Home automation is part of "The Internet of Things," also known as IoT. The way devices and appliances can be networked together to provide us with seamless control over all aspects of your home and more. Home automation has been around for many decades in terms of lighting and simple appliance control. Recently technology caught up with the idea of the interconnected world at the touch of your fingertips or a simple voice command to Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana. The dream of making your home smart is now a reality. Smart Home and home automation are quite interchangeable, in fact, if you research what is a smart home most of the same results will appear.
Manufacturing automation began in 1913 with Henry Ford and the production of his signature Model T cars. With the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile, Ford revolutionized the production process and the automotive industry. With this radical change, assembly lines enabled each worker to refine their individual skill set, which delivered huge cost savings for every completed product.
You can also control the WeMo Switch using IFTTT, with recipes that take your automation capabilities to the next level. You could, for instance, craft a recipe that turns your lamp on whenever your phone enters the area around your home. Or, you could set the light to flash whenever the boss emails (just don't tell him about it, lest he decide to troll you at 4 a.m.)
In this article, I'll discuss some of the best practices I discovered through on my own journey toward automation. These are practices you should consider when automating your testing cycles to make sure you build a suite of tests that work well and can be maintained throughout the life of your application. (This article is based on a presentation that can be viewed in full here.)
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’.
But if test automation is so limited, why do we do it in the first place? Because we have to, there is simply no other way. Because development adds up, testing doesn’t. Each iteration and release adds new features to the software (or so it should). And they need to be tested, manually. But new features also usually cause changes in the software that can break existing functionality. So existing functionality has to be tested, too. Ideally, you even want existing functionality to be tested continuously, so you recognise fast if changes break existing functionality and need some rework. But even if you only test before releases, in a team with a fixed number of developers and testers, over time, the testers are bound to fall behind. This is why at some point, testing has to be automated.
In this case, you could check the screens to see if they still created a user with the right setup, but once that's done, there's no need to recheck that create use works over and over. Instead, consider creating actual command-line parameters to speed up testing. In the example at the client, a simple command-line tool could have flipped the ratio from one hour a day of testing and seven hours of setup to seven hours of testing and one hour of setup.
Analysts at Gartner (the world’s leading research and advisory company) evaluated 9 “enterprise-grade” software testing tool. The evaluation involved inquiries with clients, surveys of tool users, vendor responses to questions, and product evaluations. Gartner required tools to support native Windows desktop application testing and Android or iOS testing support as well as support 3 of the following: responsive web applications, mobile applications, packaged applications (SAP, Salesforce, etc.), API/web services. Tools covered include Tricentis, Micro Focus, Microsoft, IBM, SmartBear, CA Technologies, TestPlant, Parasoft, and Ranorex. [Read this software testing tools list]
Another problem that pops up in RPA is the failure to plan for certain roadblocks, Srivastava says. An employee at a Genpact client changed the company’s password policy but no one programmed the bots to adjust, resulting in lost data. CIOs must constantly check for chokepoints where their RPA solution can bog down, or at least, install a monitoring and alert system to watch for hiccups impacting performance. "You can't just set them free and let them run around; you need command and control," Srivastava says.
In contrast to other, traditional IT solutions, RPA allows organizations to automate at a fraction of the cost and time previously encountered. RPA is also non-intrusive in nature and leverages the existing infrastructure without causing disruption to underlying systems, which would be difficult and costly to replace. With RPA, cost efficiency and compliance are no longer an operating cost but a byproduct of the automation.
Each industry has different business process automation needs, but BPA can improve every industry. Examples of industries that can benefit from BPA include sales, fire and security, higher education, K-12 education, digital education, state and local government, federal government, justice systems, contract management, case management, cement and building materials companies, and any corporate-level company.
Anyone who has read a lot of my work knows I take issues with the industries use of ‘Test Automation’, to me it’s become a synonym for automated testing. In my opinion, this is limiting people’s thinking around the use of automation, and how it can support their testing efforts. Therefore when I talk about my thoughts on automation that supports testing, using the word test automation muddles the water, so I personally need to use some others words, those words have ended up being ‘Automation in Testing’ since 2014.
“I use Zapier to automate my outreach and collect user stories to feature in blog posts. After compiling a list of users to reach out to in a Google Sheet, I set up an automation between my Google Sheets and my Gmail. Then, every time I update a row in my Google Sheet, the system sends a personalized email to the user using a template I created. The email has a link to a Typeform survey with a couple of questions. After users submit the survey, their answers are automatically routed back to the Google Sheet. With this automation, I can spend more time crafting a piece of content and less time manually compiling the information I collect.”
