Building a Culture of Automation: Insights from Alex Chernyak

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About This Episode:

In today's episode, a special guest is joining us – Alex Chernyak, the CEO and founder of ZAPTEST, a leading company revolutionizing software testing and RPA.

Alex shares his expertise on the importance of automation in today's competitive landscape. He discusses the need for executives to implement automation across their organizations and highlights the role of developers in choosing the technologies and processes that best suit their needs. Throughout the episode, Alex emphasizes the power of automation and how it can be used to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and enhance overall business outcomes.

Also, discover the unique features and capabilities of ZAPTEST, a cutting-edge tool that allows for automation across different domains and platforms.

But it's not just about the technology – Alex also stresses the importance of collaboration and communication between subject matter experts and automation mechanics in the automation process. He shares valuable insights on creating a culture of automation within organizations and encourages listeners to embrace automation as a catalyst for growth and success.

If you're curious about the future of automation and want to uncover the strategies and tools that can propel your organization forward, this episode is a must-listen. Tune in now and discover how automation can transform your business and empower your teams for greater success.

See ZAPTEST in action for yourself for free. Try it now:

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About Alex Chernyak

Alex Chernyak

Alex ZAP Chernyak, a trailblazer in the realm of software automation and a recognized leader in the industry, has dedicated nearly two decades to transforming the way organizations approach software testing and automation. As the CEO and founder of ZAPTEST, he has championed a groundbreaking technology that empowers enterprises to streamline software testing and RPA with remarkable speed, ease, and efficiency.

Born in Ukraine during the era of the former Soviet Union, Alex embarked on his software engineering journey in his early twenties. He possesses a diverse background, with interests ranging from technology to music and martial arts. After completing his service in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) with honor, he made the pivotal decision to relocate to the United States.

Alex's passion for the Quality Assurance field led him to form a strategic alliance with Mercury Interactive, an Israeli-based company specializing in test automation. His partnership with Mercury marked the inception of ZAP, a mission-driven venture dedicated to delivering advanced implementations of Mercury's solutions in the USA and worldwide. Working closely with Mercury's R&D and product marketing teams, Alex actively contributed to critical opportunities at Fortune 500 companies, all while focusing on optimizing test processes and maximizing testing return on investment.

Around 2008, following HP's acquisition of Mercury, Alex embarked on an innovative journey into the realm of Computer Vision UI object recognition. ZAP crafted the initial prototype, known as ZAP-fiX, as an add-in for HP/Mercury QuickTest Pro. With the rapid proliferation of cross-browser and mobile platforms, ZAP-fiX gained immense popularity and paved the way for ZAP to transition into a product-focused company. Thus, the development of independent test automation technology, known today as ZAPTEST, began in earnest.

Alex's reputation extends beyond the realm of software automation, as he is a distinguished member of the Forbes Technology Council, a prestigious honor granted by invitation only. He represents Forbes in discussions related to software testing and test automation and has contributed valuable insights through various videos and articles in the Forbes Technology Council Library.

Furthermore, Alex is an esteemed member of Gartner TechCEO, where he collaborates closely with Gartner analysts to shape the future of software automation. Under his leadership, ZAPTEST has gained widespread adoption among enterprises, enhancing software testing and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) efficiency and productivity. This, in turn, has led to reduced costs in DevOps and BizOps process automation and the optimization of return on investment (ROI) for numerous organizations.

In summary, Alex Chernyak's visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to software automation have not only propelled ZAPTEST to the forefront of the industry but have also significantly impacted the way businesses approach software testing and automation, ushering in an era of enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Connect with Alex Chernyak

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[00:00:00] The cultural benefit of automating any old procedures that you have. One of the very strong statements for the automation community to have in a modern corporation. Anything that can be automated should be automated. But I truly stand beside that message for any executive, anything in your company that you can automate, you should automate to be competitive. Well, reach out to test automation teams because they have a culture of automation and experience and expertise and opened the gate to them to start talking to the business operation managers, reach out to your procurement, reach out to your HR, and say, Hey guys, let us do pilot and let us automate most mission-critical process for you and you will see the benefit of it.

