Much of this growth can be attributed to the many benefits that test automation brings to the table, including cost efficiency, testing accuracy, high app performance, real-time issue resolution, etc.
However, it’s the existence of an A-Team consisting of automation experts and engineers that empowers a concrete test strategy capable of achieving the organization’s goals and objectives via agility, speed, accuracy, management support, etc.
That said, this article throws light on the roles and the associated skills that need to be acknowledged for setting up a team adept at test automation initiatives. As such, it dives deeper into the profile of:
In the latter half, the emphasis is on realizing an A-Team for a Go-to Automated Test Strategy.
A Test Automation Team Leader Who Buys into the Vision
A competent team leader comprehends both the business requirements and technological slants driving test automation. This is someone with:
- In-depth knowledge of the organization’s software development lifecycle, its legacy systems, etc.
- Profound understanding of the priorities of other team members, the business personages, the functional testers, and the workflows linked to each of these entities.
- A business acumen that comprehends market trends, customer demands, and the ever-growing organizational landscape for rapid product enhancements and a cohesive test automation strategy and roadmap.
“Engage people who already have experience with test automation or some form of scripting and understand your business requirements,” says Alex Chernyak from Forbes.
Consider this; if the team leader cannot buy into the vision that test automation brings to the table, nobody else will. Incidentally, this is also why it’s crucial to have a dedicated person in charge of initially formulating the vision for test automation.
A Test Automation Architect Who is Always in the Test Planning Loop
Relatively more adept at the technical jargon than a team lead, a test automation architect works to map business requirements to test automation, understand the scope of test automation for each requirement, and plan accordingly.
As such, this is someone who:
- Comprehends the role of an automation engineer, the associated tasks, their responsibilities vis-à-vis functional testing, system testing, agile development cycles, etc.
- Possesses a solid understanding of test design and test frameworks being used to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of test automation.
- Understands the entire testing and acceptance process and can emulate the work of a team lead
- Defines the implications for designing test cases for web applications, data-driven applications, mobile devices, etc.
An Agile Test Automation Engineer with a Strong Coding Background
This is a significant role on any A-Team, where the granular technicalities are explored and implemented. The success of any IT project hinges on its various lifecycle stages, be it the initiation of building the product, code-to-test automation, or the maintenance phase.
As such, it’s crucial to have an agile test automation engineer on board who is trained in the full gamut of developing test automation scripts via disparate frameworks such as Selenium / WebDriver or Python-based frameworks such as QTP / PyUnit, xUnit, etc.
Also, the test automation engineer has to be very particular and patient about the time frames involved in writing test automation scripts, especially if the application is of the multi-tier type involving databases, backend servers, web servers, etc.
Such responsibilities entail an engineer to be:
- Strong at coding comfortably using various development frameworks like the ones mentioned above.
- Staunchly conversant with agile development cycles and automation testing techniques continually being tweaked to enhance productivity and technological advancements.
- Adept at leveraging software benefits such as Git for version control amidst working in adherence with different technologies.
- Closely associated with the profiles above and those of QA analysts, product managers, etc.
All in all, this individual should also be in tune with state-of-the-art test automation platforms, frameworks, and tools and keep them updated while also keeping tabs on software refactoring and solution architecture.
Realization of an A-Team for a Go-to Automated Test Strategy
All the aforementioned profiles come together to form a well-designed automated test strategy across all functionalities and modules of the software. It’s a team effort, and the extent of the success of the strategy depends on how well these profiles can work in a coalition.
To be able to realize it, the team must:
- Provide a strong foundation for all future tests and ensure that no manual intervention is needed.
- Follow a straightforward process with no ambiguity at any stage by leveraging clearly defined roles.
- Elucidate the type of tests needed and the right mix between scripted tests, automated data-driven testing, exploratory testing, etc.
- Include a clear definition of testing tools, frameworks, processes, and standards.
- Provide a clear picture of the future framework and a time-bound roadmap for its implementation.
- Involve all stakeholders from the beginning, ensuring that no related entity feels left out or undermined in any way.
- Maintain an appropriate balance between testing scope and resources and between automated and manual tests.
- Ensure that test cases are correctly prioritized to address bugs before going ahead with new tests or enhancements.
- Have an efficient solution for the problem of maintaining test automation code/scripts.
- Consider all requirements related to cloud-based testing, DevOps testing, integration testing, functional testing, and more.
Categorically, test automation is about driving high-quality, high-throughput, and efficient tests for the organization. However, as with any other initiative, success depends upon the quality of all team members, their commitment to the cause, and their understanding of the subject.