Conventional test automation has opportunity costs: the speed, scalability and robustness of automated verifications, the clarity, correctness and speed of team communication around quality details measured, and efficiency and clarity for the manual testing role, could all be much better. The randomizing maintenance costs and repro-and-debug sessions related to conventional test automation can be reduced or eliminated.
MetaAutomation is a pattern language of six patterns to guide and enable teams to achieve this. I ask participants to consider six paradigm shifts:
1. Automated verifications (checks) are very different from the manual test role
2. Focusing checks on their unique, important capabilities accelerates quality automation and vastly increases business value
3. Checks are bounded in time, and this enables structured artifacts rather than linear logs
4. Hierarchical check steps give transparency, robustness, and flexibility in communication
5. The Internet of Things is distributed, so measure quality that way too rather than one-tier-at-a-time
6. Better quality data leads to quality power across the team and across the software development life cycle (SDLC) rather than just with today’s build and in QA
These six paradigm shifts enable the six patterns of the MetaAutomation pattern language. We will review the paradigm shifts and the patterns, especially the least-dependent pattern Atomic Check, and review how one can start with improvements to automation design.