[00:00:46] Get ready to discover the most actionable end-to-end automation advice from some of the smartest testers on the planet. Hey, I'm Joe Colantonio, host of the Test Guild Automation Podcast, and my goal is to help you succeed with creating automation awesomeness.

[00:01:07] Joe Colantonio Hey, it's Joe, and welcome to another episode of the Test Guild Automation Podcast, and today we'll be talking to Alex, all about Different Approaches for Automation, DevOps, Biz Ops, and RPA, and it's really going to help fully cover all things that are concerned executives, developers, testers. So if you're listening, this is definitely for you. If you don't know, Alex is a pioneering force in software automation with a career spanning two decades marked by innovation and leadership. And I've been in the game for a while and I could swear I've seen Alex at different events for years and years and years, so really excited to have him on the show. He's also the CEO and founder of ZAPTEST, and Alex has revolutionized software testing in RPA, offering speed, ease, and efficiency. What are the different solutions to help you get there? He's also a Ukraine native and former IDF serviceman. Alex's journey from Strategic Alliance with Mercury Interactive to establishing ZAPTEST underscores his adaptability and vision. And he's contributed to multiple places like the Forbes Technology Council. I think he's contributed to Garner Tech CEO highlights, and his influence is unparalleled in the tech space. Alex's leadership has not only elevated ZAPTEST but also helped redefine software testing and automation. Really excited to finally get him on the show and talk to him. As I said, I've been seeing him for years at different events and you don't want to miss this episode. Check it out. And as you know, I always say seeing is believing. And that's what's great about ZAPTEST. They actually have a free version. You can try it for yourself and see all the benefits that Alex went over in this episode. So all you need to do to get it is go to and click on the ZAPTEST free button.

[00:02:48] Joe Colantonio Hey Alex, welcome to The Guild.

[00:02:52] Alex Chernyak Hey, thanks for having me, Joe. Glad to be here. I want to start by telling how big of a fan I am. I love your show. And I love the way what you do it. This was my dream to combine software automation and entertainment. And you've done it for us. Thank you.

[00:03:08] Joe Colantonio All right. Absolutely. Thank you so much. And as I mentioned, I've followed you for years and years and years, probably because I started off with Mercury Interactive as the first vendor testing solutions I ever got involved with. So you've been around for a while. So how did you get into automation testing that early in the game?

[00:03:27] Alex Chernyak Oh, thanks for asking that. First of all, I was a drop-off of Israeli Special Ops, and my mission in life was to do something significant. And when I came to the States, I came across to the folks that served in the Army with and they said, Hey, we're in a new game, test automation, that's a new industry if you want to join. So here's the whitepaper, learn the Winrunner, get certified and we'll talk. This is how I got into the industry. But I always had this dream of combining and applying special ops principles to software consulting and it worked. We managed to be, we had a reputation of Mercury SWAT Team. So we'd been on every single gig that's had some difficulties. We were flying around the globe, me and my team. So that's how we started. And because I've been working with R&D very close and flying to Mercury R&D and to Israel and to times where there were unrest on the streets and there's some resistance and anti-fighting going on and we were in the latest and greatest advice them what better to do and what technology and functionality industry needs because I've been talking to the clients directly that's got my involvement and the subject matter expertise, if you will. Later we started to work on our own add-on, which used to be ZAP Fix where were giving it away to clients of quick test professionals because we wanted to optimize object recognition and whatnot. And this is how we transition to the full-blown software company ourselves.

[00:04:59] Joe Colantonio Awesome. So, Alex, I'm just curious to know, you've been in the field for a while then? What's exciting about the current trends and maybe the direction you see ZAPTEST going that you think people should know more about?

