Tuesday, April 19, 2016
There’s a new pattern in town. Actually, it’s a pattern language called MetaAutomation, composed of six patterns, every one based on existing patterns of problem solving in information technology (IT) but with the addition of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XML technologies to make them much more powerful in combination.
The existing pattern “Test Automation Framework” (TAF) (Meszaros, “xUnit Test Patterns,” 2007, p. 298) describes existing practices for driving and measuring a software product under development. This works, and it delivers value of course, but it’s limited. With TAF, for example:
· The customer of the information is people on the QA team. Somebody on the QA team must manually interpret and present the information to the wider software team.
· The difference between what a human tester and an “automated test” can do is not addressed, causing business risk and opportunity cost.
· The issues of blocked product quality measurements due to failures and flaky checks is not addressed.
· The issues of prioritization of measurements is barely addressed.
· The goal of actionable check failures is not addressed.
MetaAutomation solves all of these problems, and more:
· MetaAutomation brings a much higher level of visibility and respect to the QA role
· MetaAutomation brings higher visibility to the developer role
· MetaAutomation breaks down silo walls with speed and transparency
· MetaAutomation shows how a single check can drive and measure an Internet of Things (IoT) product on multiple tiers
The costs of MetaAutomation? First, take on some paradigm shifts. These are enumerated on http://MetaAutomation.net.
Second, the quality automation code needs as much care and detail as product code. The team needs at least one person with software development skills to be a part of the QA team or role. There are working solutions available for free on http://MetaAutomation.net.
The diagram below shows how the six patterns of MetaAutomation compose to form the pattern language, and how they fit in the context of the business space. The TAF pattern addresses the QA role, but MetaAutomation delivers value all across the team, even up to the executive suite for Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance.