Take the test automation pyramid diagram and put it on your wall. It should serve as a reminder that the majority of automation tests should be at the unit test level, followed by those that can be executed at the API or service level. Finally, with strong test design, you can write a minimum set of automated UI tests to complete your automation test suite. Once you have this solid set of automation tests at your disposal, regression testing will be a breeze.
Another problem with test tooling, one that's more subtle, especially in user interface testing, is that it doesn't happen until the entire system is deployed. To create an automated test, someone must code, or at least record, all the actions. Along the way, things won't work, and there will be initial bugs that get reported back to the programmers. Eventually, you get a clean test run, days after the story is first coded. But once the test runs, it only has value in the event of some regression, where something that worked yesterday doesn't work today.
Want just the essentials? This newly launched app puts macro counts front and center in a clear and simple Venn diagram on its home screen. If you need help determining your nutrient breakdown, a built-in calculator can help you set reasonable goals. Next, input your carbs, fats and protein for every meal and track your trends over time. You’ll be able to save the stats for the meals you eat most frequently. (Note: Since this app tracks macros and does not log food, you need to know how much of each nutrient are in your own grub.) (Free; iOS)
When we reviewed the Ecobee3 in 2015 it earned our Editors' Choice for its sleek design, numerous features, and ease of use. We also loved the inclusion of a remote sensor to help reduce hot or cold spots in different rooms. We're happy to report that the new Ecobee4 boasts all the same features as it predecessor, and more, thanks to the addition of built-in Amazon Alexa voice service capabilities. That means you can have the thermostat do everything that the Amazon Echo and its siblings can, such as control smart devices, shop, play music, and hear the latest news and weather, all using Alexa voice commands.
Where home automation becomes truly “smart” is in the Internet-enabled devices that attach to this network and control it. The classic control unit is the home computer, for which many of the earlier home automation systems were designed. Today’s home automation systems are more likely to distribute programming and monitoring control between a dedicated device in the home, like the control panel of a security system, and a user-friendly app interface that can be accessed via an Internet-enabled PC, smartphone or tablet.

Testing in these short Agile iterations often necessitates a “shift left” approach. This shift left in agile development process means testing starts much earlier in the application lifecycle. As a result, in such an approach, developers with strong technical expertise are increasingly being held accountable for testing, and thus, they often work alongside testers to create test automation frameworks.
What kinds of things can be part of a home automation system? Ideally, anything that can be connected to a network can be automated and controlled remotely. In the real world (outside of research labs and the homes of the rich and famous), home automation most commonly connects simple binary devices. This includes “on and off” devices such as lights, power outlets and electronic locks, but also devices such as security sensors which have only two states, open and closed.

Ajay Prasad, Founder and President of GMR Transcription and RepuGen, says: “There are two major ways that I have been able to improve my own businesses and my clients' through automation and systematization. First, I have developed an automated software solution called RepuGen to automate the difficult process of gathering customer and client feedback and managing online reviews. We all know the importance of online reviews, but typically we can never find the time to manage them. My clients and I were facing the difficulty of getting our happy customers to write reviews, and all manual processes were taking up much of our time.
The most successful RPA implementations include a center of excellence staffed by people who are responsible for making efficiency programs a success within the organization, Viadro says. Not every enterprise, however, has the budget for this. The RPA center of excellence develops business cases, calculating potential cost optimization and ROI, and measures progress against those goals. "That group is typically fairly small and nimble and it scales with the technology staff that are focused on the actual implementation of automation,” Viadro says. “I’d encourage all IT leaders across different industries to look for opportunities and understand whether [RPA] will be transformative for their businesses.”

During my three years at Socialtext, I helped maintain a test tooling system through a user interface that was advanced for its time. O'Reilly took it as a case study in the book Beautiful Testing. The team at Socialtext uses the same framework today, although it now has several tests running at one time on Amazon's Electric Compute Cloud. Although we had a great deal of GUI-driving tests, we also had developer-facing (unit) and web services (integration) tests, a visual slideshow that testers could watch for every browser, and a strategy to explore by hand for each release. This combination of methods to reduce risk meant we found problems early.
“When we refer to automation frameworks, it is easiest to understand with the functional testing areas,” says Kandukuri. “You are providing commonly used methods to improve the efficiency of automated tasks. With limited knowledge of how the test case is set up, a tester can fall back on the framework to refer to simple statements and implement the test cases.”