[00:05:11] Alex Chernyak AI. I live and breathe AI right now. We're in a new, very exciting momentum in everybody's careers and I'm glad that I come to this momentum and have an opportunity to do something exciting. We're definitely building up AI, injecting it in ZAPTEST, and soon it's going to be coming out of the more visible modules that our customers will be using. Another thing that excites me, it's the ability to bridge between DevOps and BizOps through all the automation, and basically over the nearly 30 years of the automation industry, basically corporate world has adapted automation and has an automation culture. It's not absolutely foreign language for anyone. So everybody understands what automation is, and the significance of automation.

[00:06:08] Joe Colantonio How do you get that automation culture, though? Especially DevOps and BizOps? A lot of times people think of just functional automation. When you're talking about automation and DevOps and BizOps, what kind of automation is it?

[00:06:19] Alex Chernyak Well, for DevOps predominantly, of course, it's the software testing and this is where a bridge between the development and the QA, right? That's already been done. We'd be an evangelist of test automation for over 20, 30 years as long as the industry exists. But now, we have a new game. Now we need to automate the BizOps. The BizOps, it's completely untouched, very lightweight touched, if you will, for many reasons, lack of education and culture on the operational teams about automation, the lack of technical abilities and experience with automation, and for that matter, I see testers that will be those evangelists that will reach out to BizOps and offer their services to operational team. And we, as the toolers, the people that develop technology that helps testers and operational teams to make automation, giving them seamless automation where the testers basically don't need to rebuild their frameworks or pivot their ways, the way they do automation. They just either repurpose scripts that they already have for testing frameworks into the operation and continue automation, and the BizOps world the same way they do in test automation today.

[00:07:34] Joe Colantonio I guess can you just define what is BizOps and is BizOps more in the realm of an executive or is that also developers and testers?

[00:07:43] Alex Chernyak Good question. Business Operation. BizOps for Business Operations, right? So business operations, anything in the corporation that does not do development because today, any company, is a hybrid of a software company with the business of what this company represents. Anything that focuses on the business of that company and we can start with the core operational team like procurement, accounts payable, and receivable, HR, and even the sales report, anything that supports the operation of this company may be automated, but we can go into further with that. Besides just optimizing the operational processes, we can automate any application that is human being done through the digital interface can be automated specifically with ZAPTEST today.

[00:08:34] Joe Colantonio So is it mainly package-based applications? Like you said, it's other maybe not necessarily web-based front ends of that may be harder to automate. And that's where I guess RPA comes in?

[00:08:45] Alex Chernyak Well, in a sense, right. So in the traditional world, it's been divided where the testing tools were focused on automating the testing processes and RPA tools were automating the operational process. But in fact, if you step back, you'll see that pretty much the same style of automation, just the different tools being used in a different way. .... is different of course, where in the test automation you focus on and validation. If we talk about functional automation, right? But on the RPA side, on operational automation, you focus more on the processing of the data so that in fact, if you automated logging procedure for testing purposes to drive, log in into the system for further test automation. You can repurpose the script into the RPA, allowing both basic logging of the same script into the system and continue doing the operational processes, what it does. We're running a lot and our customer bases today customer saving a lot of time and the budget of repurposing the reuse of the framework that they developed for testing into the operational costs and vice versa. Basically, you're empowering with ZAPTEST at least. This is a model of our technology. We are empowering testers to be not just the best operational automators but spread our Software Automation Center of Excellence, which delivers automation across the board for any group that needs their help within the corporation.

[00:10:26] Joe Colantonio I like to dive into a few of those things that you just mentioned, and I like to use the framework I think you laid out in your Forbes article on the three main factors of test automation or the three main tests, automation factors. The first one was the product. I want to go through each one and see how it applies both to executives and maybe the tester developers. So product, obviously, I assume it has to do says, ZAPTEST or whatever product someone is using. Can we talk a little bit about the product phase and maybe how ZAPTEST fits into that factor? Went for from executive first and then maybe developers and testers.

