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The Seven Deadly Sins of Software Test Automation

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Download PDF The Seven Deadly Sins of Software Test Automation.

For the past 15-plus years, organisations have turned to test automation as a way to improve efficiency in the software development life cycle. Yet despite heavy investment, software testing is still often the bottleneck in the delivery cycle. In a recent survey of CIOs, Original Software found that only 6% were totally happy with their automation. The scary thing is that this is tolerated – it’s the norm!

Undoubtedly Test Automation has failed to achieve for the masses. But why is this the case? In this article I take a light-hearted look at Dante’s Divine Comedy to uncover some home truths about software test automation…

The Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), wrote three epic poems (known collectively as the Divine Comedy) titled Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. In his book ‘Inferno’, Dante recounts the visions he has in a dream in which he enters and descends into hell. The sinners that Dante encounters in the Inferno are each punished in accordance with which of the seven deadly sins they were most guilty of while they were alive.

Only in a world this ****** could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face. But that’s the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it.

We tolerate it because it’s common, it’s trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I’m setting the example.

John Doe (Kevin Spacey) in Se7en

Now, I can’t help but to liken this to our very own industry. As Dante journeys through the Inferno he encounters sinners condemned to eternal damnation because of their actions or in some cases inaction while on earth.

As I myself journey from prospect to prospect I often encounter the ‘sinners’ of test automation, whose projects are condemned to eternal damnation because of their actions, or, in many cases, the inaction that we un-earth.

One can gain a deeper understanding of Dante’s Inferno by studying the seven deadly sins which brought these souls to this miserable place.

In this article I will explore each of the seven deadly sins as they relate to software test automation, instances we come across time and time again, and traps clients have often fallen into because of their earthly vices.

Welcome to the Seven Deadly Sins of Software Test Automation.

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