This article uses the term “tester” to refer to the person involved in testing software with automation tools. It is not meant to distinguish by job title or technical proficiency. Jim Hazen describes himself as a hybrid, or “technical tester,” because he can write test scripts and develop what he refers to as “testware.” The trend is to hire for multiple skillsets, but that does not mean the non-technical stakeholders involved in software development don’t benefit from automation testing.
Todd Hilehoffer was compiling reports for a Pennsylvania insurance company in 2000 when he realized his work could be done by a computer program. “I was very green at the time, with only a year of IT experience,” he told me in a direct message, when he started writing code that could replace his job. “It took me about a year to automate it. I always thought my bosses would be impressed and would find more work for me.” They were impressed, but they also didn’t have another job for him. He passed his days playing chess online. “I was really only completely idle for about 6-9 months,” Hilehoffer writes, after which he received a promotion.
In an era of innovation, the emphasis has to be on the upside of people. They will always be the source of next-generation ideas and the element of operations that is hardest for competitors to replicate. (If you think employees today lack loyalty, you haven’t noticed how fast software takes up with your rivals.) Yes, people are variable and unpredictable; capable of selfishness, boredom, and dishonesty; hard to teach and quick to tire—all things that robots are not. But with the proper augmentation, you can get the most out of the positive qualities on which they also hold a monopoly. As computerization turns everything that can be programmed into table stakes, those are the only qualities that will set you apart.
Jennifer Thomé, Business Development and Marketing Manager at Plustek, believes, “The current state of business process automation is pretty abysmal for many companies, especially well-established ones that have to bring years of old processes and documents into the modern age. Doctors, accountants, and many government agencies are slowed down by the fact that they don't have the resources to update their systems and complete their work simultaneously.
“I don't think that using the 'test automation' label in itself is wrong though, as long as people are aware of what is being automated (checks) and what is not (tests). This difference between testing and checking also provides an argument as to why manual testing as an activity will not cease to exist, at least not for the foreseeable future: testing activities cannot be automated!”
Back in the production era of business, process automation meant robotics. But in today’s relationship and internet era, process automation has evolved from an emerging technology into the work of determining how best to serve your customers. In its current state as both a programming powerhouse and a model of work efficiency, business process automation (BPA) allows today’s professionals to spend their time developing key relationships and differentiating themselves in the marketplace.
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.
Jim Hazen is an Automation Consultant and “veteran of the software testing trenches” who helps companies with test automation and performance test implementations. He has presented at multiple professional conferences, including STARWest and STPCon, and published articles in ST&QA Magazine on test automation and communication techniques for testers. You can learn more about Jim on LinkedIn.
Yuh-Mei Hutt told us that in her small business (Golden Lighting, a manufacturer of residential fixtures), automation has made operations much more efficient. But that means profitability depends now more than ever on the creativity of her people. Her designers need to know about trends in the interior design world and in lighting technology and must find fresh ways to pull them together. Her salespeople rely on CRM software, but their edge comes from how well they connect in person with retail buyers.
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.)
Forrester (one of the world’s most influential research and advisory firms) selected the top 11 tools that provide cross-browser testing, mobile testing, UI testing, and API testing capabilities. After evaluating these software testing tools based on vendor interviews, product evaluations, and customer interviews, they scored the tools on 33 criteria and ranked them against one another. Tools covered include IBM, Tricentis, Parasoft, HPE, SmartBear, TestPlant, Micro Focus, Microsoft, LogiGear, Original Software Conformiq. [Read this software testing tools list]
Information technology, together with industrial machinery and processes, can assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring of control systems. One example of an industrial control system is a programmable logic controller (PLC). PLCs are specialized hardened computers which are frequently used to synchronize the flow of inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events.
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.
We are all busy and home automation may be able to help make things a bit easier for you. Two of the leading home automation security providers are ADT and Vivint, both of which offer different features that can save you time and money. If you want to find out more about home automation and if it is right for your home, please call a SafeWise security specialist at 1-800-398-2128.
Support includes the tools that testers use to move faster or extend their reach. Software to generate random names to use for input, or test data in general, falls into this category, as well as software to create screen captures and videos. This type of software exists to record all of the interactions that a tester has had with various fields, simulators for mobile devices, and developer environments that blend into the background and pop-up on command to record notes.
The practice of performing robotic process automation results in the deployment of attended or unattended software agents to an organization's environment. These software agents, or robots, are deployed to perform pre-defined structured and repetitive sets of business tasks or processes. Artificial intelligence software robots are deployed to handle unstructured data sets and are deployed after performing and deploying robotic process automation. Robotic process automation is the leading gateway for the adoption of artificial intelligence in business environments.