Posted by IN / 2 responses

Making the Case for Full-time Test Automation Engineers

28 June 2017

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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.

2 responses to Making the Case for Full-time Test Automation Engineers

  • Jim Hazen says on June 29, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    My question back is “Why do you hire software developers and have them work full time on programming the application?” The same is true of Automation Developers/Engineers (people who really do “program” the automation), it is a full time job. The problem to solve is getting other groups to understand all of the tasks that an automation developer has to do to, and the time it takes to get it done properly the first time through. Plus, they need to understand that once the initial work is done there will be maintenance and enhancement work that will need to be done. Automation in today’s reality isn’t Record/Playback (and it never was) and letting the tool go along its merry little way. It is about solving multiple problems at once and then creating a robust, reliable and maintainable solution that is reusable for the duration (or as much as possible) of the project. It is about working with other groups to come up with a solution that is usable and beneficial to those other groups. Automation Developers/Engineers are a hybrid of programmer and tester; they have to have a solid understanding of both in order to bridge the gap and create software to drive the execution of testing of other software. They build “Testware”. Also, Automation Developers/Engineers have to see the bigger picture and understand how their testware fits into that equation. This means understanding the overall environment and target platform/stack they will build/run their testware in. They need to understand how to run the testware at scale and in parallel, and how to get it to run as part of a Continous Integration/Deployment environment in todays Agile landscape.
    So, there is a lot to know and do for Automation Developers/Engineers in todays reality. The only thing missing is a giant “S” on their chests. Either that or they have to possess the Elder wand. Because after all “It’s Automation, Not Automagic!”

    • Paul Merrill says on July 3, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Thanks for the thoughts Jim! The question now is, do I agree with you? I guess folks will have to tune in on the 13th to find out…


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