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When to start automation?

If you are asking this as a tester, you probably asking too late.

Automation is something that can save you some portion of your work (understand resources for your client) and i rarely found cases of testing work that did not need at least some portion of automation.

I know that it is rarely understood that automation is something to be developed & maintained and if you cover enough of the application, you do not need any more regression - well i do not think that somebody has done an automation regression suite that if fully reliable (i am not speaking about maintaining this code - which is another topic). There can be always a bug (or quality issue) that slips through, even when you scripts go through the afflicted part.

I understand that many testers have no development background or skills, but i doubt the developers that could help you are far away. I am not assuming that they can do the scripts for you....
However if they understand what you need, they can say how easy is to automate some parts and maybe how easy is to write a script for yourself.

You do not need to automate the whole regression overnight, here are some things that could help you start:
  • PowerShell

    • Free tool in windows
    • I have automated here deployment of test applications, upgrade & deployment of test scripts from subversion, copying application files, launching other scripts, updating the DB for the application - and I am rather a weak coder in Powershell (yet)
    • This tool automated many steps in the preparation of new application version, which were either long to do, or easy to forget - trust me, it is a real pain when you launch your regression scripts and after 1 hour realize that they are still clicking in the old application
  • AutoIt

    • Freeware
    • Easy tool to automate user actions like mouse clicks and keyboard inputs
    • Can handle also advance features as 
      • Interactions with windows controls
      • Manipulate windows and processes
      • and many more - to learn his script language is really not hard for a non-developer
    • I have handled and developed quite big test suites, but i think it is not an ideal solution for this demand
  • Selenium

    • For web automation
    • Has the record/play feature
    • Really a must have when you want to test webs
    • It can save you much work even if you use only the basis Selenese(and his record/play)
  •  Other Automation tools

    • I have done proof of concept on severals of them, some of them showed great potential in automating, other not
    • A record/play feature can enable to produce some degree of automation also for  somebody who hates to code/script
    • I did not used any of these on real project testing,  only proofs of concept
    • Every paid one is offering a trial version (mostly with 30 days evaluation period), which you could use and explore them - you could benefit from it

The basic idea of this post is: START AUTOMATE - now you have no excuses.
The tools that can save you work are out there waiting to be used.



  1. Squash TA is also a good solution cause it completes PLCs like Selenium, it does not replace them.
    These PLCs are powerful and do very well what they were created for : to interact with the SUT. Therefore, Squash TA is not intended to rewrite a PLC but integrates and drives open source market PLCs.

    Do you know it?

    1. Thanks for the tip, i will look into Squash TA.

      I was writing about tools that i can speak about from experience.

    2. Sure, that's why I'm interested to know your opinion about this open source solution.
      Let me know what do you think!

      For your information:

  2. I would recommend Sahi Web automation as well which is have option of open source. I used Sahi and Selenium Webdriver both and even I developed automation framework for web and it's working simply great covering major things for web automation. Sahi is best and simple to use also.
    Visit: hhtp:// where I have mentioned about basics of Sahi tool.


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