An exclusive Interview with Muthiah – Director of Testing & Test Automation Services at ‘Expedux’ on “How Manual Testers can execute Test Automation without tool/ programming knowledge”
Muthiah is a seasoned testing professional with 15+ years of core testing and test automation experience across various tools and platforms. He worked with Infosys in his earlier days in their “ITAA”, a framework that automates the manual testing process without any tool intervention. From thereon, he carried on with his vision of enabling manual testers to implement test automation without any tool/ programming knowledge. Muthiah finally developed the idea into reality with “Selenium Accelerator” which can help manual testers to automate Selenium focused testing without tool/ programming knowledge. With his Q&A session, he further explains his vision, product features and how it can help a QA organization.
Why there is a need to retain existing Manual Testers who cannot perform test automation?
Manual testing and test automation procedures are constantly going through changes with the evolution of development and testing methodologies, practices and tools. Application / product/ platform testing is paramount for any organization with the tricky nature of the customers. Take the example of an E-commerce organization, if their customers find their payment not materialising (or) mobile app is slow to respond during peak hours, then it’s a case customer lost and opportunity for revenue realization missed. With the recent tilt towards implementing Test Automation as a mandatory one, QA organizations always struggle to answer certain important questions – Do I need to eradicate Manual Testing team at the cost of test automation implementation? How can I transform manual testers into programming oriented Automation testers? And finally, there is a huge gap between Test Automation Expert vs. Manual Testers in terms of cost, skill and knowledge. Our vision is to make that gap narrow as much as possible so that the team is balanced and the right skills are retained. With our Selenium accelerator, Manual testers can perform test automation minutes without Selenium or any other test automation tool knowledge.
With the trend is moving towards Test Automation, why Manual Testers cannot upgrade themselves to QA Automation experts?
Everyone understands the need for automation testing as it offers better & faster regression coverage. On the other side, Manual Testers focus more on functional testing and defect leakage ratios. Couple of years back, QA organization was a combination of manual and automation testers with manual testers greatly outnumbering the automation testers. With the evolution of Agile and its variances, Test automation is considered as a highly skilled programming activity and they fall into the category of “Test Automation Developers” rather than “QA Automation Testers”. Manual testers are more focused towards the functional side of the AUT (Application under test) and it has been treated as less skilful aspect of technology that may result in a soon to be phased out division within the organization. If a manual tester wants to move himself/ herself to test automation, he or she should learn more about the tool, how to program it and how the execution cycle works. This lifecycle will vary anywhere between 6 months to 2 years based on the individual aspirations. Organizations can implement up to 75% of test automation strategies and rest of them should be taken care with the manual testers only. I think the future of Test Automation should be tool agnostic and the complexities of “Only Test Automation Programmer can do Automation” will be phased out. That’s why, I feel the manual testers should be protected and balanced with the test automation experts.
Why did you choose Selenium for this vision?
Selenium is considered as one of the best open source test automation framework, which helps to prepare & execute test cases with automation. This is the most preferred test automation framework by software testers as well as QA Heads. Selenium has the support of some of the largest browser vendors who have taken or are taking steps to make Selenium a native part of their browser. Selenium being an Open source project has an innate capability to mould and grow in epic proportions. With the license cost curtailed as compared to the proprietary tools and strength of the Open source community pushing for more and more advancement we have seen huge growth in Selenium from 1.0 to Web driver 2.0. If you want to create GUI tests for web applications Selenium 2 / WebDriver is the right choice. It has a detailed documentation and do not need much programming skills
So how Selenium Accelerator is bridging this gap?
Selenium Accelerator is a great framework and it can provide a different perspective to the test automation strategies. With our accelerator, Manual testers & QA organizations can perform test automation in 15 minutes without Selenium tool knowledge as our product is exclusively built to support Selenium and Open Source community. With Selenium as a foundation of our product, Exped-TAAS has the fundamentals of script less execution engine. Test cases can be written in Excel and Test case execution is handled with test case execution sheet. Configuration details are maintained in a different sheet such as Browser selection, Parallel execution or sequential execution, Email configuration and etc. If you want to implement Selenium Test Automation strategies with manual testers, then Exped-TAAS is the logical first step for you.
Can you outline your Product Framework, it’s features and benefits?
- Supports web application testing, mobile testing (Android and IOS) and various other platforms
- Works extremely powerful with different browsers such as Mozilla, Chrome, IE and Safari
- Execution can be triggered automatically as per the schedule with object reusability factor
- Extremely low cost of maintenance and extensible
- Integrates well with Jenkins and Bamboo tools and compatible with Continuous integration methodology
- Detailed Report generation includes last 10 iterations (Execution) that can be compared with line graph and bar graph, platform details, Test execution details such as No. of pass, No. of fails, Total test cases , each test case with line by line test steps, Screenshot at the time of failure etc.
- Since scripting is done with Excel, it is simple and easy to create test cases. Even a manual tester can write test cases once he knows about customized methods and how to trace elements from the application.
- Manual test cases and Automation test cases can be maintained in the same sheet
- Highly productive and scalable
- Cost Effective since it reduces man efforts.