Wanna know what's hot in test automation? Just do a Google search on the term "Implementing Automated Software Testing" (IAST), and you'll find out quickly. With approximately 3 million search results, this is clearly a very popular term, but not only that, it is now the title of a new book written by Elfriede Dustin, Thom Garrett and Bernie Gauf. We at the Automated Testing Institute aren't sure if the title is coincidently identical to one of the most popular test automation terms, or if it was a genius marketing ploy to get more attention drawn to the book; whatever the reason, it is definitely aptly named. This successor to Automated Software Testing (AST) - a 1999 book also coauthored by Dustin, and also a term with approximately 30 million Google search results (wink, wink) - wastes no time in picking up where its predecessor leaves off. AST largely focuses on how test automation may fit into the overall software development and testing lifecycles, IAST lends more of its attention to the test automation effort itself and the details of managing an automated software testing effort.
IAST does an excellent job covering the following Automation Body of Knowledge version 1 (ABOK v1) skill categories (visit [....] for more information on the ABOK): * Skill Category 1: Automation's Role in the Software Testing Lifecycle (STLC) * Skill Category 2: Test Automation Types and Interfaces * Skill Category 3: Automation Tools * Skill Category 4: Test Automation Framework Design * Skill Category 5: Automation Framework Design * Skill Category 12: Automated Test Reporting
This review will therefore describe the book and discuss how these categories are addressed. IAST is divided into three major segments: * Part I: What Is Automated Software Testing and Why Should We Automate? (Chapters 1 - 4) * Part II: How to Automate: Top Six Keys for Automation Payoff (Chapters 5 - 10) * Appendices (Appendix A - D)
Part I does an excellent job addressing Skill Category 1 of the ABOK in that it addresses the `what' and `why' of test automation. Chapter 1 sets the tone of the book with a "unified" definition of test automation; a definition that also works to distinguish test automation from manual software testing. This chapter, along with its reference to Appendix B, also addresses ABOK Skill Category 2 with a discussion of the "typical testing types that lend themselves to automation". Chapters 2 through 4, round out Part 1 of IAST, and continue to further address ABOK Skill Category 1 with topics including: reasons for automating, making the business case for test automation with return on investment (ROI) calculations, and how to avoid typical test automation pitfalls. The latter half of Chapter 4 also addresses ABOK Skill Category 3, by discussing tool evaluation and selection. This discussion is aided by Appendix C which expands into tools and tool requirements not only for automating tests, but also for automation of processes such as requirements management, defect tracking and security testing.
Part II of IAST graduates from the `what' and `why' of test automation and delves into the `how' of test automation. Not `how' in terms of how to develop scripts, but `how' in terms of how to create, implement and monitor an automated test framework; and these are items found in Skill Categories 4, 5 and 12 of the ABOK. Part II of IAST begins with Chapter 5, which discusses how to define requirements for your test automation effort. Chapters 6 and 7 build on this by discussing how to take these requirements and develop a compatible strategy and framework. Chapters 8 and 9 cover the next logical steps of defining metrics to track test automation progress, and the implementation of the automated software test framework processes. Then finally, Chapter 10 closes the main portion of the book with a broad discussion of the skills required for test automation implementation.
In summary, IAST is strong with respect to test automation from a macroscopic level. This makes it a great resource for managers, leads, and anyone that is responsible for or will take part in defining and implementing a test automation effort. [Review originally posted in the August 09 Issue of the Automated Software Testing Magazine - [...]]
I am writing this to emphasize what was mentioned in the lengthier reviews: this book will be of almost no help to you if you work in an agile (read: any technology company that is less than 20 years old) environment. This book is an extensive list of questions for a bureaucrat to answer on his paperwork. It contains almost no practical implementation advice of any kind. By the end of this book you'll have hundreds of pages worth of paperwork done and no automated tests. Do a Google search and read up on what modern engineers are doing.