Day one of the #30daysoftesting challenge is today! A fairly simple start, to grow into the challenge I guess. Let’s put in some genuine effort regardless. The day 1 challenge is as follows:

Look up some definitions for ‘Automation’, compare them against definitions for ‘Test Automation’.

A search engine and some copy and paste work should get this done soon enough.


Definitions for Automation


Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance. Automation or automatic control is the use of various control systems for operating equipment with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.

Collins dictionary:

1. the use of methods for controlling industrial processes automatically, especially by electronically controlled systems, often reducing manpower.

2. the extent to which a process is so controlled


Definitions for Test Automation


In software testing, test automation is the use of special software (separate from the software being tested) to control the execution of tests and the comparison of actual outcomes with predicted outcomes. Test automation can automate some repetitive but necessary tasks in a formalized testing process already in place, or perform additional testing that would be difficult to do manually. Test automation is critical for continuous delivery and continuous testing.

James Bach – What is Test Automation:

Test automation is any use of tools to aid testing. Test automation has been around since DAY ONE of the computing industry. And never in that history has test automation been an “automatic way of doing what testers were doing before”, unless you ignore a lot of what testers actually do.


Interestingly enough I found articles that I disagreed with strongly in regards to their description of test automation. For the sake of full disclosure, take this example from msdn:

‘Test automation is simply an automatic way of doing what testers were doing before.’


What to think of automation vs test automation?

For me this really just confirms how I already felt about the term ‘test automation’. I actually really like to refer to the activity as ‘automation in testing’. I want to credit that terminology to Richard Bradshaw, but I am not 100% sure it comes from him.