It has a large database and allows for barcode scanning or data input via text, voice or camera, which is a great feature. Tracking meals at restaurants seems to be simpler than with other apps, because of its large image library, and it’s always super easy to check your remaining net calories for the day – you can even see them in the notification bubble, if you wish.
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Using a drag and drop interface, automated processes are designed to follow existing processes or improve on them. In most cases, the process is documented using a process modeling tool and then reviewed by all stakeholders for accuracy. Once the static design is approved, work begins by designing the actual process including forms, tasks, recipients, alerts/notifications, etc. This is done using workflow automation software that includes pre-built tasks (complete form, submit approval, hand-off to another person, etc.) that can be arranged sequentially or in parallel.
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.
It is hard to read the White House report without thinking about the presidential election that happened six weeks before it was published. The election was decided by a few Midwest states in the heart of what has long been called the Rust Belt. And the key issue for many voters there was the economy—or, more precisely, the shortage of relatively well-paying jobs. In the rhetoric of the campaign, much of the blame for lost jobs went to globalization and the movement of manufacturing facilities overseas. “Make America great again” was, in some ways, a lament for the days when steel and other products were made domestically by a thriving middle class.
Get to know your grocery store. Local store put out flyers advertising each week’s specials. Becoming a “store member” can sometimes get you discounts, as can clipping coupons or finding them online. Try to shop around the perimeter of the store—where you’ll find meats, produce and seafood—rather than in the aisles, where you’ll find mostly packaged and processed foods.
Automation is, unsurprisingly, one of the two main characteristics of home automation. Automation refers to the ability to program and schedule events for the devices on the network. The programming may include time-related commands, such as having your lights turn on or off at specific times each day. It can also include non-scheduled events, such as turning on all the lights in your home when your security system alarm is triggered.
For very simple software, the bug reports might be tracked with sticky notes or spreadsheets. But when the software is more complex, these become unwieldy, and companies need to turn to software designed for the task. Typically, professional bug trackers report on bug severity, priority, when the defect was discovered, exact reproduction steps, who fixed it, what build it was fixed in, as well as searching and tagging mechanisms to simplify finding a defect. These tools don't just assist programmers and project managers; customer service and existing users can use these tools to find out if an issue is known, if it is scheduled for fixing, escalating known issues and entering unknown ones. Bug tracking tools can also help with the workflow, because bugs can be assigned to programmers, then to testers to recheck, then marked to be deployed, and then, after the release, marked as deployed.
This is a more fun way to keep track of the food you eat. MealLogger is a photo food journal which helps you keep yourself accountable by sharing a photo of your meal with others. It is a unique app that connects you directly with a health professional, usually a registered dietitian. You snap a photo of what you eat, add a brief description and upload it to your account. The nutrition coach will then review your meal online, providing advice and guidance to improve your diet. Having a pictorial evidence of how you’re feeding yourself, is a great way to maintain proper portion sizes and can help to stop overeating and snacking.
Chandra Kandukuri is a Technical Test Lead at Microsoft with more than 16 years of software development experience in multiple environments, developing automation frameworks and tools. He advocates the use of TDD and dedicating the time and resources to do it well. Although it is relatively uncommon to see teams utilize TDD in his experience, Kandukuri recommends the method with automated software testing because of the positive teamwork habits it can promote.
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Ideal for beginners who need some extra help along the way, this supportive app includes tons of useful tips and tricks so users have the best food logging experience possible. Portion control ideas make sure you won’t overindulge and pop-up alerts can remind you to weigh-in or have a healthy afternoon snack. Compare how your actual macro intake stacks up against your daily target each day. Plus, the app auto-adjusts your caloric goals when your body composition changes. If your Wi-Fi is spotty or you’re constantly logging on-the-go, rest assured that the complete food database is available offline, too. ($3.99; iOS, Android)
Like BPA, RPA can reduce human error and the cost of employing a large staff. Bots do not require custom software, and they are fairly low cost and simple to integrate. According to McKinsey & Company, the return on investment for RPA varies between 30-200 percent in the first year, mainly in labor savings. One company in banking was able to add 85 bots with the capacity of 200 staff members, cutting its recruiting cost by 30 percent.