January 2021 Meeting at SQGNE (online)

      View the slides       •       View recorded [Zoom] presentation

Why I Love Test Automation... Why I Hate Test Automation


Speaker: Bob Crews, CEO of SQGNE sponsor Checkpoint Technologies

Wednesday January 20, 2021   —   breakouts/networking 6-6:30, meeting 6:30-8

Few things in life conflict me as much as test automation. I started my IT career in 1988 as a COBOL programmer and developed a passion for QA and test automation in 1998. The benefits and value of test automation – when implemented and used correctly – can be significant! This is why I love test automation! I've consulted and trained on test automation for over 260 organizations. It's interesting the most common error I see is failure by organizations to look at test automation holistically in the context of improving software quality! It's easy to fall into this trap. This is why I hate test automation.

During this session we'll discuss why test automation can easily trigger a “split personality” to develop in many of us.

With a focus on love for test automation:

  • We'll elaborate upon the less common benefits of test automation
  • I'll share tips on how to get more out of test automation
  • We'll reflect upon its evolution and contemplate its future (and factor in Artificial Intelligence)
  • And I'll ask each of you to share why you love test automation – if you do

With emotions which may border on hate:

  • I'll expand upon how test automation drives some to lose sight of the ultimate objective – software quality!
  • We'll weigh the difference between using test automation to improve tests vs. to improve software quality
  • I'll share insight, and ask for you to share yours, on strategies to keep from losing sight of software quality and continuous improvement

About the Speaker:

Bob Crews, CEO and Co-founder of Checkpoint Technologies, is a consultant and trainer with 30 years of IT experience in full life-cycle development and software testing. Bob and his organization provide services and solutions focused on QA with a concentration in functional, performance and security testing. He has assisted organizations such as Harvard University, Raymond James, the FBI, J.P. Morgan Chase, and the Department of Veterans Affairs in developing teams, processes and solutions to improve the quality of their applications and systems. Bob has consulted for over 290 organizations on QA, effective software testing, building effective teams and process, test automation, and risk analysis. He is exceptionally passionate about the future of IT and software testing and believes “The best is yet ahead!”

Tricentis Strategic Account Executive AJ Ford and Engineer Zeena Kabir presented a most enlightening description and demonstration of Tosca scriptless testing in December's “Off-Script: The Truth about Scriptless Vs. Scripted Test Automation.” SQGNE member Thara Rao not only recommended and linked us to Tricentis, but she also won the raffle for a copy of Jim McCarthy's Dynamics of Software Development courtesy of Darin Kalashian and DSK Consulting.

Meetings are held on the *THIRD* Wednesday of each month from September through June, until the pandemic at the offices of RSA, 174 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford, MA 01730. We want to serve our members as best we can and intend to resume in-person meetings when the CoVid-19 danger subsides. Sorry, we haven't figured out how to distribute free Flatbread pizza through an Internet connection.

Early participants can join a Zoom breakout room for networking 6:00-6:30.
(Please also provide ideas on ways to improve the online networking.)
Thanks to SQGNE Director Mike Arnold for getting us onto Zoom and running the online meetings.

Quality is everyone's job but not everyone's specialty. Whatever your role, SQGNE helps you better understand and apply software quality to improve your job and career performance. Attending monthly meetings, reading and posting on the SQGNE LinkedIn Group, and volunteering in various SQGNE capacities all contribute to your benefit. We especially need your help with membership and communications but welcome your involvement in whatever you'd like to do.

Because of uncertainty regarding in-person meetings, we'll be conducting online Zoom meetings at least through February, which gives us the opportunity to have outstanding non-local speakers. In order to present programs that help you, we need you to recommend monthly presentation topics and hopefully also speakers, including yourself. Recordings of our Zoom presentations, starting May 2020, are accessible on the Past Presentations and Calendar pages.

SQGNE is initiating economical, convenient online professional training, including “A Practitioner’s Guide To Agile/Scrum Software Development” and “CSQE Exam Prep”. Contact Darin Kalashian at seminars@SQGNE.org or darin@dskquality.com for more information and to discuss additional topics.

SQGNE relies on sponsors like Checkpoint Technologies and Flatbread Pizza of Bedford to enable us to continue our 27th season as an educational and networking forum for promoting software quality and professionals. RSA will not be hosting in-person meetings, so we need a new site north of Route 128 (ideally in the Bedford/Burlington area) for when in-person meetings do resume. Please help us identify topics, speakers, and additional sponsors. Contact Robin Goldsmith at robin@gopromanagement.com.


Please donate software/quality/testing books for upcoming raffles when live meetings resume. Thanks to member Manny Jasus for donating a bunch and to Director Bill Basinski for arranging to receive some MIT library deaccessions. We can use more, since we're essentially out of what once seemed a never-ending supply.



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Aug 2020