In the early eighties I got a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. A fine little piece of hardware.
On that machine I wrote my first lines of code - created my own space invaders like arcade game. Approximately at the same time I started using Comal 80 and for a few years I spend quite some time on this. In the beginning of the nineties I was introduced to TurboPascal, and for a year or so I used that language.
Then I started at Copenhagen Business School studying logistics, and I didn't spend an hour on coding before I in 2004 started working with automated test, using TestPartner. Back then it was a Compuware product, today its being sold by MicroFocus.
TestPartner used VBA scripting to generate the code. I didn't know VBA, so I did capture/replay and got a little help from the developers (has to say that I was the only person in the "testing department").
So I did create automated test scripts. Were they any good ? I think so, yes. But not in version 1.0, and not in 2.0 or 3.0.
I spend ages re-writing, splitting up scripts, making error handling better, continuous improvements, which of cause had an impact on my ability to expand the suite of test scripts.
I have since then worked with automation tools such as Quick Test Professional (QTP), Rational Functional Tester (RFT) and Selenium. They are all capture/replay tools, but the scripts needs to be tweeked, error handling must be added, "intelligence" must be build in etc. All tasks that needs a developers involvement, or at least very good knowledge on the programming language by the tester.
So, do all testers by default have a developer background ? No, they don't! Do all testers feel an impelling urge to learn how to write code ? Probably not - if so they would most likely be developers and not testers.
That leaves us with a few specialized persons, making it hard for an organization which would like to do automated testing. They either don't have the knowledge in-house, or can not afford to call in those specialist who actually can do automation.
Isn't that a problem ?
I think so - I think it's a huge problem!
Then just the other day I came across a product that was new to me; WorkSoft Certify.
Never heard of it before, but here it seemed that the solution to my problem was.
A scriptless automation tool, simply point click, modify attributes in a GUI, and error handling, comparison, etc., all in a GUI Excellent !!
Now, I haven't had the chance to test the tool just yet, but I will as soon as I can, and I'll get back with my thoughts on it.
But still, QTP and RFT are the 2 most commenly used automation tools. They are good tools, but the need the touch of an expert to give you value for your money.
Could we be so lucky that they also in a not so far from now future would be fitted with a usefull GUI that will enable us "non-developers" to do good automated scripting as well ?????