With the immense success of Fatman Frame, the company has had the opportunity to improve the testing side of its software development with huge leaps. At the beginning of 2018 the company had only one full-time tester, and now there are two full-time testers and multiple part-time testers working at the office. This situation has improved the quality of traditional testing, and with the addition of new test-automation specialist, the company has had the opportunity to introduce Fatman Frame to automated testing.
We could start looking at the situation by thinking Fatman Frame as a building. The testers are the inspectors that make sure that the walls don’t crash, and that the rooms that are built match each other even though they are built by different teams. The task of the inspectors (testers) is to see that the new rooms and their qualities match the expectations of the people who need to use the building. In software development, it is extremely easy to build and maintain two environments (or buildings in this example) at the same time, the main difference being that one of them isn’t used by anyone but the people who build and maintain it. The existence of this “dummy building” (professionally called a “demo”) allows the team to acknowledge, inspect and fix the possible conflicts and issues in the building before they are repeated in the building that is being actively used.
One of the most important tasks of an inspector is to regularly test that the building works and can be used by the people inside the building. When anything new is added, the more you test basic functionalities – all the doors in the building work, windows can be opened and look the same, elevators move up and down instead of left and right – the easier it is to improve and expand the building in the future, and the risk that unexpected defects end up to the building in active use is lower. The problem is that the bigger the building, the more time and effort this basic inspecting takes. This is directly taken from inspecting new features of the building and planning on how to improve the inspection process.
Test automation can be imagined as a programmable robot that the inspector teaches to do these basic tasks that don’t require further planning. Testing every door in the building after introducing a new kind of lock is an extremely important task but putting an inspector to test such an easy task for 2000 doors in 10 different floors every time this universal lock change happens is a waste of time. Especially if this has to be done once every week or so. This costs a lot of time, money and mental health of the inspector. But when the robot has been programmed to do this job and report the doors that have issues accurately, it takes just one push of a button.
This is the situation with Fatman Frame now. We are currently teaching the robot to create, edit and delete service requests, inspections, contracts, users… you name it. By letting the robot do the ground level work of making sure that everything that has worked still works after adding new features and content, the testing team can now focus more on the overall quality assurance and the new features that are in the works for the software. Maintaining and improving the robot is an important task too for it to be reliable enough to be used.