When we talk about continuous testing, and with it continuous delivery and DevOps, the term automation gets thrown around a lot. In a basic sense, we all understand what automation means — the use of some technology to complete a task. But when we talk about automation in terms of continuous testing, there are some nuances that we need to take into account.
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.
Summary: Provides tracking, management, organization and reporting capabilities for software testing and test case management. qTest Manager sets up and manages requirements, organizes and manages test cases, executes tests, tracks defects and reports on test data. It also integrates with JIRA, Rally and VersionOne as well as other popular automation tools.
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.
A search for the complementarities to which Autor was referring is at the heart of what we call an augmentation strategy. It stands in stark contrast to the automation strategies that efficiency-minded enterprises have pursued in the past. Automation starts with a baseline of what people do in a given job and subtracts from that. It deploys computers to chip away at the tasks humans perform as soon as those tasks can be codified. Aiming for increased automation promises cost savings but limits us to thinking within the parameters of work that is being accomplished today.
Others have had similar journies to the one above, such as Mark Winteringham. A person who I’ve personally known for a while, and whose work on API/Web Services I’ve followed and shared for a number of years. Mark and I have also taught a class together over recent years called ‘Automated Checking Beyond WebDriver’. Throughout those years we started working a lot closer with regard to our efforts on automation, striking up a great partnership. It’s that partnership that has led to this, Automation in Testing.
One could also argue that RPA lays the groundwork for machine learning and more intelligent applications. It both gathers useful data and is being combined with AI capabilities. One of us (O’Dell) recently interviewed Eric Siegel, a predictive analytics expert and author of the book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die. Siegel pointed out an often overlooked benefit of starting by digitizing processes with simple RPA: the digital bread crumbs it now leaves behind. “This data wasn’t amassed in order to do machine learning. It’s just a side effect of doing business as usual. The transactional residue accumulates and, lo and behold, it turns out this stuff is really valuable because you can learn from it. You can derive these patterns to help improve the very transactional processes that have been accumulating the data in the first place.”
A business process management system is quite different from BPA. However, it is possible to build automation on the back of a BPM implementation. The actual tools to achieve this vary, from writing custom application code to using specialist BPA tools. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are inextricably linked – the BPM implementation provides an architecture for all processes in the business to be mapped, but this in itself delays the automation of individual processes and so benefits may be lost in the meantime.