Hi, I'm Alex Corrigan. This is why I am here:
Companies are being ever more vocal and open about their approach to testing. Each one of them wants to be seen as an industry leader in new methods and technologies. Such openess is now exposing a testing industry that is constantly evolving. Applications are becoming more distributed and the boundaries of the traditional "test phase" are merging with other stages of software development.
At the same time, the ability to automate has gained more emphasis. This is no surprise, the credentials of automation for cost savings and efficiency are long established, but many in the industry debate this progression. Some fear that more "test automation" will reduce the demand for the "manual" tester, with responsibility for quality shifting to engineers.
I think this debate will eventually pass with no real resolution. "Test Automation" is an unhelpful term here with as much meaning as "Plate Cleaning Automation" (read Dishwashers here). What is clear though is that there is a growing demand for automation in a variety of areas.
I believe that automation is no substitute for testing, it can not replace testers and can not do everything a tester does. It should instead be embraced as a skill and discipline in its own right, with entirely different aims and purposes. It is available to all, here and now, to enable testers to work smarter and more efficiently. For that, testers should not seek permission to implement automation. Wherever it makes sense to, its results are completely and obviously justified.
I want to be able to show how testers can get automation working for them. I will be treating automation as an independent discipline and show how it can contribute and be an aid to testing. Through my blog I will try to demonstrate this in my own work by publishing my insights and experiences. I will shortly also be publishing some more practical guides that I hope anyone can follow and discover something that can help them in their own work.