Zero to Eight. Lessons Learned Starting a Test Automation Team from Scratch

How do you build a successful suite of automated tests for your system? One test at a time with lots of careful thought and a willingness to backtrack and adjust. In this talk Jim shares his experiences building up a test automation effort for a five year old legacy software product that had zero planned testing, manual or automated, prior to his taking on a job as a tester. You’ll learn approaches for getting your own test automation effort in place, including making the case for automation, planning out infrastructure needs, and identifying tools to use for your automation. You’ll also learn how to build up a team to be successful with automation, and you’ll also discover why it’s so critical to treat test automation as a software engineering effort – BECAUSE IT IS ONE! Explore how to deal with fundamental problems common to any automation effort: managing expectations, dealing with technical challenges, and empowering your testers via education. We’ll also discuss the number one factor for failure or success: the organization’s culture toward quality. This session focuses on one specific team’s experience, but draws from Jim’s years of experience in the field. You’ll take away practical advice on what works, what doesn’t, and some frank discussion around areas where Jim has failed with his teams in the past – and ideas on how to avoid those problems in your own automation efforts!

Session Takeaways:

  • How small changes make big impacts over time.
  • Practical examples of wins (and losses!) around cultural change.
  • Concrete examples of building up a team and support resources.


Location: Fairbanks Terrace C Date: April 1, 2015 Time: 10:15 am - 11:15 am