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What skills are needed for Automated Testing

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What skills are needed for Automated Testing

The skills required depends on what generation of automation the company is in.

1) Capture / playback and test harness tools (first generation).

2) Data driven tools (second generation).

3) Action driven (third generation).

The three generations upon which the skills depend are described below one by one

1) Capture / Playback and Test Harness Tools:

One of the most boring and time-consuming activity during testing life cycle is to rerun

manual tests number of times. Here, capture/playback tools are of great help to the testers. These tools do this by recording and replaying the test input scripts. As a result, tests can be replayed without attendant for long hours specially during regression testing. Also these recorded test scripts can be edited as per need i.e., whenever changes are made to the software. These tools can even capture human operations e.g., mouse activity, keystrokes etc.

A capture / playback tool can be either intrusive or non-intrusive. Intrusive capture / playback tools are also called native tools as they along with software-under-test (SUT), reside on the same machine.

Non-intrusive capture / playback tools on the other hand, reside on the separate machine and is connected to the machine containing software to be tested using special hardware. One advantage of these tools is to capture errors which users frequently make and which developers cannot reproduce.

Test harness tools are the category of capture / playback tools used for capturing and replaying sequence of tests. These tools enable running large volume of tests unattended and help in generating reports by using comparators. These tools are very important at CMM level - 2 and above.

2) Data-driven Tools:

This method help in developing test scripts that generates the set of input conditions and corresponding expected output. The approach takes as much time and effort as the product. However, changes to application do not require the automated test cases to be changed as long as the input conditions and expected output are still valid. This generation of automation focuses on input and output conditions using the black box testing approach.

3) Action-driven Tools:

This technique enables a layman to create automated tests. There are no input and expected output conditions required for running the tests. All actions that appear on the application are automatically tested, based on a generic set of controls defined for automation.

From the above approaches / generations of automation, it is clear that different levels of skills are needed based on the generation of automation selected.

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