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The Art of Throw-Away Test Automation

  • 20/07/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

Test automation has failed to date simply because we could not afford to throw it away. Creating any form of automation takes effort and time, when the application under test changes and the automation ceases to work you are faced with a stark choice – either maintain it at additional effort and time or abandon it. If you abandon it, you are also writing off the effort and time you invested in creating it, thus bringing the whole concept into question.

The reality is that you have to be in a position to throw away the automation you have created, as sooner or later the application will change in such a way that no amount of automatic healing can tackle. So by definition, the creation of the automation must have been so fast and painless and the investment minimal, that you can afford, both financially and emotionally, to throw it away.

Think about your own test assets? Can you even estimate the cost in time and effort in building them? How constricted are you by that investment? Can you hand on heart claim that you don’t grimace every time you have to throw them away?

This is a topic close to our hearts and if you have 45 minutes to spare on 21st July at 4pm UK time, please join the debate at

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