The increased demand for automation is trending in our software testing industry, as well. If you check out any software or application testing communities (i.e., uTest, Quora, etc.), you will find software testers urging for various tools that can be helpful in their day to day testing activities, whether it is for desktop testing, web testing, browser testing, regression testing, web services and API testing, and many more.
When you hear the words “automation,” the first thing that comes to your mind are robots building cars (and stealing your jobs). That’s Industrial Automation, however, and is completely different from BPA. While IA focuses on automating physical human labor (assembling products, for example), BPA means automating processes and workflows (document approval process, employee onboarding process, etc.).
Automation Personnel Services, Inc. Receives 2018 Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client Award - Clients of winning agencies are 2.3 times more likely to be completely satisfied. BIRMINGHAM, AL – FEBRUARY 16, 2018 – Automation Personnel Services, Inc., a leading agency in the staffing industry, announced today, that for the third year in a row, they have won Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client Award for providing superior service... Read more »
Have you ever paid attention to how often the apps on your phone update? Sure some update to eliminate bugs, but some update more and more frequently to introduce new products, new designs, and new innovations that make the app experience better. Why? Because the creatives in that company were able to take time to listen to customer feedback and design new products that solved pain points. With automation taking more of the grunt work, I bet we will see more of this in the future.
This approach involves finding a specialty within your profession that wouldn’t be economical to automate. In Boston, near the headquarters of Dunkin’ Donuts, a reporter recently peered into “the secret world of the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise kings.” One of them, Gary Joyal, makes a good living (if his Rolls-Royce is any indication) by connecting buyers and sellers of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises. As the Boston Globe put it, Joyal “uses his encyclopedic knowledge of franchisees—and often their family situations, income portfolios, and estate plans—to make himself an indispensable player for buyers and sellers alike.” So far he has helped to broker half a billion dollars’ worth of deals.
When decisions are high-level, total automation may not be suitable. When environmental cues are needed to make the decisions — such as on automatic vehicles — accidents can happen. Some companies that have brought to market voice and visual-based automation have discovered that the physical world may be too difficult yet for the response needed. This could be a matter of time and constant testing, but humans may still need to make these types of environmental-response decisions.
Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate. For Continuous Testing, the scope of testing extends from validating bottom-up requirements or user stories to assessing the system requirements associated with overarching business goals.
Just getting started? Try choosing a single device that you want or find useful and learn how it works. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be ready to add compatible devices to enhance the functionality of the ones you already own. Consider things you’ll likely interact with on a daily basis, like smart bulbs, smart plugs, or smart thermostats. These are great starter devices for home automation. You can also shop our Smart Home Bundles for sets of compatible smart devices designed to fit your home automation needs.
Don't like talking and prefer controlling things the old fashioned way: by pushing buttons? The Logitech Harmony Elite is the ultimate universal remote for a reason: it controls a lot more than just TV and stereo. The pricey unit connects with the included Harmony Home Hub to control other Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or infrared devices in your house.
Alex Colon is the managing editor of PCMag's consumer electronics team. He previously covered mobile technology for PCMag and Gigaom. Though he does the majority of his reading and writing on various digital displays, Alex still loves to sit down with a good, old-fashioned, paper and ink book in his free time. (Not that there's anything wrong wit... See Full Bio
With tools like TestComplete, the evolution from manual to automated testing does not have to be difficult. By allowing you to see every action you make, either while generating test code or in administering tests, manual testers can see exactly where to make adjustments while they’re learning. After using automated testing tools and techniques, manual testing has proven to be an effective way of double-checking the software to make sure there is no stone left unturned. In that sense, manual and automated testing go hand-in-hand and, when used properly, can ensure that the final product is as good as it can be.
“It felt weird to have free time during the day,” he told me. “I spent that time learning about the other systems in the hotel.” He then made himself useful, helping management with bottlenecks in those systems. Auto-automation had erased menial toil, reduced his stress, and let him pursue his actual interests. “In effect, I made my position into something I love, which is troubleshooting,” he says. Two weeks before he left, he handed his boss a diskette loaded with the program and documentation on how it ran. His boss was upset that he was quitting, Gary says—until he handed over the diskette, showed him how the program worked, and told him to call if there was ever any problem. No call ever came.
The principles of software development are just as valid when writing tests. Just like you don't want monolithic code with many interconnected parts, you don't want monolithic tests in which each step depends on many others. Break your flows down into small, manageable, and independent test cases. That way, if one test fails, it won't make the whole test suite grind to a halt, and you can effectively increase your test coverage at each execution of your automation suite.
“When I started, my job literally took me eight hours a day,” an early self-automator, whom I’ll call Gary, told me. He worked for a large corporate hotel chain that was beginning to computerize its workflow in the ’90s. Gary quickly recognized that he was spending a lot of his time repeating the same tasks, so he started learning to code after-hours. “Over the course of about three months, I built a piece of code in Lotus [1-2-3, then a popular PC spreadsheet program] that not only automated individual repetitive tasks, it effectively automated the entire job,” he says. He didn’t tell his bosses exactly what he had done, and the quality of his working life improved considerably.
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.
