The Rational Tester is often asked the following question:
“Do I need to be a programmer to implement test automation?”
It’s a valid concern, especially when certain other vendors (that were recently acquired by a printer company) herald their test automation tool so simple, that pre-schoolers can generate tests. While there is a grain of truth in there, the reality of test automation is that once you get beyond the basics, you are going to need to have some coding aptitude. You’ll also need a good coding environment, and this in part, was why Rational Functiona Tester was built upon Eclipse – an excellent all purpose coding environment.
You do not, I repeat, do not need to have a Ph.D in Computer Science or Engineering to be a test automator. I would however argue, that you do need to be a “scripter”. A scripter means you understand basic coding structures such as loops and decision structures, like if…then type logic. A scripter means you understand the basics of variables, like integers and strings. Knowing the difference between a long and short is probably going too far.
The other key point I’ll make here is that coding, or should I really say scripting, with test automation is very repetitive. You find yourself repeating the same types of script edits over and over. You also can benefit a lot from the Google – as any code you likely need as a test automator has already been written.
In the upcoming posts, I’ll attempt to post some of my more common code snippets, to help first time automators get themselves up and running.