[00:10:58] Alex Chernyak Absolutely. So if we talk about 3P models, you're talking about it's a product, process, and people. We can look at that in any sequence. It depends on the need, but it will start with the product. Product, we're talking about automation tools in 11 terms. So simplistic. The automation tool has to focus on cross-platform, cross-technology automation, meaning we were one of the first in the industry that start the concept of computer vision object recognition. Within ZAPTEST, we absolutely stayed away from the dumb model and how unorthodox it was at that time. We started to use OCR and then reached OCR with a bunch of mathematical algorithms that would become on the stereo. Today's ZOE, our ZAP object engine allows you to automate and not negotiate what user interface you automate. It's automating using visual computer vision technology in the simplest way. So that gives you as a tool power to automate any application in any process you'd like to the even extent that we reverse it into your BDD, in fact that you don't need a Gherkin and the Selenium on the back end, if you're talking about the Agile automation, you can take any sketch from the whiteboard, take a picture of your phone and scan it on the ZAP scanner to build object repository based on the picture and you construct the script even before application being released. As an Automator, you're always ahead of the developers rather than waiting in line. Just got back to the point of the product. So product has to be absolutely flexible in terms of what it can automate and which delivery schedule it can meet because with ZAPTEST for example, you can shift the delivery schedule depends on the style, and what your developers are using. Again, as I mentioned, if you're an Agile, you can be on the mockup automation and you can be early in the automation phase, right? If you work the more conventional way, when you have a subject matter expert that suggests, the scenario is for automation. We have video recording scenario technology that allows non-technical personnel, less technical, I should say, to record desktop video and pass it on to automators within the same ZAPTEST framework. So Automators from their time zone can just open their prerecorded scenario. It's the same shell and apply, parse it to the objects, and create automation based on the video. They don't even need to access the live application, and those plays apply to many scenarios in our everyday lives. If you're an employee of the company and you running an automation group, or specifically if you're a consulting firm or consultant that may have some restrictions or if you work remotely in a different time zone, make sense? So getting back to the tool, it has to automate anything, can run on a cross-platform fashion, we have a technology that allows you to structure all in any platform of diverse denominations. You can have a physical virtual machine, physical server virtual machine, and mobile phone emulator all in one stock and run one script across all of them in parallel because our object recognition is very forgiving. It's a computer vision. It does not negotiate what properties of the UI objects you have. So it's the same absolute the same way. So again, back to the tool, tool has to automate any application, meet any delivery schedule, any development schedule, and has to be absolutely cross-platform. And on top of everything, you will talking about merging BizOps and DevOps, it has to have a seamless framework, seamless application to whatever the task you automate without negotiating what you're doing it for a business operational, you're doing it for a quality assurance group.

[00:15:01] Joe Colantonio Nice. I was doing a little research and I think you just came out with the web driver integration, but I'm just a little confused because it sounds like a technology does more vision-based. So how does Web driver then tie in? Is it, like you said, being able to handle wherever you are within your company, with your technology? So it's seamless and that's why you have this web driver integration or what's that all about?

[00:15:21] Alex Chernyak Absolutely. Thank you, Joe. Yeah, we're very excited about it. And you've been holding back for a while, merging with Web driver. But recently we understood with the whole volume of, and I want to give Selenium taking my hat to them. They did a fantastic job of popularizing technology, open-source that changed the culture of automation perception completely. We want to invite that driver development community into ZAPTEST and with the integration of web driver, we're offering the community multiple benefits. Benefit number one, if you're using web driver and if you're happy with web driver, it does what you need. We're giving you a component-based architecture web driver that for years wasn't there because of the web driver it's a very low development level technology that requires a lot of scripting. It's very linear. It does not presume many components that can be shareable and reusable. That's a lot of mental groundwork that you need to do. So this is what we do better open the ZAPTEST. If you use ZAPTEST in the web driver within ZAPTEST, you will have an object repository that you can repurpose the different scripts. You're not to mention that you're going to have all the functional libraries, all the data sources, and everything that you would have done if you used a component-oriented tool, make sense? Another huge benefit that you will have from using web driver open ZAPTEST. It's a three-way automation. You have three engines built in. You have a web driver that you're going to be driving off for non-web objects you can use the ZOE our native object engine which uses computer vision. So all in the same script and we have demos online that you can watch and see how it's done. And on top of everything, you can use API calls within the same script. So you can design any place you'd like for your automation. No restriction whatsoever. You have any task automation technology within ZAPTEST. If your manager is going to ask you to automate something. There's never going to be a reason that your tool ZAPTEST will not do it. You can automate it either web or nonweb mobile and mainframe, even mock-ups, anything that needs automation can be automated with ZAPTEST.

