and talking about The Secret Life of Automation at the SIGIST conference in Stockholm.
The Secret Life of Automation in Testing
The Web is abuzz with talk about “automated testing” and “test automation”. Automation comes with a tasty and digestible story: eliminate “manual testing”, and replace messy, complex humanity with reliable, fast, efficient robots! Yet there are many secrets hidden between the lines of the story.
Automation encourages people to think of mechanizable assembly-line work done on the factory floor, but neither development nor the testing within it is like that. Testing is a part of the creative and critical work that happens in design studios, inventors’ workshops, and research labs. Although they can be assisted by tools, those kinds of work are neither “manual” nor “automated”.
User and tester behaviours can be simulated, but users and testers cannot be replicated in software. Automated checking does exist, but it cannot do the testing. While tools can help us, we must not lose sight of the important skilled work that people must do to use tools wisely and powerfully.
In this talk, Michael Bolton will reveal secrets about automation that people do not usually consider, disclose or discuss. He’ll present a vision for using tools effectively—one that puts the tester at the centre of testing work and the testing mission: finding problems that threaten the value of our products and our projects.