Breaking the habits: introducing automated tests written by a QA

Where is this crazy idea coming from, a QA learning to write automated tests? Why would a QA want to learn something that the developer team is already doing?

I have been a QA for 7 years now and I worked at several types of companies. Starting from multinational corporations, to the so called hipster startup companies. During these years I have met and tested various kinds of bugs and processes. Yet I can assure you, I loved and still love every minute of my job.

At Digital Natives we are currently a team of two QAs. We are responsible for manual testing. Our developers do the test automation, and that is pretty much right this way. Or rather it was. Like most companies we use different testing methods and strategies. But from the aspect of this topic and for a QA the most interesting are the automation of acceptance tests. This is the spot in the testing/development process where the viewpoint of a QA can be applied with ease. You ask why? Because you don’t need a deep knowledge about the implementation, knowing how the app should reflect the desired business rules is enough.

Watching from a different point of view…

I think we can be brave to say that automated tests can smooth the work of the QA during regression testing (regression testing is the repeated testing of an already tested program, after modification, to discover any defects introduced or uncovered as a result of the change(s)). Of course for that we need to have a mass amount of great quality test code written at our hands. But let’s assume they fulfill this condition.

And now comes our million dollar question. Would it be more effective if the automated tests were written by someone, like me. That is, someone who:

  1. Isn’t familiar with coding
  2. Doesn’t have a technical point of view

I believe in that case the advantages of automated testing can be used with a much bigger efficiency. Not because I think that developers are incapable of writing good enough automated tests. But there’s no denying the fact that they have less time to think through the test writing to the last little detail. And looking at this practice from a different point of view would be refreshing.

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