[00:17:44] Joe Colantonio All right. Sounds awesome. How does it work, though? I know people have thousands of thousands of Selenium tests already in a framework. Do they have to start with ZAP first or do they import it into ZAP and then they get all these benefits? How hard is it to then integrate ZAP then into maybe if they have a very large existing automation framework based on Selenium?

[00:18:06] Alex Chernyak Well, we're working on the integration of the existing frameworks due to be released soon. But today you can continue automation with ZAPTEST using the web driver as is. So you're going to leverage all the automation skills and there are some components that you will be leveraging going further as far as datasets or functional libraries that you have, external and what's not. If you'd like to create that. Absolutely.

[00:18:34] Joe Colantonio Nice. So I just know when I was working for health care, we started off using Selenium and it turned out we had to interact like a year later interact with a thick client application that would come up through the web browser. And we couldn't automate it. We had to do all these jinky things to get it to work. It sounds like using something like ZAP, if we had that, that would have been like, No, we'll just use ZAP because then we get the benefit of the Selenium, but we can also then automate these other things that we didn't anticipate as well, it sounds like.

[00:19:01] Alex Chernyak Absolutely, Joe. Definitely. Thanks for saying that. You got it. So you have a crossover with ZAPTEST. There are no limitations or pavement on the road that's going to block you because if your objects are not HTML-based, you can kick in a ZAP ZOE statement, ZAP ZOE object, ZAPTEST object when your web driver cannot do. And on the top, again, as I said, you can also do API.

[00:19:29] Joe Colantonio Yeah. So with the API then usually someone needs to pull in a library like REST Assured or something and then code it up. It sounds like your technology also does component-based automation. Does it make API testing easier where they don't have to just do the calls themselves? How does that work?

[00:19:46] Alex Chernyak Well, it's working in a similar fashion as the other API tools, but here you have duality. You can use ZAPTEST because we have a different studio that's every basically member of the team depends on their role in the process going to use. And one of the studios, it's an API studio, it's a standalone studio where you can use it as a standalone API automation technology. We have full parameterization, we've got all the correlation, all the managers, and whatnot, but got a lot of utilities built in. That makes your life easier as an API automator. But also, if you use a one script studio, which is or UI automation studio for ZAPTEST, you can use the API calls within the UI script. To mix and match it. And that some call is going to be from user interface validating this step, and another call will be from API to see how the system responds to that. So you can validate sanity.

[00:20:43] Joe Colantonio All right. As automation engineers and testers, we're geeking out. We love this. But like, if an executive's listening to this, why should they care? What is the big benefit of this for them that you think should be a takeaway?

[00:20:55] Alex Chernyak Well, where would I start? I mean, with developers, it's easier. It's easy to explain. But with executives, we started from and I can start very high, how I usually talk to see executives. First of all, we bridging the DevOps and BizOps. This is how we started this conversation. That's already a huge benefit. There's a cultural benefit of automating any old procedures that you have. I'm working with Gartner very close and I'm a big fan of Gartner. I love those guys. I think they are true visionaries. And one of the very strong statements for the automation community they have in a modern corporation, anything that can be automated should be automated, and yadda, yadda, yadda. That explains what the benefits. But I truly stand beside that message for any executive, anything in your company that you can automate, you should automate to be competitive. Now we're going to dive lower a little bit from that message. We can start discussing applications who are going to do it and to whom. And we already mentioned that as well, that I would start evangelizing automation within the company from tester. I would reach out to test automation teams because they have a culture of automation and experience and expertise and opened the gate to them to start talking to the business operations managers. Reach out to your procurement, reach out to your HR, and say, Hey guys, let us do pilot. Let us automate most mission-critical processes for you. And you will see the benefit of it. And this is how you cross over into a culture of automation, from DevOps to BizOps. And again, as a tooler, I can guarantee you that our tool supports this motion.

