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  1. #1
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    When is the right time for Automation?

    When do you guys think is the right time for automation in QA cycle? Should we test it manually first and then try to automate it later on? Should the application be stable to start automation?
    In my opinion the application should be tested first manually and if it is a little stable then we can automate it. Any opinions on this?

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    Bug is all i want.
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  2. #2
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    If the question is when to purchase and use a GUI-based test automation tool, then I think the answer is when you have a reasonably good QA/QC process in place and a high level of confidence that you will have quite a few test procedures which will need to be run many times, thus recouping the expenditure in money, time, and people needed to institute such testing.

    On the other hand, remember that there are other sorts of automated testing which do not require such tools, but do require programming (most likely by the project's developers) to automate certain aspects of testing; particularly data validation, performance testing, and such which are often done more efficiently programmatically than manually.

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  3. #3
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    I find early mornings the best time...

    Seriously though...anytime that I find something that will have to be tested more than 5 times in the life on the functionality is generally good to automate up front. As with anything in corporate life though....CYA. Keep stats on how much manual testing time such activites would cost per test run. Keep track of how much time it takes to automate these things and COMMUNICATE the progress towards having a payback from the automation. If you don't toot the horn, people will question whether it is worth it. The politics of automation is often harder than the automation itself.

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    James Soderborg
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  4. #4
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    In general, automation can come at different stages and be equally valid. What I think is most important:

    1.) Have a test methodology in place. The automated test tool and the automation you do should complement that test methodology. In other words, the tool should not drive your test processes.

    2.) Use automation for its strengths. Do not try to automate everything. Recognize that the tool is a complement to manual testing, not a replacement of it. This means that the focus of concentration will probably be on regression and combination/permutation testing for functional and/or behavioral aspects and load/stress/volume testing for performance aspects.

    3.) Have a stable test-engine approach. Many people would disagree with me on this but having a test-engine approach is much better than a template-baesd approach or, even worse, a record-and-playback approach.

    To answer your specific question, yes I think manual testing always comes before automation - simply because automation is generally going to be automating test cases that were already done manually in regression cycles. I am speaking in terms of process here. Once a good process is in place (both for manual and automated testing) then sometimes automation may come first for specific test cycles. For example, on a given build you might run a quick UI test overnight that looks for major bloopers before concentrated manual testing starts the next day.

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  5. #5
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    This document might help you... http://www.testing.com/writings/automate.pdf

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  6. #6
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    Generally, you will use automation when test is repeatable and nothing require to change in order to perform testing. In another way of saying, if you are sitting in your cubicle just doing "Hit Enter" key and no analyzing involve then it should be automated,

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  7. #7
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    There is no good time or bad time for automation, but u got to know there is parts in the software that u can test manually and you get a very good result.
    However, there are parts in your software you got to automate your testing.
    Is that your question? Or I miss your question.


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  8. #8
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    Also consider that you have the resources to utilize them or plan on getting them. Keep in mind the learning curve will use up some of those resources too.

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    "C'mon now, you know cheddar doesn't agree with you." - Capt. Archer to Porthos
    Jordan Gottlieb
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    Jordan Gottlieb
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    Twitter: @JG_QA

  9. #9
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    IMHO, I think that the best time to introduce Automation is when you exactly what has to get done manually.

    Draw up a req doc of what you need the tool to do, and why. Once you have this clearly defined, then you can look at specific tools via eval with the vendors.

    Think about what types of tests you want to automate. (Some types of testing really DON'T lend themselves to becoming automated.)

    This typically also means having decent test plans so you know exactly which tests need to get run by the tools.

    I just like to warn everyone that automated testing does NOT come for free. There is a significant investment in money and time to get automation up and running... and once its running, wow, you can really recoup the costs very easily.

    Good Luck


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    It Depends.

  10. #10
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    Re: When is the right time for Automation?

    When Im asked this question, my reply is always the same:
    Get the process right, then mechanize it.


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