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Book review: Experiences of Test Automation

Published in 1999, the book “Software Test Automation: Effective Use of Test Execution Tools” by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster probably still is one of the must-reads for anyone interested in test automation. Last year, a follow up was published by the same authors: “Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation”, reviewed in this post.

The book contains some chapters specifically about the role of model-based testing for test automation and features 28 case studies (plus a chapter with smaller anecdotes) of test automation applied to various domains from desktop applications over mobile testing to embedded software.

For beginners in test automation, the book is a collection of common and also some not so common test automation wisdom. It is made easy to draw conclusions because there is a reflection on the key elements in the beginning of the book and essential points are highlighted in the individual chapters. Apart from technical solutions for various test automation requirements, “soft” factors as human interaction are also covered in multiple chapters. Furthermore the appendix contains a catalog with web reference of the tools covered in the case study chapters.

As mentioned before, there are also some chapters describing test automation by using some form of model-based testing. The chapter by Stefan Mohacsi and Armin Beer describe the application of MBT for end-user application testing at the European Space Agency. Particularly interesting is the evaluation of the Return on Investment (ROI). Model-based testing of mobile applications is covered in another chapter by Antti Jääskeläinen and others. It also deals with test environment challenges that come up when testing on mobile devices. Finally there is a chapter by Ann Gustafson Robinson and Harry Robinson (the MBT community interviewed Harry in 2011). This chapter contains a nice example of test case generation using models and for example emphasizes the early availability of comprehensive test suites as one key advantage.

To sum it up, this book can be recommended to anyone starting with test automation, but also to test experts, because it compresses a lot of experience in just one book.

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