The future of the automation engineer

Although I’ve tried to avoid writing about test automation since publishing The A Word four years ago, I suppose I should probably take some time soon to add a few more chapters before the book (like my last one) becomes largely obsolete.

Not too long ago, I posted some predictions. In those predictions, I said:

Testers writing automation will become a rarity. […]testers won’t write that much application automation. Unit and integration tests will be written by the developers on the team (w/ coaching from the test specialist on their team as needed). The test expert on the team who code will more likely write diagnostic tools, frameworks for “ilities” (perf, security / fuzzing, stress, etc.) – as well as other tools / processes / approaches that accelerate the achievement of shippable quality.

A few weeks ago, I spit out a small tweet storm about the same topic. The TL;DR version is that I have a strong opinion that the role of someone who solely writes automation for developer produced code will be gone soon. There’s just no good reason I can see anymore for developers to not write test automation for their own code.

For a longer, and really, really well annotated version of my tweet-barf, please check out Richard Bradshaw’s excellent post here. Richard was one of the people I thought I’d scare with my tweets. He’s been (as far as I know) in the role of a test automator for some time. But he agreed with me. He gets it. He sees it too, and he’s in the trenches doing this stuff, while I’m just a talking head most of the time.

That means something.

I know there are some readers who don’t follow me on twitter and may have missed this – but my tweets – and Richard’s further thoughts on the subject are important, and a “prediction” that I am absolutely confident will come to life.

 

One Comment

  1. This is all great food for thought. I have a sinking feeling (as I’m currently a test developer with a heavy focus on test automation) that you’re correct here. Richard’s post also seems to reflect these ideas as well.

    However I will mention that, as William Gibson said, the future is here but it’s just unevenly distributed. Some orgs already have test engineers/developers that can switch into an application developer role as needed. Some orgs still have a test automation team responsible for all test automation and related matters (sound familiar for testers?). It’s a similar situation to testing, where some orgs are completely up to date and some are stuck in decades-old practices. It’ll be interesting to see what the overall trends are.

    Reply

Leave some words for the weasel

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.