Now that we’ve been talking about Agile for the last couple of weeks, let’s get into another related topic – Automated testing or using Commercial GUI tools in an Agile environment.
It’s a fact that testing in an Agile environment is different from testing in the Waterfall or other development approaches – so where do traditional test automation tools fit in? Although test automation specialists may be comfortable using their chosen traditional test automation tool, these tools may not be the best bet when it comes to Agile test automation.
Some of the reasons for the mis-match between traditional test automation tools and Agile testing are: these tools encourage the test-last workflow, which cannot work for agile teams; the scripts that traditional tools create are typically dependent on various sources of information and are therefore not easily maintainable; traditional automation tools are expensive and learnt exclusively by the automation specialist as a QA tool, which will not work in an integrated agile testing team.
However, this does not mean that Automation tools cannot be used in an Agile environment. A new breed of test automation tools like Fitnesse, Green Pepper, StoryTestIQ, Selenium, Watir and others are more optimized for Agile teams and solve the challenges of collaboration, reducing waste and increasing the speed of feedback that Agile teams face.
Also, just as in any test automation effort, the key thing is to find areas/scenarios that would benefit the most from automation. Judicially applying test automation efforts to those areas will enable one to reap the most benefit!