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Test Automation Engineering

Content of the Syllabus

The syllabus [ISTQB-TA-Syllabus] defines test automation, the scope covered, and objectives. There are a number of different tools and technologies available to assist test projects in managing, executing, and reporting testing. Basic questions like "why would you use automation?", "how would you use automation?", and "when would you use automation?" are addressed.

Strategies for successful implementation of automated testing tools are covered extensively beginning with an assessment and evaluation of economic benefit. Discussion of generic automated testing architectures and how they can aid in the development, deployment, and maintainability of automated scripts is covered along with specific planning activities surrounding implementation which affect staffing, tools, and schedule.

An expert in the field of test automation will have the understanding to know what tools should be applied during what phase of the testing lifecycle and which approach should be used to ensure a successful implementation for any given situation.

Tools covered in the Test Automation Module include, but are not limited to those used for functional testing, regression testing, and test management. Performance testing is covered briefly, as a future Expert Level Syllabus may be dedicated to Performance Testing exclusively. The analysis and recommendations are tool agnostic, as tools from different vendors have similar capability and complementary features.

Techniques, based on best practices including automation frameworks, are described to ensure the successful and efficient implementation of testing tools and the skills necessary to develop and maintain an automated test environment.

Secondary uses of test automation are also discussed. These include, but are not limited to: automated configuration management of test artifacts, automatic metrics gathering and test reporting, automated creation and management of test data sets, and automatic defect reporting.

The process of automating test scripts in order to create a sustainable regression test suite can be described in several steps. There are specific roles and responsibilities for test teams wishing to incorporate automation into the overall testing process including the detailed consideration of critical success factors.

The Test Automation syllabus can be divided into two parts:  


Business Outcomes

The test automation expert is able to perform each of the following tasks, as outlined across the Management and Engineering syllabi:

Syllabus I: Test Automation - Management

  • Develop a test automation policy and strategy appropriate for the organization
  • Create a business case which outlines the costs and benefits to be expected from introducing and sustaining test automation
  • Develop a plan to integrate automated testing within the testing process
  • Oversee the evaluation of tools and technology for automation best fit to each project and organization
  • Manage the test automation resources to implement and sustain an effective test automation program
  • Define and gather metrics to effectively report progress of the test automation program
  • Apply findings to improve the test automation process

Syllabus II: Test Automation - Engineering

  • Contribute to the development of a plan to integrate automated testing within the testing process
  • Evaluate tools and technology for automation best fit to each project and organization
  • Create an approach and methodology for building a test automation architecture (TAA)
  • Design and develop (new or modified) test automation solutions that meet the business needs
  • Create automated test reporting and metrics collection
  • Manage and optimize testing assets to facilitate maintainability and address evolving (test) systems