Automate everything? A healthy perspective on automation and the use of tools in modern IT.
We need tools to do our work. Robots are getting more and more populair to take over dull and repetitive work. Artificial intelligence will help us tremendously to analyze data to help us get better information about our systems and customers. Oh and all these things also will speed up testing right?
The essence of software development is that during development, we learn about what we need, what the customer really wants and how the product we are building actually works. This is research and development, learning along the way, and needing feedback to get it right. The faster we get feedback the faster we can go. Automation comes with a tasty and digestible story: replace messy, complex humanity with reliable, fast, efficient robots! And this is where it becomes risky! Robots cannot replace human thinking, creativity or learning when there is no data to learn from. Tools can aid that learning and thinking, but cannot replace it.
Are we becoming grumpy old guys? Our fixation on “test automation” (and now on “AI”) is causing us to lose connection with the human, social purposes of software development and testing. Tools are cool! We should use them. We should use them a lot to help us develop an understanding of our products. Tools can help us to be powerful. But what we are seeing often looks like elaborate attempts to avoid making contact with the software, our clients, our customers, and our mission.
In this thought provoking and entertaining talk Paul and Huib will share about their experiences with automation in several organisations. They will also demo how conversations about automation in testing sometimes go. The solutions to these problems are not easy. This talk will give the audience some practical tips and tricks to help our customers more efficient.