Using our definition, the automation profession includes “everyone involved in the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services”; and the automation professional is “any individual involved in the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.”
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According to Nicholas Fedele, President of Lumiola, “I think BPA has serious pockets of underutilization. We are starting to see it become more mainstream, but I think the current state of adoption depends on the industry. Certain industries that are younger (i.e., e-commerce) are a little further along because they have grown up in an environment that is based around cloud tools that are easily integrated.
Integration Automation: More complex than process automation, integration automation enables machines to observe the way that humans perform tasks and repeat those actions. Humans must define the rules, however. For example, you could integrate your BPM software and customer support software. This could give you results from a customer support checklist processed for each customer complaint and assign personnel when needed.
Finally, stepping forward means constructing the next generation of computing and AI tools. It’s still true that behind every great machine is a person—in fact, many people. Someone decides that the Dunkin’ Franchise Optimizer is a bad investment, or that the application of AI to cancer drug discovery is a good one. Someone has to build the next great automated insurance-underwriting solution. Someone intuits the human need for a better system; someone identifies the part of it that can be codified; someone writes the code; and someone designs the conditions under which it will be applied.
With automated testing, that time is cut drastically. The work for automated testers is instead spent coding the tests and making improvements to these tests repeatedly as adjustments are needed. Once the test is complete, however, automated testing allows for the recycled use of tests so that they do not have to go through this whole process again. In essence, the time spent on the mundane tasks and repetition a manual tester would go through is instead spent focusing on larger, more important issues involving the software you’re developing.

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.
In August 2015, Trump told a press conference that American-born children should not be citizens if their parents are undocumented. “A woman is getting ready to have a baby, she crosses the border for one day, has the baby, all of a sudden for the next 80 years, hopefully longer, but for the next 80 years we have to take care of the people. No, no, no, I don’t think so … There are great legal scholars, the top, that say that’s absolutely wrong.”

Those who step narrowly find such niches and burrow deep inside them. They are hedgehogs to the stepping-up foxes among us. Although most of them have the benefit of a formal education, the expertise that fuels their earning power is gained through on-the-job training—and the discipline of focus. If this is your strategy, start making a name for yourself as the person who goes a mile deep on a subject an inch wide. That won’t mean you can’t also have other interests, but professionally you’ll have a very distinct brand. How might machines augment you? You’ll build your own databases and routines for keeping current, and connect with systems that combine your very specialized output with that of others.


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.[14][15] 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.[16]
Industrial automation incorporates programmable logic controllers in the manufacturing process. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) use a processing system which allows for variation of controls of inputs and outputs using simple programming. PLCs make use of programmable memory, storing instructions and functions like logic, sequencing, timing, counting, etc. Using a logic based language, a PLC can receive a variety of inputs and return a variety of logical outputs, the input devices being sensors and output devices being motors, valves, etc. PLCs are similar to computers, however, while computers are optimized for calculations, PLCs are optimized for control task and use in industrial environments. They are built so that only basic logic-based programming knowledge is needed and to handle vibrations, high temperatures, humidity and noise. The greatest advantage PLCs offer is their flexibility. With the same basic controllers, a PLC can operate a range of different control systems. PLCs make it unnecessary to rewire a system to change the control system. This flexibility leads to a cost-effective system for complex and varied control systems.[88]

Robot Framework is an open-source automation framework that implements the keyword-driven approach for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). Robot Framework provides frameworks for different test automation needs. But its test capability can be further extended by implementing additional test libraries using Python and Java. Selenium WebDriver is a popular external library used in Robot Framework.
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]

RPA is a relatively easy entry-level strategy into digital automation of back-office processes. One consultant described RPA tools for structured digital processes as a “gateway drug” for other cognitive technologies.  RPA is easy to configure and implement, and small implementations may not even require an expert consultant or much help from a vendor. RPA is particularly well suited to working across multiple back-end systems and doesn’t require re-architecting of those systems.   It typically brings a quick and high return on investment.
It is often argued that technological progress always leads to massive shifts in employment but that at the end of the day the economy grows as new jobs are created. However, that’s a far too facile way of looking at the impact of AI and automation on jobs today. Joel Mokyr, a leading economic historian at Northwestern University, has spent his career studying how people and societies have experienced the radical transitions spurred by advances in technology, such as the Industrial Revolution that began in the late 18th century. The current disruptions are faster and “more intensive,” Mokyr says. “It is nothing like what we have seen in the past, and the issue is whether the system can adapt as it did in the past.”
Customer Support – If you own any kind of website, you probably have some sort of customer support software set up. While the software tends to differ in functionality, most of them allow you to automate responses to customers. For example, if your software has problems with users logging in through LinkedIn, and that’s 90% of customer tickets. You can just create an automatic response to any message that has “LinkedIn” mentioned, saying that it’s a known issue and will soon be solved. This allows your support team to attend to tickets that are less-known.
“In the future, BPA will allow organizations to define their own processes and process flow. It will endow employees with the ability to have a single sign-on to a complete solution, providing the unprecedented access that people want. Adopting business process automation will remove the guesswork of delegation and responsibility almost completely in that everyone’s direct responsibilities will be clearly defined and integrated within the platform.”
The first tools made of stone represented prehistoric man’s attempts to direct his own physical strength under the control of human intelligence. Thousands of years were undoubtedly required for the development of simple mechanical devices and machines such as the wheel, the lever, and the pulley, by which the power of human muscle could be magnified. The next extension was the development of powered machines that did not require human strength to operate. Examples of these machines include waterwheels, windmills, and simple steam-driven devices. More than 2,000 years ago the Chinese developed trip-hammers powered by flowing water and waterwheels. The early Greeks experimented with simple reaction motors powered by steam. The mechanical clock, representing a rather complex assembly with its own built-in power source (a weight), was developed about 1335 in Europe. Windmills, with mechanisms for automatically turning the sails, were developed during the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East. The steam engine represented a major advance in the development of powered machines and marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. During the two centuries since the introduction of the Watt steam engine, powered engines and machines have been devised that obtain their energy from steam, electricity, and chemical, mechanical, and nuclear sources.
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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.