Considering all of its shortcomings, we are lucky that testing existing functionality isn’t really testing. As we said before, real testing is questioning each and every aspect and underlying assumption of the product. Existing functionality has already endured that sort of testing. Although it might be necessary to re-evaluate assumptions that were considered valid at the time of testing, this is typically not necessary before every release and certainly not continuously. Testing existing functionality is not really testing. It is called regression testing, and although it sounds the same, regression testing is to testing like pet is to carpet—not at all related. The goal of regression testing is merely to recheck that existing functionality still works as it did at the time of the actual testing. So regression testing is about controlling the changes of the behaviour of the software. In that regard it has more to do with version control than with testing. In fact, one could say that regression testing is the missing link between controlling changes of the static properties of the software (configuration and code) and controlling changes of the dynamic properties of the software (the look and behaviour). Automated tests simply pin those dynamic properties down and transform them to a static artefact (e.g. a test script), which again can be governed by current version control systems.
Perfecto’s Eran Kinsbruner (@ek121268) compares the 5 most popular open source testing frameworks on over 25 criteria (including suitability for dev and/or QA). Software testing frameworks covered include Selenium, Appium, Espresso, XCTest UI, and Calabash. Evaluation criteria cover both general and mobile testing capabilities. [Read this software testing tools list]
Two factors had a statistically significant relationship with satisfaction. The first was having good selection criteria and the second was the inclusion of key functions in the RPA project planning and execution. Including representatives from information management, the target functions and especially HR (See Figure 3) is positively correlated with project satisfaction. According to Lyke-Ho-Gland, “HR is often included in organizations’ RPA steering committees, not only to allay fears and create buy-in but to create action plans and training for displaced FTEs. Ultimately this helps organizations use RPA as an opportunity to build capacity for sustainable growth rather than simply reducing costs.”
To make your home smart, all you need to do is combine smart components like doorbell cameras, security cameras, smart thermostats, door & window sensors, smoke detectors, and other home control devices into a unified network with a central control dashboard and an artificial intelligence algorithm. When you install a smart home platform like Vivint Smart Home Cloud, for example, managing your home gets significantly more convenient. With Vivint Smart Home Cloud, you’ll no longer need to switch between different home control apps or walk through the house flipping switches by hand. To learn more about home to make your home smart, click here.
The first and most obvious beneficiaries of this approach are “smart” devices and appliances that can be connected to a local area network, via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. However, electrical systems and even individual points, like light switches and electrical outlets, were also integrated into home automation networks, and businesses have even explored the potential of IP-based inventory tracking. Although the day is still far off when you’ll be able to use your mobile browser to track down a lost sock, home networks are capable of including an increasing number of devices and systems.
Not only might automation and AI prove particularly prone to replacing human workers, but the effects might not be offset by the government policies that have softened the blow of such transitions in the past. Initiatives like improved retraining for workers who have lost their jobs to automation, and increased financial protections for those seeking new careers, are steps recommended by the White House report. But there appears to be no political appetite for such programs.
Here’s the real news of the 2018 midterm elections. One week out, Democrats appear poised to win big on two of the three big playing fields. They were never going to retake the Senate, if only because of the mix of seats up for election this year—10 of those held by Democrats are in states Donald Trump carried in 2016. But in the House of Representatives and in state houses around the country, Democrats are on the verge of scoring huge victories. Given the underlying economic reality, that’s entirely unexpected.
Brady Keller, Digital Marketing Strategist at Atlantic.Net, says, “My favorite type of automation is marketing automation, which was created to help businesses scale relevant, worthwhile digital engagement for a large population of potential customers. No one has the bandwidth to send highly targeted emails to thousands of people at a time. Use the tools you’ve invested in to help you configure that process in the most efficient way possible. Based on the platform you select, you will have a variety of customizable tools and workflows that will work around your specific instructions. You can implement strategies, like autoresponders, transactional emails, algorithmic personalization, and much more.
The Pittsburgh morgue sits in a squat cement building on a street with little light, sandwiched between a bar and a highway. The door was locked and the lobby quiet on Sunday evening; few people were out in the chilly, intermittent rain. A sign on the door instructed visitors to use a nearby phone to reach the security desk. Throughout the night, someone new would be arriving each hour. They were the shomrim, or guards.
While automation saves you a lot of time, it still takes time. You can't run all your tests all the time. It takes too long and would generate an unmanageable analysis and maintenance effort. In my group, we've taken both manual and automation testing to three levels: sanity, end-to-end, and full. In addition to our feature tests, on every code commit, we run a set of high level, cross-feature tests to make sure that a code change in one feature hasn't broken another one. Only then do we run a set of more extended tests specific to the feature for which the code was committed. Then, we run our suite of feature-level sanity tests on our continuous delivery environment every three hours to make sure all features are in good shape. We only do this on one browser though, because we've found that if a test fails, it doesn't usually depend on the browser. Finally, we run feature end-to-end testing on our nightly environment.
Home automation refers to technology installed in homes to remotely control and automate household systems like lighting, doors, heating & air conditioning, entertainment systems, security alarms, surveillance cameras and other connected appliances. The programmable thermostats, sprinkler systems, coffee makers, and entertainment systems that have been standard home features for decades can be considered home automation. But by today’s technological standards, the term home automation typically refers to a more advanced and complex set of components. To learn more about home automation, click here.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation: Adding AI to integration software enables decision-making where your technological support is humanlike. The system would make decisions on what to do with the data, based on what it has learned and constantly analyzed. For example, in manufacturing, AI automation can significantly reduce supply chain forecasting errors.