Suite of automated tests - owned by devs or testers?



  • I'm working on a project that involves 4 developers and three QAers.

    I've tried to encourage the other devs to write tests for every new feature they have added, and we have built up a suite of around 50 Selenium UI tests. I don't doubt that this has improved the quality of the product but the developers have become slaves to getting the tests working and I don't think we know enough about Selenium yet to really use it efficiently.

    I'm thinking that for the next project I will pass automation of tests and building an automated regression suite over to the QA people. One of them has had good success using the Selenium add-on for Firefox before so the skills and the will do exist. Is this the right decision to make?



  • Extending and maintaining automated tests costs time, but if your team are slaves to updating tests you are doing it wrong. 🙂

    One of the biggest reasons to create automated test coverage is to create a fast feedback cycle loop. Letting the test-team fix the tests afterwards slows down this process and will always lag behind. There is a high risk the tests will always be an after thought and are untrusted by the developers.

    I suggest using a BDD framework. My previous team combined Cucumber and Selenium into a testing framework. When a developers checks in new code the current tests should not break. Also you want new coverage for new features. Schedule the tests in a continuous integration cycle to make sure the tests do not break.

    • Testers write test-cases
    • Developers automate them

    Of-course testers can also automate them and developers can extend tests with more corners cases, but keep in mind that you need good developers to create a maintainable testing framework.

    Use best of both worlds and pair program (1 dev + 1 qa) on implementing the more complex test-cases.



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