MetaAutomation starts with making automation failures actionable, maximizing the value of automation results, and continues by automating triage. MetaAutomation reduces the cost of fixing existing automation and ensures that automation helps your quality measurements and improvements, rather than hindering them.
Friday, October 9, 2015
What is MetaAutomation? A Brief Metaphorical View
What is MetaAutomation all about?
MetaAutomation opens a conceptual door, and through that
door, it shows how to create powerful quality and communications value for a
software team, faster and better, more complete, robust, reliable and
That door is currently being held closed by several factors
Conventional wisdom and practice maintains that “automated
testing” is just like “manual testing,” in fact, according to this meme the
words “automated” and “manual” can be dropped from the software quality
profession. There are good intentions here… but, it comes with business risk,
and it’s pulling the door closed.
There are tools vendors and open-source projects which
support “automating” tests which are originally designed as manual tests, i.e.,
for a person to execute to observe quality information on a software product
under development. There are good intentions here too, but it’s also risky, and
it’s pulling the door closed.
The “Context-Driven School” view of testing discourages
software quality professionals from seeing general approaches to software quality.
This pulls the door closed.
Keyword-driven testing is represented by many tools and
techniques, BDD, Cucumber and Gherkin for example, but requires linear runtime
interpretation of an invented language (keywords or phrases) to run. This
limits both the precision and the accuracy of the artifacts of a check run,
which in turn limits value of the automated verifications for communication and
for quality measurement. The concept is very popular these days – it does have
value! – but it still looks a lot like automating manual tests, with all the
risks and limitations that go along with that, and the artifacts aren’t much
better. This movement, too, pulls the door closed.
Open the door! Automated verifications is in many ways a
distinct discipline with unique powers, relative to other software quality patterns
and practices. For repeatable regression checks, for performance data, for
managing business risk and shipping software faster and with better quality,
for quality communications around all team roles and across distributed teams,
there’s huge value on the other side of that door.