Saturday, November 20, 2010

Generic Test Automation Frameworks - Good or Bad?

Many a times I have been part of discussions that we should build a generic test automation framework which all other project teams can leverage. Also, another thought on this has been that building test automation framework is not really a QA job, but a developer job.

I have different thoughts on this.
  1. From a capability building perspective, if we build a generic framework, how is the QA team going to learn to do things from ground-up, and also make it better?
  2. From a business perspective, if I as an organization have a generic framework, then am I going to give it for free to the client? If no, then it is as good as saying I have built the automation framework as a standalone product - which is fine. But, if I am giving it free to the client, then what value has it brought to me as an organization by designing and building this framework, and then I just give it off free?
  3. Developers can build a great framework - it is another product for them. However, the users of this framework are QA. More often than not, this framework that is built by the developers will be difficult to use by the QAs.
  • I have seen an example of a client-project, where our developers and QAs built the framework together. However, only the developers were able to make any core framework changes because of its complexity. Also, when the time came to hand-over the framework to the client, it was the developer(s) who had to provide training for this - the QAs were not even involved in this, because ...
So to cut the answer short, I don't like the idea of generic test automation frameworks!