When working in the Quality Assurance Automation space, there are many different facets of the process one has to be aware of. It is more than just what tool should we use but rather an entire discipline that a person must be willing to immerse themselves in to be effective. Just as the spectrum of facets is wide, so are the points of possible entry into an effort. Sometimes you enter at the ground floor, able to influence and direct the entire process. Other times you may find yourself entering at a point of chaos for your client. The systems are a mess, the personnel who set it up are long gone, the code has no commentary at all or worse has been Frankensteined together, the tool’s licensing has expired and the final product has nearly no relevancy at all.
I have found that no matter the entry point, an evaluation still needs to take place. Before any actions can be responsibly taken, one must know where things stand at. Here are the things I look for:
- Who are the vested interest parties?
- What product(s) are being targeted by the automation?
- What needs/concerns do the vested parties have?
- What does the industry look for in the automation as it relates to the targeted product?
- What time frame is being assumed for each milestone?
- What does the infrastructure look like?
- What do the tools look like?
- What does the code look like?
- What does the process look like?
- What familiarity do the testers have with the concepts of automation in general and specifics of their current setup?