STARWEST 2017 Concurrent Session : The Pothole of Automating Too Much

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Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

The Pothole of Automating Too Much

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Is your company spending a lot of time and effort on an automation strategy while your customers believe that product quality has not improved? Does management see automation as a silver bullet that will save money, increase coverage, and reduce headcount? Do you work for a company where the goal is (almost) 100 percent test automation? Paul Holland discusses issues and problems with these approaches and perceptions about test automation. He provides strong arguments why the “automate everything” approach is not likely to be successful and provides details of an alternative, balanced approach that will generally yield higher quality software. Paul discusses the difference between testing and checking, details five problems that can and do occur in situations where companies try to automate too much, tells real life stories from companies he has worked with, and provides details of a broader, more balanced solution.

Paul Holland
Medidata Solutions, Inc.

With more than twenty years’ experience in software testing, Paul Holland is a senior director of test engineering at New York City-based Medidata Solutions, Inc. Previously, he spent two years as head of testing at a small consultancy, two years as the principal consultant/owner at Testing Thoughts, and seventeen years at Alcatel-Lucent. Paul specializes in adapting testing methodologies to reduce waste, and to increase effectiveness and efficiency by finding ways to document only what needs to be documented, modifying reporting of test activities to provide actionable information to stakeholders, and reducing or eliminating potentially harmful metrics. Paul is one of four instructors of the Rapid Software Testing course, developed by James Bach and Michael Bolton.