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How automation approach is reaching it’s height?

When i joined testing division as a fresher, i have seen there are two groups in the .team,one team is called manual testers ..they are the functional experts headed by experienced SME (Subject matter expert). Another one is having a bunch of programmers called Automation test engineers.A Technical expert was heading this team.
When we started our journey together to test an ERP based application,the initial days, we spent to understand the functional approach.How the system use to work..integrated with one another..how a module talks with each other.Everything was delivered from a functional point of view.To do hands on we started manual testing. This time automation testing was a luxury very error prone.It required a lot of manual intervention. The tool was QTP-6.5.Automation coverage was very low.Nobody bothered to gain coverage.Our objective was to increase coverage by testing Manually(if Automation is not covering that one).
With the advancement of QTP(6.5--->8.2),our approach changed, We started rely on QTP. We made separate scripts for supporting the functional people. Our life also became cool.This time we were called functional test automation engineers. The testing approach was divided into halves .
  • One half the functional SME’s test the application manually
  • Second half the automation test engineers runs regression flows with the help of testing tools.
This approach looks very easy and comfortable for us. But those days passed very quickly when the manual test engineers struggled to verify the test automation results.Most often we used to hear
  • This is not as per Functional Test Script(FTS).
  • Post xyz release FTS is updated but that part is not reflected in automation
  • We needed verification at that point.
  • test data is out dated etc etc 
Quickly we understood,even if we do an automation,if a rework for the manual test engineers. In a critical project,if there is some dependency between the previous script to current script to upcoming script, the maintenance is very tough. We need to cross verify the FTS.Even sometimes Manual test engineers need to check the automation data to calculate the original results.Life became too tough to maintain the script and support this project.We struggled day and night but supported the project.Most of the time we were looking for a solution where SME’s would set all data…they would create scripts…But that was my JD!!!!
When i joined an agile project i got something called HP Quality center (HP-QC). We got a training from Mercury regarding the same. BOOOM……We got answers to the above written problem.

Here they came up with something called Quality center and that too web based. The way the quality center is made ,it is really amazing. Automation test engineers need not to learn the functional part every time.Any change is traceable. The coverage is awesome. If the component based (BPT) is adopted the data issue is gone. Functional SMEs can drag and drop components and provided data to run and can actually run all the required tests.


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First Generation testing---->Second Generation Testing--->Today’s testing

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