When Automation Seems Impossible – A Lesson from The Martian

Maybe you have a large, complex system that takes weeks of testing every time you want to release. Or perhaps your test team is small, and can’t afford the time to continually perform a full suite of regression testing. Regardless of your problem, you’re looking at automation as the solution. But where do you start? And which fancy new, state-of-the-art, solve-all-your-problems solution are you going to use?

This talk draws parallels between implementing an “automation suite” from scratch and fictional astronaut Mark Watney’s attempt to get home from another planet in the story by Andy Weir (and blockbuster movie), “The Martian”. We’ll discuss things like tool selection, deciding what problems to solve (and where to start first), handling time and resource constraints, and more. Using personal, real world examples, I will highlight the lessons from Watney’s problem solving exercises on Mars – all oriented around one very simple piece of advice: “Just begin.”

Watney’s challenges were literally astronomical – he had to survive alone on (and get home from) a different planet! All you have to do is automate your testing. That doesn’t sound so bad anymore, does it?

In this session, attends can expect to leave with practical advice on tackling large automated testing problems. Points of interest include:

  • How to handle the “We should do automation” conversation with leadership
  • Where to start when tackling automation initiatives
  • How to avoid being blocked by time and resource constraints
  • Bringing a pragmatic approach to automation

Location: TBD Date: April 11, 2018 Time: - Graeme Harvey