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Thread: Test Automation

  1. #1
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    Test Automation

    Does anyone know if there are any information about the ratio of automation tester vs. manual tester...I'm looking documentation my may help me determine the ratio of automated testers to manual testers should be...

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    Re: Test Automation

    I am curious on why you are trying to develop these numbers. I haven't ever run across a standards sort of ratio that makes sense for these categories, or can be justified in general as well as some industry (regulated verus non-regulated industry) ratios for things like developers versus testers.

    The first thing I would take a look at is your testing situation, which will drive this ratio, but only for your situation. You can have environments that range from "Gee, we have one week to test this product before it is released, don't have good requirements and then we move onto a wholey dissimiliar product develpoment effort for a new product, and the old product won't have any revisions". In that case, any automation at all might not be a fit for your situation and the whole team might be manual testers. The other side of the coin might be that you have frequent product revisions and a well defined regression suite that has to be run against each release a number of times, or a number of very similiar "products" that exist across similiar platforms, in which case you would be a good fit for automation and might have the vast majority of your team dedicated to automation.

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    Re: Test Automation

    I am curious on why you are trying to develop these numbers. I haven't ever run across a standards sort of ratio that makes sense for these categories, or can be justified in general as well as some industry (regulated verus non-regulated industry) ratios for things like developers versus testers.

    The first thing I would take a look at is your testing situation, which will drive this ratio, but only for your situation. You can have environments that range from "Gee, we have one week to test this product before it is released, don't have good requirements and then we move onto a wholey dissimiliar product develpoment effort for a new product, and the old product won't have any revisions". In that case, any automation at all might not be a fit for your situation and the whole team might be manual testers. The other side of the coin might be that you have frequent product revisions and a well defined regression suite that has to be run against each release a number of times, or a number of very similiar "products" that exist across similiar platforms, in which case you would be a good fit for automation and might have the vast majority of your team dedicated to automation.

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    Re: Test Automation

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Nise:
    Does anyone know if there are any information about the ratio of automation tester vs. manual tester...

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Personal experience:

    Approximately 5:1 manual tester to automated tester for user applications averaging a 14:1 savings over the manual effort with far greater coverage and accuracy.

    John


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    Re: Test Automation

    Nise,

    Take the amount of time it takes you to manually test whatever you want to automate and multiply it by two. This is your total manhour time for startup. You can also take the number of test cases you want to automate and multiply it by an hour.

    If your automated testers are not trained in the tool you are going to use, add 3 man-months per resource.

    Once your tests are automated, you can gauge how many people you'll need to retain as automated testers, based on whatever new projects you have coming up to automate and how much effort is spent maintaining the existing automated bank.

    Example:

    I want to automate a bank of 5000 scripts.
    5000 X 1 hour = 5000 hours or 625 days. I want everything automated by the end of the year, so that's around 130 days (I took out some time to allow for vacations) per resource. I'll need 5 people for the start up effort.

    I'm going to hire experienced resources, so I'm not adding training time to the schedule.

    Just as a sidenote, in my experience, it takes about 2 years to get a fully automated shop running smoothly, unless you're lucky enough to get some really experienced people on your team.

    Hope this helps.

    - Linda

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    Re: Test Automation

    Those are sure a lot of numbers to calculate to come to "It depends".

    I really don't think there is a "rule of thumb". We have our experiences, but they may or may not apply to your situation.

    Take, for example, my office buddy Chris. Chris automates faster than he can manual test (quite possibly because he gets distracted during manual testing and is quite focused when he automates, but that's beside the point). Another co-worker of mine really doesn't like to automate. It may take her a week to complete automation of a manual script that she could have tested manually in 15 minutes (In all likelihood because she spends most of that week re-testing everything manually first, then updating the scripting standards document, re-ordering how the manual scripts should be organized for automation -- not because she isn't good at automation, but because she doesn't enjoy it - and again, beside the point).

    Those are extreme cases (that I may have even exagerated slightly to make a point), but they do make it awefully difficult to give you numbers. If you had 100 test automation specialists, those two types of people would average out to a useful number (if you put them all on the same project at once), but no one has 100 test automation specialists on a single project at the same time! In fact, I'm betting there aren't many projects that get 10 at a time.

    Bottom line - be careful about getting numbers that may not apply to your situation.

    ------------------
    Scott Barber, Sr. Performance Engineer
    sbarber@noblestar.com
    http://www.noblestar.com
    http://www.perftestplus.com
    Scott Barber
    Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus
    Executive Director, Association for Software Testing
    Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications
    sbarber@perftestplus.com

    If you can see it in your mind...
    you will find it in your life.

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    Re: Test Automation

    Scott,

    The numbers I use are based on a 6-year study; I've used them personally on many occasions, and have found them to be effective.

    I do not think "it depends" will help anyone to determine and budget resources for automation. You have to start somewhere...


    - Linda



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    Re: Test Automation

    I would argue that you start by knowing the capabilities of your team, the specific project, the complexity of the scripts required, etc. Who knows, maybe after going through all that, I'd come up with a number that looks remarkably similar to yours.

    No confrontation intended. All I'm saying is that personally, I would not do a budgeting/scoping exercise without knowing a lot more details. Even within my own speciality (performance) I won't estimate a project until I know who will be assigned to the project. The who will change my estimate +/- several hundred percent sometimes. I'm not challenging your numbers or your study, I'm just saying that there is no one number and that what works perfectly for you - where you know exactly how those numbers were derived and under what conditions - the person who asked the question will not.

    Would those numbers hold, for example, if the poster told you that the automation had to be done using Fortran? Of course it would.

    Sorry if I sounded like I was minimizing your research.

    ------------------
    Scott Barber, Sr. Performance Engineer
    sbarber@noblestar.com
    http://www.noblestar.com
    http://www.perftestplus.com
    Scott Barber
    Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus
    Executive Director, Association for Software Testing
    Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications
    sbarber@perftestplus.com

    If you can see it in your mind...
    you will find it in your life.

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    Re: Test Automation

    Fortran?

    (Sigh.)

    Should anyone be interested in the sources and methods used in the study, which is not, by the way, mine, drop a line into Estimation and Planning and I'll go into more detail. Since it did, in fact, include consideration for complexity, expertise, and platform, I would imagine that others would find it as useful as I do. There's ton of information on it, however, and I didn't want to write a book here.

    In the meantime, my crushed feelings and I are going to lunch...

    - Linda



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    Re: Test Automation

    Thanks everyone for responsing...:-) Nise

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