A very important part of our software development cycle is functional testing. Luckily, functional testing techniques have evolved tremendously since the dark days of old school testing. Back then, testing was done with countless Excel sheets each having multiple tabs that reflected all the individual scenarios. Each tab looked a bit like this:
Goto web-page: http://myincredibletestproject.com
Click on the login link
Enter username: test
Enter password: secret
Click login button
Verify response: “Failed to login. Invalid credentials.”
Yesterday, march 6th 2012, my colleague Barri Jansen and I attended Valori’s “thema avond” (theme night). The subject for the evening was “New generation software for automated testing”. The event was held at Microsoft headquarters in the Netherlands, which is located almost on top of the runway at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
My colleague Gert-Jan wrote an excellent post on Solving the right problem (link).
A lot of times, businesses are automating the problem, not solving the problem. They make recreating the problem more efficient and ensure it will be produced with a measurable lack of business value.
Look at your business process first. Where is the real problem? How could you solve the problem by using paper? Can it be done smarter? Use automation for making your paper solution more efficient. Not for automating your problem.