THINK OUT-OF-THE-BOX

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Pattern summary

The best automation solutions are often found by concentrating on what the test case is trying to check and forgetting how it is executed manually

Category

Design

Context

This pattern is always valid

Description

When tackling some automation problem, it pays to look for unconventional solutions

Implementation

There are quite a few ways to implement this pattern. Here some ideas:

  • For a start KEEP IT SIMPLE and TAKE SMALL STEPS. Once you better understand the problem try to think about it from different viewpoints
  • Can you automate some of the tasks surrounding the test automation? For example, as part of pre-processing for a given set of tests, perhaps some data needs to be set up in a database or file. Write (or ask someone to write for you) a small utility or script to populate the data you need. This can then be called as part of the set-up for that test, and this helps toward UNATTENDED TEST EXECUTION.
  • ASK FOR HELP: ask a tester about different ways to get the same results or ask a developer how the functionality you want to test is implemented
  • SHARE INFORMATION: Explain to testers, developers or other automators your problem, maybe all together you come on a better solution
  • Search in internet forums how other people have solved the same problem
  • Sleep over it: sometimes in the evening a problem hovers like an impregnable wall, but in the morning suddenly the wall has become much lower!

Potential problems

If you don't get a better idea immediately, use what you have: a not so good solution is still much better than no solution at all

Issues addressed by this pattern

COMPLEX ENVIRONMENT
HARD-TO-AUTOMATE
MANUAL MIMICRY
MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
UNAUTOMATABLE TEST CASES

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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