I’ve worked in Quality Assurance for the last 15 years of which I’ve spent about 10 talking about automation and convincing people that it’s a good idea to do it.
The usual talking points in all slides are of course the speed and the cost effectiveness of automation. You’ve all seen those “our research shows that we can speed up the production deploy by 76%” slides.
However, I almost never see one of the most important aspects that automation can bring: quality of life. That’s why we automate things in our own life as well, right? You don’t really want to get a dishwasher because it does things _faster_. No, the wash cycle does what it does and usually takes about an hour or more. You get a dishwasher because it enables you to do something else, something you like.
If there is one thing I’d like to see happening, it would be recognizing that automation makes the development team’s life easier. The testers don’t need to manually click through everything over and over again and can focus on doing something more worthwhile. I believe that a happy team will perform better and create better innovations.
The quality of life seldom fits into Excel or other numerical aspects. It’s something intangible. The motivation lifts a person up and usually takes other team members with them, propelling them to better results. But even more than that, it takes them into a happier place.
And let’s be honest: since all work is exchanging your precious minutes of life for money, it’s much better if you at least can enjoy yourself while doing that. So why have I been talking about automation for the last 10 years? Forget the efficiency and money for a moment, they come second.
This is what I believe: if we can remove the parts of the work that people dislike or even hate, we’ve achieved something much greater.