[00:22:43] Joe Colantonio Excellent. So we covered the product piece of the three main test automation factors. Let's go over the other two really quickly. The second one is people. So how would you break down what the people have to do with the automation factors and how do you decide on test automation?

[00:22:59] Alex Chernyak Of course, a lot of because they are the people who define and set expectations that other people need to meet. I was one of the part of the design group of the business process testing tool and the beginning in the Mercury. You remember that tool was part of the quality center. Basically, it was designed for the commotion of differentiating a role in the testing process. In the Winrunner era, we had the idea of one person that does automation, but then we figure out that it's not correct because you always have a person that knows what needs to be automated. You have a subject matter expert that not necessarily need to know automation, and you have an automation mechanic, which is us out automators that need to take the requirements and develop automation, pass it on for execution and execute it ourselves, pass it on just the result. People who will be part of the automation process, first of all, need to have a distinguished role. And one of the places maybe you will have two roles to make it simple. You have a subject matter expert group that may be business analyst manual testers. Don't try to make them automators. I would like to keep it separate because it's a very unique skill of knowing business aspect of the process. And making sure that they can dictate the scenarios to automate to automatable. Then of course, you have a group of the automators those are the core mechanics that will be taking those scenarios and any forms, build an automation, and keep make sure that all this train runs around flawlessly without the hiccups. So that takes a different set of skills, different education, more aligned with the software development skills and software development, education, and experience. And if you don't interrupt or don't disrupt that, you're always going to have healthy automation from the company, that's going to be reducing the maintenance because maintenance, that's what kills all the projects. You're making the poor choice of tool. You're making a poor choice of skills in your group, and you're going to end up with the huge overhead maintenance that's going to kill all the budget, eat all the budget, kill the effort of the automation, make sense of. A lot of project that fell through in my 25-year career were based on high maintenance.

[00:25:26] Joe Colantonio We're both someone says, well, A.I. is going to solve all that. We don't need to worry about people anymore. How hardcore are you with the AI?

[00:25:34] Alex Chernyak Well, it's very tense because we're all professionals and we definitely would like to stay in the game. But we've been through different tsunamis of web and other technological changes. Right? And mobile. That's definitely much more overwhelming than anything that we've seen yet. But as long as the people still going to make a final decision on any technological procedure, humans still going to be in charge, and the technology and the processes that we're going to develop and automate will be oriented to humans. What I do believe in the AI, this is why I'm very excited about it. It's going to tremendously turbo-boost our productivity. I'm not suggesting that we need to cut the headcount. I suggest that we can automate much more of what we've got. And the perception of deliverables will change with AI.

[00:26:32] Joe Colantonio Awesome. And so the third piece then is process. Well, how does the process play into test automation factors that you've seen?

