Surviving and Thriving in the Automation Jungle

Th2     Start Time : 10:30     End Time : 11:00

The automation journey is often perceived as complicated and dangerous: So many things that can go wrong. So many automation pyramids and tools. So many choices and probably more that we are not even aware of yet. Maintenance issues. So many automation efforts dying a horrible death way too young when confronted with one of the terrors of the automation jungle. In order to help avoid (most of) the danger, the PUPPET approach to automation in testing divides it into 5 clearly defined areas:

  • People: What stakeholders and roles are there, and what do they all need to be successful?
  • Product: Automation is not an activity but a product with a real lifecycle. It should start from a clear, business-oriented goal.
  • Process: Automation touches many processes, including specification and test case selection, and adapting to context is mandatory for success.
  • Execution: Includes Continuous Integration, dealing with test data, stubs and test environments.
  • Technology: Actual automation is SW engineering, and involves many technical topics such as interfaces and tools.


Each of these areas is worked out at a moderate level of detail, in a visual manner rather than textual. They are often explained referring briefly to my personal experiences in automation.

As a conclusion, clearly defining the areas not only provides a map through the jungle, it also identifies opportunities for testers that relate to automation. Besides the programming side, there are the specification / test analysis sides (BDD, etc.), Continuous Integration, a test data specialty, and (modeling for) Model Based Testing.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Automation is no longer a jungle but consists of 5 clearly defined areas that all make sense.
  2. Always consider the context and fit the automation approach to your situation for each of the areas, as pointed out in the talk.
  3. There are various roles for testers relating to automation, not all of them requiring programming. Try (some of) them and boost your value as a tester!


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  • Speaker


    Martin Gijsen - Automation in Testing Architect, Independent Consultant, Netherlands

    Martin is an independent automation in testing architect with 20+ years of experience. He often sets up automation in testing for an organisation (if it is complex or must be done right the first time) or improves existing automation efforts that are not generating sufficient business value. His specialty is having no specialty within automation: Any branch, any technology (from web to embedded), any test tool (commercial, open source or both), any process (Agile / traditional) and any phase in software development (from unit testing to full chain testing).

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