Test Automation Patterns

Covering management, process, design and execution patterns to help you recognize common test automation issues and showing you how to identify appropriate patterns to solve the problems.

There are many problems in automating system level test execution. The surprising thing is that many people encounter the same problems, yet they are not aware of common solutions that have worked well for others – these are “patterns”. Seretta Gamba recognized the commonality of these test automation issues and their solutions and, together with Dorothy Graham, has organized them into Test Automation Patterns. Although unit test patterns are known elsewhere, our patterns address more general issues.

This tutorial is structured to cover the general introduction to the wiki plus management-focused issues and patterns on the first morning. Issues such as HIGH ROI EXPECTATIONS or UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS are addressed by patterns such as CLEAR GOALS, MANAGEMENT SUPPORT and MAINTAINABLE TESTWARE. The 1st day session is for everyone, managers, developers, testers, test automators, DevOps etc.
During the 2nd day, we will cover more technical issues and patterns. Issues such as BRITTLE SCRIPTS, INADEQUATE DOCUMENTATION and UNFOCUSED AUTOMATION are address by patterns such as TESTWARE ARCHITECHTURE, DOCUMENT THE TESTWARE, AUTOMATE WHAT’S NEEDED and KILL THE ZOMBIES. The 2nd day session is for test automators, testers, developers, DevOps etc.


1st day session
  • Introduction: identify most pressing automation problems in the room from a management perspective
  • What are issues and patterns in test automation
  • Using the wiki (with exercises using personas)
  • Patterns in depth
  • General discussion of management topics as requested by attendees
2nd day session
  • Introduction: identify most pressing automation problems in the room from a (generic) technical perspective
  • Patterns in depth
  •  Other issues and patterns that attendees wish to address
  • Summary and Conclusion

Required equipment: own laptop

For more detailed outline see the sheet:

Test Automation Patterns

Have you heard a podcast on Test Automation Patterns?

Trainers: Dorothy Graham and Seretta Gamba

Dorothy Graham has been in software testing for over 40 years, and is co-author of 4 books: Software Inspection, Software Test Automation, Foundations of Software Testing and Experiences of Test Automation. She is currently working on a wiki on Test Automation Patterns with Seretta Gamba, and a book to accompany the wiki.
Dot is a popular speaker at international conferences world-wide. She has been on the boards of many conferences and publications in software testing, and was programme chair for EuroSTAR in 1993 (the first) and 2009. She was a founder member of the ISEB Software Testing Board and was a member of the working party that developed the ISTQB Foundation Syllabus. She founded Grove Consultants and provided training and consultancy in software testing for many years, returning to being an independent consultant in 2008.
She was awarded the European Excellence Award in Software Testing in 1999 and the first ISTQB Excellence Award in 2012.

Seretta Gamba has forty years of experience in software development. As test manager at ISS Software GmbH, she was charged in 2001 with implementing test automation. After studying the then current strategies, she developed a kind of keyword-driven testing and a framework to support it. In 2009, the framework was extended to support manual testing. Speaking about this at EuroSTAR, Seretta got the attention of Dorothy Graham who subsequently invited her to contribute a chapter to the book Experiences of Test Automation. After reading the entire book, Seretta noticed recurring patterns in solving automation problems and began to write a book on test automation patterns. She was soon joined by Dorothy and together they developed the Test Automation Patterns wiki.

Together with Dorothy or alone Seretta has held tutorials and talks about test automation and especially Test Automation Patterns at major conferences (STAREast & West, EuroSTAR, etc).

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