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last update : 30/08/2017

Managing Successful Test Automation



Many organisations have invested a lot of time and effort into test automation but they have not achieved the significant returns that they had expected. Some blame the tool that they use while others conclude test automation doesn’t work well for their situation. The truth is often very different. These organisations are typically doing many of the right things but they are not addressing key issues that are vital to long term success with test automation.

This workshop describes the most important issues that you must address, and helps you understand and choose the best approaches for your organization—no matter which automation tools you use. Management issues including responsibilities, automation objectives and return on investment are covered along with an explanation of the pros and cons of different scripting approaches.
The target audience for this tutorial is people involved with managing test automation who need to understand the key issues in making test automation successful. Technical issues are covered at a high level of understanding; there are no tool demos!

Session 1:
Test automation objectives
Pilot project
Measuring test automation
Return on Investment (ROI)

Session 2:
Objectives of scripting techniques
Scripting approaches
Domain specific test language.

Test Automation Management Patterns

Laptops or tablets required for this half of the workshop

There are many problems in automating system level test execution. The surprising thing is that many people encounter the same problems, yet usually they are not aware of common solutions that have worked well for others – these are the “patterns”.

Although unit test patterns are known elsewhere, our patterns address more general issues. They cover the categories of management, process, design and execution to help recognize common test automation issues and show how to identify the appropriate patterns to solve the problems. Issues such as UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS or HIGH MAINTENANCE COST are addressed by patterns such as CLEAR GOALS, MAINTAINABLE TESTWARE and MANAGEMENT SUPPORT.

The tutorial uses a mix of lecture, exercises and group discussion to explore the patterns and find solutions for common issues. A few selected patterns are covered in depth, and there is time for attendees to address the issues and problems they most want to learn more about.

Outline of workshop:

  Introduction & attendee problems
  Test Automation Issues and Patterns
  Using the Test Automation Patterns Wiki

  Patterns in depth:

  Exploring of issues and patterns most relevant to attendees


Seretta Gamba
Seretta Gamba  has forty years’ experience in development and fifteen in test automation. After going through all the usual developer roles, in 2001 she was put in charge of test automation. She developed a framework that enabled her company to quickly get excellent results. Having talked about the framework in a couple of conferences she met Dorothy Graham and was invited to write a chapter in the book, Experiences of Test Automation. With Dorothy Graham she has been developing the Test Automation Patterns Wiki and is now writing a story book about the patterns.

Mark Fewster

Mark Fewster has over 30 years of industrial experience in software testing across test management, test techniques and test automation. He has provided consultancy and training in software testing, published papers and co-authored two books with Dorothy Graham, “Software Test Automation” and “Experiences of Test Automation”. Mark has spoken at numerous national and international conferences and has participated on the ISTQB working group responsible for the advanced level certification for test automation engineers. Mark is the Director of Grove Software Testing Ltd., formerly Grove Consultants, offering ISTQB accredited training and licensed courseware, and test automation management consultancy.


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