Most of you have probably read or heard this phrase before: "With great power comes great responsibility", even if you don't know who said those words, you already understand what that means.
I want to tell you about the power of routine. Routines can be good or bad and that's where the power resides, routines can be a great tool if you know how to use them.
A good routine can help you to complete your tests faster than before, because the knowledge you have gained about the system allows you to go exactly where you want or do any task accurately, but over time that strength may become a weakness. Your team will appreciate a great knowledge of the system each time they try to understand a certain functionality; The problem here is that this knowledge can make you blind to the bugs that the system may have, mainly when it is growing fast.
What I have noticed during my time as a newbie and then managing small teams, is that we all have a great power of bugs detection when we don't know how the system should work; this is amazing because we can understand how a real user will use our system; but once you understand how everything works, you will always goes straight from point A to point B, however there are test cases like going from point A to point C, or starting from point B to point A, which are alternative test cases that must be tested to avoid unexpected behaviors in the final product. That's what I call "weak routine", ii's called like that because as time passes, the repetition of this type of routines makes the results of our tests more "weak", because as humans we would tend to omit or forget certain test cases...
To avoid being in this "weak routine" situation, you must begin to automate the tests. Test automation allows you to invest your time in the tasks that are most important to your project and also to the new functionalities that will be tested in the future.
When I started working on test automation, I did not realize the importance of my work. The manager requested that all the tests have to be done manually, so I was doing the same thing twice (LOL!). At the end of the day, I did both manual and automated tests and that made me feel like I was not making any progress or that I hadn't been productive. It was when I changed my position and started leading a QA project, that I really understood that my skills were important and that they had underestimated the test automation; I started to automate the main flows of the system and just in couple months I finished the automation of the main core of the system and covered the most critical "alternative test cases", so now I can concentrate completely on doing a correct scrutiny of the new functionalities and then add them to the automation framework.
I just wanted to share that with you, hoping it would be useful or motivational. The test automation made my life more productive by being able to execute those routine processes automatically.
Please, let me know in the comments section how the test/process automation has helped you, or if you are considering entering into this subject.