Clear objectives allow automated testing to empower teams and bridge the gap between testers and developers, enabling all skill sets to contribute.
When talking about test automation we often limit ourselves to talking about using tools to execute steps in a script, but the potential of automation is much greater – and rarely fully exploited. We also tend to contrast automated and manual testing, whereas in reality these are complementary and should support each other. Automated and manual testing are not opposites but strongly coupled and interdependent – there is only testing! To realize the true benefits of test automation we should start by asking ourselves why we want to automate testing? Automation – like anything – is more likely to be successful if we are clear on the objectives we are trying to accomplish, and those objectives must align with what the team needs to build a quality product – not constrained by what the tools can do. Automation is for the people in the sense that it should support the people testing, but who are those people? What skills do you need to be able to contribute to the testing on a team that uses automation? Will there only be room for testers that can code? Diversity in skills, experiences and personalities strengthens any test team, and there is room in the future of testing for testers who do not write code but contribute in other ways. Personas help us realize that we still need different skill sets, and that quality truly is a team effort.