"No one is harder on a talented person than the person themselves" - Linda Wilkinson ; "Trust your guts and don't follow the herd" ; "Validate direction not destination" ;

May 29, 2014

Automation, Tools, QA

This is in continuation to previous post on Automation. I wanted to write this post after reading article Testing Trends…or not?

When I had to test ecommerce portal across locales automation was useful to validate happy path, search, order, returns etc...For specific fixes (perf improvements, tab size adjustments, zoom in adjustments, alignments I had to rely on manual validation. Automation can cover positive functional flows. The pain point was ids were changed frequently with every release. There was always a backlog between automation implementation vs current production code. If you refer back to article Stop Writing Automation, author clearly lists the failure points which will not be covered in automation. 

Automation can be broadly classified into
  • BVT Tests
  • Regression Tests
  • Functional Tests
  • In-house Tools for perf tests, set-up
There has been a lot of focus on exploratory testing, context driven testing etc.. My perspective is core of it lies in product centric knowledge. The more you explore / learn about the system, higher the chances to identify critical bugs. Three things that are essential for a QA role are
  • Product Centric Knowledge (Willingness to explore and master the domain / product)
  • Technical Acumen (Know the system functional know, Learn whenever possible)
  • Look at the big picture, Failure points (Here exploratory testing, context driven testing, mind maps will help)
I had worked in DB Dev / Test, UI - Test roles. DB has been more interesting and fascinating than UI :). 

I prefer SDET (profile) mix of both code level / functional tests than purely relying on black box tests. Rotational Software engineer program in Microsoft is a very good example. Fresh Graduates would spend 6 months each in DEV / Test / Support / Product management. Depending on their interest they can finally pick a role of their choice. This model would provide complete picture of Release Cycle. For every role you need to work with respect to the context.  Also, flexibility to adjust to different profile would give you broad range of skills and a better perspective of products / functions.

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