RisingSTAR March to May update

It’s been a while since I last posted a RisingSTAR update! Alot has been happening in the world since February and I very much hope this finds you all safe and healthy!

For my part, it has been a challenge to focus on the Inclusive Automation concept. Progress definitely took a hit (as I’m sure has been the case for many others the last few months) but there have been some bright spots.

One of the things I wanted to nail down is a good definition of Inclusive Automation. I’m starting with this:

“Automation that enables quality and the testers role and activities within the development life-cycle.”

This includes traditional test automation while also keeping a testers responsibilities and actions a first class citizen. So tools that help test have equal standing with tests and frameworks. I think it needs more refining but it’s a start.


Primary Use Cases for Notebooks

Another stumbling block has been providing a narrative, or more specific direction around how and when automation notebooks would be a good tool to use.

Here’s what I have come up with so far:

– Automate Setup / Tear Down
– Documenting in the middle

– Awkward to Automate
– Controls
– Unreliable environments
– External Dependencies

– Aggregating Information
– Gathering data generated while testing
– Gathering data to focus testing

– Swiss Army Knife / Test Tool Box
– Themed Test helpers

I think having clear use cases may help present tangible problems that resonate with people. Its also something to direct my focus. I think I was caught up in the flexibility, and it was just confusing the message. I’d love to hear/read any thoughts or feedback on these.

Models & Roles

There has been some really good progress on building out the Quality Cathedral Model. In addition to spending time clarifying my thoughts I was able to complete the diagram. cathedral model

The labels here aren’t set in stone, they are meant to be tailored to the team and application. The idea being, your team, your application, your support structure of testing.
quality cathedral

I plan on writing on it more long form, and I’d be very interested in talking about it and getting others thoughts on the model.

I’ve also dug into some examples of the creator, executor, and consumer personas for automation. Writing more on that is on the docket as well.


The reading continues, I need to take a deeper read through A Journey through Test Automation Patterns with more focus on matching up patterns from the book with the notebook use cases.

I also had a chance to read A Context-Driven Approach to Automation in Testing. I think the conceptually it’s in line with the some of the gap in automation that I think I am working in.

Spreading the Word

As part of spreading a message about inclusive automation, I gave a webinar recently on Architecting a Test Strategy where I got a chance to but some of the topics I’ve been working on into practice. I’ll also be giving the talk later this month at the Kobiton Odyssey conference.

There will be an upcoming webinar with EuroSTAR in July that I’ll be prepping for. I’m feeling brave and hope to be able to give a live demo with the notebooks, as well as sharing the work that’s been done so far.

Every update has ended like this but it still fits 🙂 It’s been another challenging few months but I do believe good is coming from it, I sincerely appreciate your time and support and look forward to continuing to update you and hopefully getting inputs from the community.

See all RisingSTAR updates and consider submitting an idea for the 2020 RisingSTAR Award. The RisingSTAR is about mentorship and experienced hands helping testers bring their new ideas further.

See more about all the EuroSTAR Software Testing Awards.
About the Author


I am a Software Design Engineer in Test based out of Santa Barbara, California. Working in a variety of testing roles since 2009. I am responsible for creating and executing testing strategies and using his coding powers for developing tooling to help make testers lives easier. He writes tests at all levels from unit and integration tests to API and UI tests. I blog on testing and automation at Brendanconnolly.net or follow me on Twitter @theBConnolly
Find out more about @brendanconnolly