Posted by IN / 5 responses

Secret #2: Educate Your Testers

23 October 2015

LighthouseI originally posted this in 2012.  It should probably be called “Up Skill”.

One thing I would highlight in this post if I were to revise it, is that Automated Testing IS a development effort.  The skills, knowledge, training, and expertise involved in a successful automated testing project are the same ones as in a development project.  If you’re a manager without those skills, trying to lead automated testing, get help.

Also – we can help.

Original post…

 

 

This is from my series, The 5 Secrets to Automated Testing Success.

How do you make the gains we mentioned in Secret #1? In Project A, automation failed to pay for itself. Instead, it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in spite of many measures the company took to ensure success, such as:

  • Hire only testers with experience in automation
  • Purchase training from the vendor of the automated testing tool
  • Invest months in building an automation framework

So why did it fail?

Project A failed for many reasons, but one of the biggest was education. In most cases, those who learn automated testing learn it on the job with little or no programming experience. Most people who attempt automation have implemented one or two systems. Few have built systems from the ground up, architecting the infrastructure and framework from nothing. Many have witnessed and used systems that work. But as Sophocles said, “One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty, until you try.” That’s where Beaufort Fairmont’s experience and expertise are second to none.

Often, managers of QA projects have not managed the construction phase of the development effort – which is very different from what is normally, a reactive testing cycle. This was the case in Project A. The manager had no hands-on Software Engineering experience and no experience leading a development effort.

Often, managers use automated testing as a place to put the people in their team that want to program but don’t have the experience or skill necessary to join the development effort. It’s an easy choice because the promise of automation is so heavenly.

 

Learn about Beaufort Fairmont’s Training
If we’re serious about automation, however, we should look at it as a product in and of itself – with at least as much value add for the company as the customer-facing product or service. When this is the case, why would we put people without development experience and formal education in charge of the technical leadership of these efforts? Why do we plan them or resource them any differently from a normal development effort?

Automation efforts are as important and complicated as producing commercially viable software. Hiring above-average software engineers to develop these projects is also a difficult task. So where does this leave us?

Educating Existing QA Engineers and Automated Testers.

I mentioned that in Project A the company paid for training from the software vendor. The training, however, was specific to the tool. It was training on how to use the tool – not principles of automation. And it cost tens of thousands of dollars!

Beaufort Fairmont offers training on major open source tools like cucumber, robotframework and selenium.  We can also create customized training tailored specifically for your needs.

Our training courses are hands-on.  We believe that’s the best way to learn.  Learn about Beaufort Fairmont’s Training

 

Read the rest by downloading the 5 Secrets Whitepaper

 

About the Author

Paul Merrill

Paul Merrill is Principal Software Engineer in Test and Founder of Beaufort Fairmont Automated Testing Services. Paul works with clients every day to accelerate testing, reduce risk, and to increase the efficacy of testing processes. You’re Agile, but is your Testing Agile? An entrepreneur, tester, and software engineer, Paul has a unique perspective on launching and maintaining quality products. He also hosts Reflection as a Service, a podcast about software development and entrepreneurship. Follow Paul on Twitter @dpaulmerrill.

5 responses to Secret #2: Educate Your Testers

  • benahavis says on November 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very useful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot.
    I was seeking this particular info for a very long
    time. Thank you and good luck.

    Reply
    • Paul Merrill says on November 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      I’m glad you liked this post. I’m looking forward to sharing a lot of good information in this blog about automated testing.

      “Automation efforts are as important and complicated as producing commercially viable software.” – yes, I believe automated testing efforts are just as important as other development efforts!

      Reply
  • http://www.mondeetc.com says on November 1, 2015 at 10:18 pm

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