76: Neil Suryanarayana: Automation Success Story at Physicians Mutual

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Automation Success Story at Physicians Mutuals

In this episode, we’ll hear about a real world automation success story from Neil from Physicians Mutual. Neil shares the steps he took to implement a successful, large-scale automation effort for his company. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn some actionable best practices that you can use in your own automation efforts.

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About Neil

NeilHeadShot

Neil is a seasoned software professional with interests in technology and project management. His credentials and certifications are reflective of the fact that he is an ardent practitioner and explorer of Quality Assurance methodologies, Test Automation, Agile values & processes and Mobility QA solutions.


Neil has had the distinct opportunity to provide services and deliver solutions to high impact projects with world class companies across industries such as Retail, eLearning, Insurance, Networking & Virtualization, Health Care.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • One of the core Agile tenets, as in the Agile Manifesto individuals and interactions over tools and processes. So this is more of a cultural adoption than a cultural change, not just in terms of the tools. No matter how many tools you change or how many tools you valuate, I don't think you will get there unless you have that cultural change and the management by you
  • Out framework is really a rule book. What we said was, “Every team using automation really needs to join the buzz and join the party, and pretty much adopt this framework.” We did not want each of the project teams defining their own standards, defining their own guidelines. We started out with defining a set of operating procedures for everybody to use. The framework itself … it offers that repeatability aspect for the team so that they don't have to re-engineer the same code again and again. We have a set of common library functions, support library functions. This really has been helping us keep everything centralized.
  • Tips or tricks to really make our UFT scripts robust and ensure that they are not brittle, would be how you engineer your library of common functions. Some of the common functions that you can think of, set value, get value, file manipulation operations. If you leave that code at the perusal of each of the teams and each of the engineers, they tend to write those functions in their own way. 
  • I think the rate at which the technology is evolving, even more so faster than the rate at which the customer's needs are evolving, I think we need to stay ahead of the competition. 
  • I feel it's about open dialogue and tremendous collaboration between the development teams, and the test practice and the testers, and now the dev testers if you really want to call it that persona. This is something that needs to be driven from the management itself
  • The best piece of advice I can give is automation is not a silver bullet, but at the same time be cautious and cognizant of what you want to automate and focus on value on investment rather than just return on investment. 

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