Recently two of my automation team members had a terrific experience of their life with a client. The experience goes as follows – as usual there was a requirement for two good automation developers for a reputed client. Without even clearly clarifying the requirements, we packed off two of our best test automation guys to the US. After reaching there, they came to know that the requirement is to develop a test automation tool for the client – not for automating their test cases. We had to back out from the assignment unceremoniously as we are experts in automating test cases, not in developing a test automation tool.
All along, test automation is associated with automating the identified test cases – either regression release or integration which will help the team to execute them faster and reduce their test execution time. The emergence of the test management tools have helped the testing team to organize the various facets of testing in a systematic and quick retrieval mode, which will help the entire development and testing team to avoid redundancy.
The test automation is moving beyond automating the test cases. The tools are getting deployed at each stage of the testing life cycle to crunch the effort. Automating the requirements updation, creating traceability matrix, automatic upload of test cases, automatic generation of test cases (model-based testing), scheduled test execution, mass upload of defects, generation of dashboards to multiple stakeholders, release automation, build automation are some areas, where automation is playing a crucial role in reducing the effort.
We can also improve the productivity of the entire testing team by optimizing the test cases, helping the team with tools and utilities for test data generation, mass upload of defects in the system, generation of daily, weekly dashboards etc. automatically.
In short, automation should be applied in all phases of testing to improve productivity than counting on only test case automation, which is restricted only to the area of test execution.