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    Interesting upcoming webinar titled ‘Why You Shouldn’t Automate… But You Will Anyway’ presented by Kevin Pyles if anyone is interested.

    Sign up here!

    Why You Shouldn’t Automate…But You Will Anyway


    I agree to

    Test automation is not testing.

    Test automation is regression checking.

    But I would add that regression checking is version control in disguise, i.e. it is about controlling changes to the dynamic properties of the software (the look and behavior). Because existing version control systems can’t do that directly, automated tests simply pin those dynamic properties down and transform them to a static artifact (e.g. a test script), which again can be governed by current version control systems.

    I agree to avoid confusion and stop talking about “test automation”. Instead let’s talk about “version control of dynamic properties”.


    Regression checking is part of test automation but it is certainly not all test automation does.


    I agree: there is also performance / load testing and ATDD/BDD until implementation is completed (then it becomes regression testing).

    There is also some automation in the broader field of testing, such as:

    • Generating data
    • Obfuscating real-life data
    • Converting test data from one format to another
    • Setup and configuration
    • Sorting and searching logs

    But I would consider these as supporting activities, not testing by itself.

    Is there anything else that you think test automation does?


    <span class=”ms-translatable”>Hi Jeremias, I partly agree with your point. But I’m afraid “version control of dynamic properties” instead of “</span><span class=”ms-translatable”><span class=”ms-translatable”>test automation” is more regression than progression (I stick to our jargon), simply because it’s too complex wording. I don’t think it’s helpful to bring in the whole ‘testing vs checking’ discussion here. That discussion definitely makes some sense, but is hardly relevant to our stakeholders. It’s just an insiders topic.

    Imho it’s enough to clarify that dumb (regression) testing and clever (exploratory) testing are different indeed, but still both are testing and both have value and must be applied in the right combination.


    I agree that the term is impractical and we won’t change any one’s use of words anyway. I just think it is an important aspect to emphasize … frankly because we are creating a <span class=”ms-translatable”>version control system for dynamic properties of software as a product. I wanted to spark discussion and see whether someone disagrees and for what reasons.

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