[00:26:40] Alex Chernyak Absolutely. So the process relies more to the development schedule or the operational process. Other automators, we need to design the work approach based on what we need to deliver. For example, if I'm running an automation game for a very early adapter agile team where I have a very short duration of the build, I need to focus on the old kind of early automation, the routines, and procedures. If my team does not presume that they're going to have a subject matter expert, but rather my automator and I'm wearing a manager hat right now or executive. My automators knew the object expertise may be part of the development team that knows the business role of the application and what needs to be developed because usually, we suggest if we're in a very kind of agile environment, we do what we used to call Three Amigos meeting, where we have a product owner, head of development, and head of testing. We all have to be in this meeting. We'll take the same requirements, we agree on the same mockup, and we're going to run building automation while the developers is building the actual software, and we're going to need them at the release point. This is the process that they have to meet. If my schedule is less tense and I have more time and I do have a team of subject matter expert that are appointed or part of the team, so my process is going to change. I'm going to use, for example, artifacts like video scenario recording, and they're going to have a team that's going to be responsible for them to make sure that they develop and that they are accurate and will also allow rec studio audio narration that basically you can create all the desktop movie and pass it on, and the automators will pick up this video understands without taking anybody else time on their own time zone and the build the automation because you can parse either mock-up or you can parse video with ZAPTEST scanner. It's built for a complete object repository and they can construct the entire automation without even taking anybody else more time or in some cases even touching the application life for whatever reason that might be. You're changing the process as you need. The process of automation, as you said, needs to be very carefully discussed. Every executive has to be honest to the situation. If they have a budget for a particular skill set or they don't have a budget for a particular skill set, make sense and build a process that's process-oriented rather than skill-centric because we're all human people's objective changes, people common, people living, and in order to protect the process altogether. I suggest all executives to be and evaluate their budget, their headcount, and possibilities of building the automation group accordingly.

[00:29:32] Joe Colantonio Budget executives, a lot of times I've worked for a company where they said, we're getting rid of all the vendor tools, we're going open source. I swear they spent more money doing that than staying with the vendor. How do you inform the executives that, yes, it's open source, but there's a cost to it. Maybe you need to weigh both these options. I love vendors and I also love open source. But there has to be a point where there is a cost associated with open source as well and give them a fair way to evaluate both solutions.

[00:30:03] Alex Chernyak You're absolutely right. And we have this conversation plenty. This is why we made a hybrid solution. Anything at ZAP is a hybrid. If you look at us, we're very unorthodox in any way we do things. And we intentionally challenge ourselves to do so because you have to innovate something new. That's based on my experience of being an evangelist for 20 years. If I'll tell you that you're going to fly tomorrow. You won't believe me, and you probably won't like it. But if I tell you that you can jump high and you can move faster this way, then you're going to try that because it's not that far away from reality. What I'm trying to say, at ZAP, we're trying to advance technology and the community gradually. So to address your question about open source, for us as commercial vendors, it's always a challenge because there's, as I said, Selenium guys did a great job of popularizing technology, what comes to tools, of course, open source is the first choice. But as you said, there's a huge overhead, huge cost of maintenance, and upfront labor and maintenance altogether. At ZAP, we hybrid it, we offer our enterprise customers unlimited licenses of our software. Once you on board ZAPTEST, you can run it unlimited for any purpose of any group in your company.

[00:31:28] Joe Colantonio Even on containers, you could spin it up infinitely.

[00:31:30] Alex Chernyak Anywhere. Anything that has a domain name of your company eligible to start using ZAPTEST right away. That gives you a sense of the commercial quality technology like ZAPTEST because we have a top-notch engineer working on that, PhD in Math and whatnot, and also the ability to use it unrestricted at any purpose you need it. This is why you can easily infuse ZAPTEST once you onboarded the first phase if you executive in any group, if new manager, let's say test automation manager, you can start building up your team by offering your company more automation services within the company. And I always encourage my customers, who are the managers, I said, Don't stop. I will help you to do automation awareness and other groups with all collaterals. I'm going to co-host and teach and educate the community, all the executives on how much you can do for them and what the automation in ZAPTEST can do as well.

[00:32:35] Joe Colantonio That's a lot. People, process, and products to get ROI, especially when you go in open source. So you have all this experience with ZAP that's been around for a while. Have you baked into this as well, into the tool so that it's almost like best practices are baked into it so people don't have to learn from scratch over and over again how to get it up and running or where to use it best? You mentioned educating your executives, but is it explicitly built into the tool itself or the process that makes it easier maybe? Or I don't know if it makes any sense to make the process easier. This one, just using the tool.

