When should tests be automated?
The easy answer is early and often. The earlier tests are written the easier it is to maintain code and behaviour in the long run. Well written behaviour driven development (BDD) tests that are readable by business users can survive changes in UI, database, even coding language and still be relevant. Writing unit tests before writing code (Test Driven Development – TDD) is accepted as the best way to achieve well structured clear and maintainable code that does what it is intended to do.
Why are we still talking about test automation?
Most people would consider that with unit testing, test driven development and behaviour driven development, discussions around how to do testing should be finished now. It should be considered a solved problem.
The truth though is still that testing is still seen as a necessary evil, and quickly takes a back seat when deadlines are looming and pressure is high.
Integration test suites and regression test suites are brittle and take days or even weeks to run. Testing of the interactions between micro-services is not understood. Every cross-over between teams is seen as another opportunity to pass the buck and make them responsible for fuller testing.
Even senior developers skip doing unit tests because they “know their code will work” and thus miss out on many of the bottom line benefits of unit tests. Every single shortcut adds up quickly to a untestable, unmaintainable and costly legacy code base. Some teams are still writing legacy code – even as they code today.
How can we help?
We have expertise in the industry leading testing technologies, frameworks and methodologies. This expertise is not limited to just knowing how to write tests. We also know how to get teams excited about fast and complete tests that increase development speed and reduce total cost.
In particular we focus on bringing business users into the room to work on testing in a real partnership with developers. The whole team focusing on what needs to be delivered, and proving to themselves and others that it has been delivered is what truly marks an outstanding delivery team.