Manually testing each build is an unacceptable time drain. Automated software testing allows QA to spend most of its time outside of SDLC execution time, allowing testing to run unattended 24×7! With the press of a button, regression testing can be completed without the risk of human error from executing boring, repetitive, similar test cases, ensuring that your latest build breaks nothing. Easy scalability allows increased end-to-end coverage with barely any impact to your schedule, and then the test results can be automatically sent to test management tools for analysis as you see fit.
Some coders say that they’ve been fired outright for automating their work. In 2011, a user posting as AcceptableLosses wrote, “They took what I had developed, replaced me with an idiot that they showed how to work it, and promptly fired me for ‘insubordination.’ I had taken a business asset that was making them $30 grand a year profit and turned it into a million dollar a year program for the company, and they fired me for it to save ~30 grand a year on my salary. Job creators my ass.” As such, gainfully employed self-automators’ concerns are less likely rooted in ethical questions and more in not wanting to be fired or exploited by an employer that, as Woodcock notes, “expects not only all our time, but anything we create.” Wary self-automators, he speculates, “don’t trust our workplaces. The boss is going to say, ‘Thank you, good work. Now do it again.’”
The picture is actually even worse than those numbers alone suggest, says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Existing federal “readjustment programs,” he says, include a collection of small initiatives—some dating back to the 1960s—addressing everything from military-­base closings to the needs of Appalachian coal-mining communities. But none are specifically designed to help people whose jobs have disappeared because of automation. Not only is the overall funding limited, he says, but the help is too piecemeal to take on a broad labor-force disruption like automation.
The White House report points in particular to the current wave of AI, which it describes as having begun around 2010. That’s when advances in machine learning and the increasing availability of big data and enhanced computation power began providing computers with unprecedented capabilities such as the ability to accurately recognize images. The report says greater deployment of AI and automation could boost economic growth by creating new types of jobs and improving efficiency in many businesses. But it also points to the negative effects: job destruction and related increases in income inequality. For now at least, “less educated workers are more likely to be replaced by automation than highly educated ones.” The report notes that so far automation has displaced few higher-skill workers, but it adds: “The skills in which humans have maintained a comparative advantage are likely to erode over time as AI and new technologies become more sophisticated.”
The second catalyst for rapid adoption of RPA is the success of early pilots and proofs of concept. APQC's latest report, Make Success Automatic: Best Practices in Robotic Process Automation found that over 75% of respondents said their early RPA projects had met or exceeded expectations  (See Figure 2--Note: only 41% of respondents were far enough along to evaluate their satisfaction with RPA projects; Figure 2 includes only their data.)
Instead of creating the "tests" at the end, I suggest starting with examples at the beginning that can be run by a human or a software system. Get the programmer, tester, and product owner in a room to talk about what they need to be successful, to create examples, to define what the automation strategy will be, and to create a shared understanding to reduce failure demand. My preference is to do this at the story level — what some might call a minimum marketable feature — which requires a half-day to a week of work. George Dinwiddie, an agile coach in Maryland, popularized the term "the three amigos" for this style of work, referring to the programmer, tester, and analyst in these roles. Another term for the concept is acceptance test-driven development.
BPAs can be implemented in a number of business areas including marketing, sales and workflow. Toolsets vary in sophistication, but there is an increasing trend towards the use of artificial intelligence technologies that can understand natural language and unstructured data sets, interact with human beings, and adapt to new types of problems without human-guided training. BPA providers tend to focus on different industry sectors but their underlying approach tends to be similar in that they will attempt to provide the shortest route to automation by exploiting the user interface layer rather than going deeply into the application code or databases sitting behind them. They also simplify their own interface to the extent that these tools can be used directly by non-technically qualified staff. The main advantage of these toolsets is therefore their speed of deployment, the drawback is that it brings yet another IT supplier to the organization.
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