[00:33:09] Alex Chernyak That is a great question. I'm glad that you asked. In order to enable people faster, we are once ZAP's main account ZAP expert. So basically if you're on board ZAPTEST, you have unlimited licenses and we're giving you a complimentary full-time expert who was trained and certified by us. We're going to be, if you wish, as a consultant sort of role that's going to work for you every day. The mission of our experts, not just the script and the expedited productivity with ZAPTEST also act as a first year of support. So you don't need to call ZAPTEST support. You reach out to your expert. And John knows, he's like a resident Automator, if you will, with the new company. He knows the framework. He knows the skillset of people. Many of them already know him. It's easier for him to advise you and answer your questions to what you're trying to achieve as a first year of support. Of course, John also going to be writing scripts for whatever the onboarding manager needs to but also John can outsource and build automation for other groups. If of course, in agreement with that to start evangelizing automation to other groups within the company. Education is the big key of that. Besides the educational materials that we have online, we also, speaking of AI, building up educational modules based on the AI, of course, but we have a human resident who will be a part of the team that makes sure that you always answer the question and time. He will advise you on the best practices, how you build architecture, how you design sort of an automation component, and what's not. And this way you guys are going to be productive if you onboard new members, John's going to work with them and enable them and do mentoring sessions to make sure that they onboarded properly.

[00:35:01] Joe Colantonio I've written in my note. I don't know if this is the same thing. ZAP partnership program. Is that the same? Is that you’re partnering with ZAP with an expert? Or is this something totally different?

[00:35:10] Alex Chernyak Well, we have two main go-to-market strategies. So of course, one is that any vendor we go reaching out to the regular customers, but we also have a partner program. We're reaching out to the services company and saying, Guys, we have a skyrocketing technology that will help you to deliver more automation for your client, first of all, and you the same way, can bridge from being a testing service partner to being general software automation, service partner, and predominantly next step for you to reach out to operational teams to start offering them services and operations, makes sense? Basically, we empower and service companies to do more than what they're doing today.

[00:35:54] Joe Colantonio Okay, Alex, before we go, is there one piece of advice you can give to someone to help them with their automation testing efforts, and what's the best way to find contact you or learn more about ZAP and to make it extra complicated for you, if you give that one piece of advice for executive for one, and then if someone's listening as a developer, what that one piece of advice would be, and if that makes sense. But one piece of advice for an executive and one piece of actual advice for a developer after listening to this that they can implement.

[00:36:21] Alex Chernyak Of course, for executives to implement automation any way they can, because, through automation, your company no matter what you do, always going to be in a competitive phase. Where are you at? Anywhere where you can automate, try to automate. For developers, I want to advise to choose the technology and the processes that suit you the best and always try to stay in the cross-automation phase sort of. Don't focus just on one application because you never know what other application you will be given to automate tomorrow. Choose tools that you use and the frameworks that you implement to be in the cross broader kind of outlook. And of course, automate as much as you can. And use ZAPTEST.

[00:37:07] Joe Colantonio And what's the best way to find you or contact you or learn more about ZAPTEST?

[00:37:11] Alex Chernyak Well, definitely You can book a meeting with us. If you're a direct customer of your partner. We have a partner page that explains the benefits. And soon we're planning to release that ZAPTALK. That's going to be a podcast where I'm going to be talking about aspects of software automation for executives and developers. And we're going to mix it also with some live aspects of everyday life so we can take our ties off and do like break time together.

[00:37:42] Thanks again for your automation awesomeness. The links of everything we value we covered in this episode. Head in over to And if the show has helped you in any way, why not rate it and review it in iTunes? Reviews really help in the rankings of the show and I read each and every one of them. So that's it for this episode of the Test Guild Automation Podcast. I'm Joe, my mission is to help you succeed with creating end-to-end, full-stack automation awesomeness. As always, test everything and keep the good. Cheers.

[00:38:18] Hey, thanks again for listening. If you're not already part of our awesome community of 27,000 of the smartest testers, DevOps, and automation professionals in the world, we'd love to have you join the FAM at and if you're in the DevOps automation software testing space or you're a test tool provider and want to offer real-world value that can improve the skills or solve a problem for the Guild community. I love to hear from you head on over to And let's make it happen.

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