Threats of Automation replacing Testers

It is technologically amusing to think automation will make our lives easy. When those jobs become victim of automation, it is not amusing anymore. Then you are talking about your jobs being replaced by bots. It is business at the end of the day. Automation can save money and thats what most businesses care about. Well it can, not that it always does.

For those who don’t know what is test automation, I’ll explain a bit more. In a typical technology team you’d have someone test your application before releasing it to mass of users. On a typical development cycle (sprint), you would deliver by developing, then testing and deploying your software. Software test automation automates the automation side of things. Well, where possible!

We face initial rejections sometimes that automation can not do what humans can do, hence automation is not needed. I think both are right.

  1. Automation can not replace a tester’s intuition. It can not replace human instinct. It can not feel human expectations in different situations. Not even AI can do that. Many more, many more things automation can not do.
  2. A tester can not do what automation can do. A tester can not run the same set of tests on 3 browsers 20 times in a row within 10 minutes. A tester can not accurately check the same specific expectation every time without developing fatigue. Many more, many more things we humans can not do!

I was listening to James Bach face-to-face once in a Sydney seminar. He answered and provided a solution to this dilemma in a simple few words.

Think of automation as a tool, like the Iron Man suit. It can do incredible things but only when the right person is wearing it! I strongly believe in it and it has proven to be successful for many businesses I have worked for.


Consultant & Director, Robo Consulting Pty Ltd

Leave a Reply