Automation in Testing is live!

During my career as a software tester, there have been many memorable points. But two that are very important to me are the time I gave my talk first talk What’s so great about WebDriver where I first shared my thoughts on our industries obsession with end-to-end UI driven automation amd WebDriver and when Richard Bradshaw came up to me afterwards and said “I’m thinking the same thing”. I’m paraphrasing (it was a long time ago) but since then I’ve been fortunate to work with Richard to create something I am immensely proud of Automation in Testing (AiT), a mindset, approach and series of courses that can help you with your automation.


Automation in Testing (AiT) is a namespace initially contributed to by Richard and myself. This is how we view it:

Automation in Testing (AiT) is a mindset and namespace that promotes human-centric automation within the context of testing. AiT focuses on the strategy, creation, usage and education of valuable automation that truly supports our testing activities.

Our goal is not to dictate or claim this is how it should be, we’ll let others continue to do that. It’s the complete opposite. Our goal is to create a collection of resources, use cases and training under the umbrella of AiT. Resources that can be referenced, that can inspire, can guide, can influence, but not dictate. We are not saying this is how it should be, we are saying here is what we think perhaps it can help you?


As an industry, we are obsessed with automation for all the wrong reasons. The view that we can take a complex cognitive activity and distil it into code is a fallacy which results in both bad testing and bad automation. To be successful with automation we need to think deeply about what we do in testing as well as what we can do with automation. This has been my feeling for most of my testing career.

When I first saw Richard’s talk back in 2015 where he introduced the term Automation in Testing, he gave my thoughts and feelings on automation a name. Since then I’ve worked closely with Richard to understand his views and craft Automation in Testing into a mindset that redresses the balance of automation and testing enables teams to be engaged and brilliant in their work and not hinder with them with reams of unworkable code.


As mentioned already, it will be myself and Richard making this happen. We have independently developed similar thinking with regard to automation, but more importantly, the same with testing. We’ve been working together for a number of years so this is a great progression for us. We both have strong reputations in this space and I believe our views are respected by the community.


The two main methods will be through blogging and training. All our blogs about AiT will be posted over on the new AiT site, Richard has migrated his three free programming courses to that domain and redirected the existing links. I have also added a new one, Javascript/Node.js Basics. We’ll also be presenting lots of AiT material at conferences around the world as well as through various online channels. We are also discussing setting up an annual peer conference solely focused on automation.


The hard work has been ongoing for a few years, but starting now is when you should all start seeing the fruit of this work. The first is our new three-day class aptly called ‘Automation in Testing’ which is having its inaugural class at TestBash Brighton in March and has already sold out! We didn’t expect this, so huge thanks to the attendees and all who helped share it.

I’m excited to be bringing these ideas to the software development industry with Richard. There will be plenty of opportunities for discussions, demos and collaboration!