February 2021 MOT Bloggers Club topic

Your struggles/successes with automation

Where to start?

The hardest thing about writing automation is starting well. There are so many tools, languages and frameworks to choose. Picking the right tool(s) for the job(s) will make a huge impact on your long term success. Most places I’ve worked at already had preferred tooling / languages.

In general I like to:

  • Read up on whatever useful things I can find
  • Get something running (even if its ugly code)
  • Then figure out how to get better

Getting hands on

I don’t do as much automation as I’d like, that itself is a struggle I suppose. This makes it difficult to keep my knowledge up to date, and to get better at things. I often can remember enough to help people out and solve problems. I’m find myself saying “I don’t know the exact commands, but to do X you should try Y and Z”. I know how we could approach the task, but not always the detailed steps.


Training path

I’m currently involved in improving the technical skills of our test people. This has resulted in a new structured training path. Which guides people through our technologies and how we do things. Early days, but it looks to be going well. Can’t wait to iterate on feedback for the next group.

UI automation standards

Writing UI tests is hard. Writing good tests is harder. Maintaning them is even harder than that. To help provide guidance on “how we should write tests” I published our UI standards. This came from collaboration with the HMLR test community, and gives us a reference. Its no way perfect, but its a start.