Home automation takes the mundane, day-to-day activities involved in managing your home and leaves them to a computer, freeing you up to kick back and relax. Once a staple of science fiction fantasies and luxury homes, over the past decade home automation has become a realistic option for the average American homeowner. With this in mind, the home-automation experts at SafeWise have put together an interactive home tour, brief history, explanation of common features, and projection of future trends unique to today’s home automation systems. Hover on the image to learn more about home automation.


You might not get very far, however, if employers in your field don’t buy in to augmentation. The world suffers from an automation mindset today, after all, because businesses have taken us down that path. Managers are always acutely aware of the downside of human employees—or, to use the technologist’s favored dysphemism for them, “wetware.” Henry Ford famously said, “Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?”

 Use Smartsheet to track the schedule and results of planned, current, and completed tests. Share the schedule with your team and collaborate on the details in real time, in one central location. Whether you’re running manual or automated tests, Smartsheet’s broad range of views – Calendar, Gantt, Card, and traditional Grid – allow you to manage progress the way you want. Organize test results with hierarchy and use comments to keep work in context.
Automated testing is, well, automated. This differs from manual testing where a human being is responsible for single-handedly testing the functionality of the software in the way a user would. Because automated testing is done through an automation tool, less time is needed in exploratory tests and more time is needed in maintaining test scripts while increasing overall test coverage.
Top software development teams around the world rely on Smartsheet to get their products to market in record time. Software development often requires collaboration across teams and functions, and Smartsheet provides a flexible solution to accommodate the different ways people work. With multiple views - traditional Grid, Gantt, Calendar, and Card - each team can work the way they want, yet remain connected on the ultimate goal. Improve visibility into work as it’s getting done across teams with Smartsheet Sights dashboards, and improve collaboration with automated workflows. Streamline new software development efforts, accelerate time to market for product launch plans, and create and manage product roadmaps, all in one intuitive platform.
 Use Smartsheet to track the schedule and results of planned, current, and completed tests. Share the schedule with your team and collaborate on the details in real time, in one central location. Whether you’re running manual or automated tests, Smartsheet’s broad range of views – Calendar, Gantt, Card, and traditional Grid – allow you to manage progress the way you want. Organize test results with hierarchy and use comments to keep work in context.
A performance tool will set a start time and a stop time for a given transaction in order to measure the response time. But by taking that measurement, that is storing the time at those two points, could actually make the whole transaction take slightly longer than it would do if the tool was not measuring the response time. Of course, the extra time is very small, but it is still there. This effect is called the ‘probe effect’.
BPA is designed to maintain efficiency and increase the stability and operational productivity of an underutilized workforce by integrating business critical software applications. BPA works by analyzing critical and non-critical business processes and their relationship and dependency on other business processes and external partners, in addition to developing or sourcing automated software and computing processes.
Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only substantially better: an RPA software robot never sleeps, makes zero mistakes and costs a lot less than an employee.
For example, CUNA Mutual’ s pilot program focused on automating transactional activities for its claims adjusters. Not only did the pilot meet the strategic goal to increase capacity without increasing headcount, it also gave claims adjusters time to be more strategic in their assessments of claim payments and denials and allowed the finance team the opportunity to be more strategic in executing their process. This level of satisfaction is a rarity for many IT applications. Meeting expectations may be easier for automation and robotics given they often have a clear process to automate and a measurable business case.  
 A business process is often started by a trigger, such as the filing of an expense report, which initiates a set of predefined workflow steps, or processes, that conclude with the employee receiving reimbursement. The goal of BPA is to not only automate business processes, but to simplify and improve business workflows as well. BPA can be a standalone initiative or part of a larger, overarching business process management (BPM) strategy.
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