Why are you automating your testing? Automation is more likely to be successful if we’re clear on the objectives we’re trying to accomplish, and those objectives need to be aligned with what the team should build a quality product – not constrained by what the tools can do.
When discussing automation in the context of testing we often limit ourselves to talking about using tools to control the execution of tests, 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.
To take full advantage of the possibilities of automation we need to first define what automation is, and understand what tests-related tasks should be automated in contrast to what tasks can be automated. We also need to understand that manual and automated testing are not opposites but strongly coupled and interdependent – there really is only testing!
Automation is for the people, but who are those people? What skills do you need to be able to contribute to the testing on a team that uses automation? Personas help us realize that there is room for different skill sets, and that quality truly is a team effort.