Test Automation Hell

30-minute Talk

Inspired by Dante's Inferno, we explore the Hell of Test Automation, how the damned ended up there and most important: how to get out!


4:40 p.m. – 5:20 p.m. Tuesday 10th


Testers, Managers, Automation Engineers, Product Owners and anyone else remotely interested in TA


  • Test Automation is pointless when done from 'the island that no-one cares about'
  • Hear managers lament when I advise teams to occasionally throw their code away
  • Test Automation is a pipeline if you do not optimize the prerequisites: crap in, crap out!
  • Discover how construction workers have a lot in common with testers, and why that can help us
  • Dante's Inferno is actually an awesome model to map out problems that many companies experience!

Several Layers of Automation Trouble and Ways to Escape Them

Dante’s Inferno is interesting for me because of two reasons: it neatly divides the damned into clearly labeled sections that make it easy to deduct what misdeeds they performed in life, and the damned themselves seem to be unaware as to why they are actually stuck there.

In the many journeys I make through companies as a consultant there is usually one central theme: the state of many Test Automation attempts do not make me experience any joy. On the other hand: who hires an external consultant before their project starts turning into a burning nightmare?

And that’s when I started noticing some parallels: after 12 years of experience I can often tell why certain projects are indeed a burning nightmare, and still they hire me to tell them so. Even better, when the consultant says so, it’s apparently a different kind of truth than what their scrummaster was telling them all along.

Just as Virgil was guiding Dante through his Inferno, I’ve decided to pick up the umbrella to guide a willing audience through the Hell of Test Automation. We will observe the damned as they struggle in several layers of troubles, and I will inform my audience why they ended up there and how they might escape.

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