“From tools to methodology, Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster weave a compelling set of stories that provide a learning experience in automation. This comprehensive tome is the first of its kind to take the reader deep into the world of automated testing, as depicted by case studies that show the realities of what happened across a multitude of projects spanning a wide variety of industries and technology environments. By identifying similarities and repeated themes, the authors help the reader focus on the essential learning lessons and pitfalls to avoid. Read this book cover to cover for inspiration and a realization of what it takes to ultimately succeed in test automation.”
–Andrew L. Pollner, President & CEO of ALP International Corporation

“Many years after their best-seller Software Test Automation, Mark Fewster and Dorothy Graham have done it again. Agile methodologies have given test automation a dominant presence in today’s testing practices. This is an excellent, highly practical book with many well-documented case studies from a wide range of perspectives. Highly recommended to all those involved, or thinking about getting involved, in test automation.”
– Erik van Veenendaal, Founder of Improve Quality Services and vice-chair of TMMi Foundation

“This book is like having a testing conference in your hand, with a wealth of case studies and insights. Except that this book is much cheaper than a conference, and you don’t have to travel for it. What impressed me in particular was that it is all tied together in a concise ‘chapter zero’ that efficiently addresses the various aspects I can think of for automation success. And that is something you will not get in a conference.”
–Hans Buwalda

“An exciting, well-written, and wide-ranging collection of case studies with valuable realworld experiences, tips, lessons learned, and points to remember from real automation projects. This is a very useful book for anyone who needs the evidence to show managers and colleagues what works–and what does not work–on the automation journey.”
–Isabel Evans, FBCS CITP, Quality Manager, Dolphin Computer Access

Experiences of Test Automation first describes the essence of effective automated testing. It proceeds to provide many lifetimes worth of experience in this field, from a wide variety of situations. It will help you use automated testing for the right reasons, in a way that suits your organization and project, while avoiding the various pitfalls. It is of great value to anyone involved in testing–management, testers, and automators alike.”
–Martin Gijsen, Independent Test Automation Architect

“This offering by Fewster and Graham is a highly significant bridge between test automation theory and reality. Test automation framework design and implementation is an inexact science begging for a reusable set of standards that can only be derived from a growing body of precedence; this book helps to establish such precedence. Much like predecessor court cases are cited to support subsequent legal decisions in a judicial system, the diverse case studies in this book may be used for making contemporary decisions regarding engagement in, support of, and educating others on software test automation framework design and implementation.”
–Dion Johnson, Software Test Consultant and Principle Adviser to the Automated Testing Institute (ATI)

“Even with my long-established ‘test automation won’t work’ stance, this book did make me pause and ponder. It opened my mind and gave me a few ‘oh, I hadn’t thought of that’ moments. I would recommend this book as an initial reference for any organization wanting to introduce test automation.”
–Audrey Leng

“This book is a stunning achievement. I believe that it is one of the best books ever written in test automation. Dot and Mark’s approach presenting 28 case studies is a totally new concept including eye-catching tips, good points, and lessons learned. The case studies are coming from life experiences, successes and failures, including several aspects of automation, different environments, and a mixture of solutions. Books are ‘the’ source of wisdom, and what a good idea for using storytelling to increase our learning through triggering our memories. This book is a must for everyone who is thinking of or involved in test automation at all levels. It is truly unique in its kind.”
–Mieke Gevers

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. An Agile Team’s Test Automation Journey: The First Year
Chapter 2. The Ultimate Database Automation
Chapter 3. Moving to the Cloud: The Evolution of TiP, Continuous Regression Testing in Production
Chapter 4. The Automator Becomes the Automated
Chapter 5. Autobiography of an Automator: From Mainframe to Framework Automation
Chapter 6. Project 1: Failure!, Project 2: Success!
Chapter 7. Automating the Testing of Complex Government Systems
Chapter 8. Device Simulation Framework
Chapter 9. Model-Based Test-Case Generation in ESA Projects
Chapter 10. Ten Years On and Still Going
Chapter 11. A Rising Phoenix from the Ashes
Chapter 12. Automating the Wheels of Bureaucracy
Chapter 13. Automated Reliability Testing Using Hardware Interfaces
Chapter 14. Model-Based GUI Testing of Android Applications
Chapter 15. Test Automation of SAP Business Processes
Chapter 16. Test Automation of a SAP Implementation
Chapter 17. Choosing the Wrong Tool
Chapter 18. Automated Tests for Marketplace Systems: Ten Years and Three Frameworks
Chapter 19. There’s More to Automation Than Regression Testing: Thinking Outside the Box
Chapter 20. Software for Medical Devices and Our Need for Good Software Test Automation
Chapter 21. Automation through the Back Door
Chapter 22. Test Automation as an Approach to Adding Value to Portability Testing
Chapter 23. Automated Testing in an Insurance Company: Feeling Our Way
Chapter 24. Adventures with Test Monkeys
Chapter 25. System-of-Systems Test Automation at NATS
Chapter 26. Automating Automotive Electronics Testing
Chapter 27. BHAGs, Change, and Test Transformation
Chapter 28. Exploratory Test Automation: An Example Ahead of Its Time
Chapter 29. Test Automation Anecdotes

Book Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (January 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321754069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321754066
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