CHECK-TO-LEARN

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Pattern summary

Let new team members learn by checking the health of the existing automation testware

Category

Process

Context

Use this pattern to teach new team members what is already available to the test automation team. This pattern can be used in any context where new people have to be integrated in the automation team

Description

New team members have to learn what is already available and what are "the rules of the game". Asking them to check the health of the existing automation testware has two big advantages:

  • people are positively motivated to dig in
  • the check is done from a fresh point of view
  • by comparing the existing testware with their own experience, newcomers can introduce new ideas, tools and processes

Implementation

Ask newcomers not just to learn how the tool works, but to check the testware. Some suggestions:

  • are the testcases sufficiently documented?
  • how easy is it to find scripts or data, particularly for reuse?
  • how easy is it to write a new test?
  • how easy is it to change a test if the software being tested has changed?
  • how easy is it to find out what went wrong when an automated test fails?

They can keep track of how long it takes to do these tasks - the quicker and easier it is, the healthier the automation is.

Potential problems

Because the newcomers are (obviously) new, they may get a bit lost - but this is actually very useful information about the automation!
Be sure to emphasise that what is being investigated is the automation, not the person! (They don't "fail" the test, the automation does!)

Issues addressed by this pattern

LIMITED EXPERIENCE

Experiences

If you have used this pattern and would like to contribute your experience to the wiki, please go to Feedback to submit your experience or comment.

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