Link: Reviewing “A Context Driven Approach to Automation in Testing”

“Ultimately, this article is mostly FUD, propaganda, and obfuscation. The parts that are not actually wrong or misleading are naive and trivial. Put it like this: if I were considering hiring someone for a testing position, and they submitted this exercise as part of their application, I would not hire them, even for a junior position. I would feel sorry for them.”

Chris McMahon on A Context-Driven Approach to Automation in Testing

Chris returns from a hiatus of blogging with a great review of a paper from some of our so called software testing community ‘leaders’.

I’m glad he shared this for a few different reasons.

Firstly, when someone shared that paper with me I found it so cringeworthy that I couldn’t even continue reading it past the second page. So I’m glad Chris was stronger than me to be able to completely read it and share his thoughts

Secondly I’ve chosen to distance myself completely from that ‘community’ so providing any critique would be going against my decision.

Finally, I agree with every word Chris has written and I thank him for taking the time to speak up against it, because if other software professionals consider this wholly representative of the testing community then we’re in big trouble.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

6 thoughts on “Link: Reviewing “A Context Driven Approach to Automation in Testing””

  1. I wish there was a Diversity Driven non-Dogmatic school of testing (DDnD) :-)
    If not, I would want to start that right now … where testers would follow the best of your,James or Michael thoughts without having to show allegiance to this school or that ,
    where testers would appreciate testing thoughts on their objective merit rather than on whether they emanate from a particular school or not , where strong opinions howsoever weakly held triumph over dogma

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is it a good idea for you to endorse a response from a third party about a paper that you never read? James and Michael already rebutted many of Chris’ misunderstandings about their intent on subsequent Twitter threads. I’d encourage you to actually read what they said, and the follow-up threads where they discuss their intentions of the original paper. Also, if genuinely interested, see my two-part comment on Chris’ blog (no point restating it here)


    1. Chris isn’t just a ‘third party’, I’ve known him for years and hold a lot of respect for him and the work he did and shared from WMF.

      I don’t use Twitter and I have no interest and seeing what they said on Twitter about this.

      I will read your comment on his article – perhaps you could blog about it yourself?


  3. Chris has a valid point about Case 3 in the paper. However, he dismisses the rest with one acronym – FUD. The rest of the paper has very strong points about automation. By being so superficial, Chris and the others who endorse his post loose all their credibility.

    To me it’s also odd, that they seem to enjoy the support of Cem Kaner. On the other hand, there is not one developer who has shown an understanding of any of Kaner’s profound work on testing.


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