Agile Success Through Test Automation Introduction Agile Testing

My name is Jon Tilt;I have been involved in software development for twenty five years and specifically in software testing since 1996. I started testing in the functional test team of MQSeries, a large middleware product. Since then I have progressed through test management, test project lead, and test architect roles. I currently work for IBM’s Software Group under the WebSphere brand and am the Chief Test Architect across a number of Enterprise Service Bus(ESB) products that generate in excess of one billion dollars of revenue each year. The products we deliver are primarily enterprise middleware offerings(application servers, messaging backbones, etc.) that many major Fortune 500 companies bet their businesses on.

This case study focuses on a project that I worked on that started about five years ago. It involved the delivery of a new ESB component using an iterative development approach; this was the first time our team had tried this method. Our team’s focus was automation, automation, automation, from developer test through to system test, with strong leadership support and team buy-in to achieve this.

This case study focuses on the challenges of getting the project started and how we almost became victims of our own success. After several years of this strategy we had reached a point where the regression test took up to ten days to run through our 35,000 tests. In short, we had reached a point where we had too much testing! Fortunately, our story ends happily, as we “innovated” our way out of automation overload. We created an approach we called “laser-guided testing” to pinpoint the best set of tests to run against each build. We can now run a complete targeted regression test in less than a day.


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