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30 Days of Automation in Testing: Challenge #1

Over the month of July, TTC consultants will be taking part in the Ministry of Testing's "30 Days of Automation in Testing Challenge".


TTC consultants will take on the various challenges and share their thoughts. To get us started is Kayla Hildebrandt.

Challenge #1: Look up some definitions for ʻAutomationʼ, compare them against definitions for ʻTest Automationʼ.

Definitions as provided by Wikipedia:

Automation: Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance.

Test Automation: In software testing, test automation is the use of special software (separate from the software being tested) to control the execution of tests and the comparison of actual outcomes with predicted outcomes. Test automation can automate some repetitive but necessary tasks in a formalized testing process already in place, or perform additional testing that would be difficult to do manually.

The definition for automation describes a process being performed without human interaction. When someone describes “automation”, your first thought (if you are not a test engineer) would probably be some sort of assembly line working on a product such as a car, rather than code automating the testing process for a website. While the definition for test automation doesn’t directly reference a process being performed without human assistance, unattended test execution is ultimately a major goal of test automation.

The definition for test automation states that repetitive or difficult tasks are automated. This might also describe a mechanical factory assembly line. Rather than having a line of people doing repetitive tasks, a machine can take that place and do it for them – like how automated testing can assist a testing team. Because of this similarity between traditional automation and test automation, they both ultimately create a space where production (testing) time is decreased allowing quicker time to market, and create an environment where production costs can be reduced.

While each term may evoke different mental images, the two terms are more similar than they are different. Automation itself is a general team, and test automation describes a very specific type of automation.

Kayla Hildebrandt