Test Automation for the Non-Technical Tester: Understanding Its Value

Test Automation for the Non-Technical Tester: Understanding Its Value

Presentation by Shalini Chaudhari, Plenary Keynote Speaker @STC 2012.

Presentation Abstract

Non--technical testers (those who don't have any software development or automation skills) are sometimes intimidated by automated tests. They don't understand the principles of automation or it's goals, and many times they're fearful automation will put them out of a job.

This paper is meant to turn that intimidation around into an appreciation the advantages automation brings to a project. It also exposes testers to the value of automation in freeing testers from repetitive tasks, and empowering them to use their tremendous skills and experience in more valuable areas of testing.

Readers of this paper will learn definitions of unit, integration, and functional tests. You'll also see examples of tests, and also discover what concepts like continuous integration mean, and how they dramatically impact a project's ability to deliver tremendously high quality. You'll learn why a mix of automated tests is critical to shipping high-­-quality software. Readers also learn why automation is not the SOLE piece of the testing puzzle, and why manual testing is still extraordinarily important! You'll discover how pairing with developers to provide feedback can result in dramatically improved test coverage - even though you don't know how to write code.

You'll learn a bit about different automated test types, and you'll also see how several different tools, frameworks, and APIs are used.

Readers will gain a better understanding of how their testing expertise can add to the project's overall quality, even in the mysterious realm of test automation!

Key Take Aways

• Non-technical testers don't write software, but have important skills and knowledge to contribute to the team.
• Non-technical testers should be pairing and collaborating throughout a feature's entire cycle to ensure the feature is clear and that good testing criteria are laid out for the entire team.
• Understanding the three major types of automated tests (unit, integration, and functional) is critical.
• Non-technical testers can benefit by understanding a bit of the details behind how automated tests are written, executed, and maintained.

About Jim Holmes

Jim Holmes , is the Test Studio Evangelist at Telerik. He has over 25 years in the IT field in positions including PC technician, WAN manager, customer relations manager, developer, and tester. Jim has worked in the US Air Force, DOD, software consulting domain, and commercial software products. He's a long-time advocate of test automation and has delivered software on a wide range of platforms. He co-authored Windows Developer Power Tools and blogs at http://FrazzledDad.com. Jim is the President of the Board of Directors for the CodeMash conference held in the middle of winter at an indoor waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio.