Buying a Test Automation Platform? What do QE leaders ask?
“What QE leaders ask, when buying Test automation tools/platform”
First of all, what do we mean by QE?
They are Quality Engineers and they exist in every field like retail, manufacturing, software, SaaS, infrastructure etc.
I’m specifically going to talk with respect to Software testing Quality Engineers
Having worked as a Tester myself for first 8 years of my career at MNCs and Banks, I have a perspective from a client-vendor aspect or being the client myself 🙂
On top of it, having worked as a Solutions architect for 3 years now, for testing tools and platform and helped more than 300 + clients globally,
In this blog, I have shared points according to what I learnt about the needs of a testing team and their manager in any set-up or company, and what they expect when they want to buy a test automation tool or platform.
Here are the top items from trivial to big ones, but all are absolutely important while making a decision:
1. Do I need a tool/ platform?
I’m a tester first and any good tester would know the basic skill of asking questions like – Why do I need a tool in the first place? This would mean figuring out the limitations of your existing set-up too. For example – How do I make different devices available to my teams spread globally?
This could be a classic, typical question to need a test automation tool or platform. Thus, depending on a team’s requirements, this list of questions can be created.
2. Will my team be happy using the tool?
When choosing a tool, you should also know or understand the technical prowess and limitations of your team.
So, during a “proof of concept” phase while testing or trying out the tool, you can check with your team on different aspects:
- Ease of use of the tool
- Availability / Up-time of the platform
- Integrating the tool with any of your existing tech stack or frameworks.
Why is this important?
Because ultimately, it’s the team who will be using the tool.
So, it’s important they know how to use the tool and be comfortable using it.
3. Is the tool/ platform solving my problem?
As it is, testing is a demanding job with last-minute changes and builds popping up.
None of the testers and their leaders wants to add to their trouble, if the tool itself is flaky, unstable, and cannot be depended on for results, then what’s the point of it?
The tool should be robust and solving either the need of the test project
Or a requirement or help the test team deliver better results.
For instance: I remember once a client in one of my companies was very particular about the record and playback feature in our product.
He wasn’t asking it for the heck of it; rather he wanted to help his testers transition into automation.
So, like the above example, the tool needs to help the team using it.
4. Future goal for the team and the tool
The software development cycle was forever highly agile and in this fast-paced era of ever-changing technological aspects, you would definitely want to think about the future goals of the team and project, and, what role will the Test automation tool/ platform be playing in it?
You may also want to think about this one with respect to the Return on investment (ROI) aspect; after all, you will be paying for the subscription model of the tool/platform.
A classic example of this question can be:
Will the tool help me in leveraging its features while creating a test pipeline a QA environment or w.r.t Continuous integration or Continuous delivery?
💡 Pro tip
Always take the trial of a tool, before you make the decision of buying it.
I can go about adding an exhaustive list of pointers to make this list endless and unnecessary.
But, we as testers, always try to understand and emphasise on the Root Cause. And that is what I have tried to with this blog, without beating around the bush.
I hope you find value in it.