Two Must-Read Books for Learning about Software Automation Tools and Best Practices

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Some time ago, I was part of a “test automation” committee assigned to hashing out the best practices for software automation within my company. We met for an hour each week for what seemed like an eternity. I kept thinking, “Why are we trying to reinvent the wheel? Debating about concepts that have already been covered in detail by others?”

Before you get sucked into a similar situation, please do yourself a favor — save yourself and your company’s time by checking out these two books: Software Test Automation– Effective Use of Test Execution Tools by Mark Fewster and Dorothy Graham, and Just Enough Software Test Automation by Daniel J. Moslet and Bruce A. Posey. While I admit that both books are a little dated, the core concepts for software automation contained in them are as sound as it gets.

Software Test Automation – Effective Use of Test Execution Tools

(If you can only get one book on automation, this is the book I would grab)

This book covers all the key automation concepts, including:

  • Principles for good automation script
  • What constitutes a good versus a bad test script
  • Which tests should be automated
  • Choosing an appropriate test tool
  • Case studies and countless other essential topics.

The Just Enough Software Test Automation

(preview at google books):

  • Covers more automation framework type issues than the Fewster and Grahman book.
  • Has a great introduction to the different types of keywords and data-driven approaches with code examples, albeit using slightly dated test tool technology
  • Awesome info on what should be automated
  • Functional test data design discussion
  • Useful details on the automation process in general.

Reading these two books will help you to become the Automation Imagineer we all strive to be. So, in case you find yourself invited to a similar type of meeting/committee, be sure to recommend that these books are read before the meeting. It will give everyone involved a good frame of reference, and best of all? Your sanity will be left intact at the end of the ordeal.

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