Automation is the use of machines, control systems and information technologies to optimize productivity in the production of goods and delivery of services.

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49
votes
4answers
2k views

How can you estimate time for tasks which primarily consist of figuring out a problem?

While it is relatively possible for an experienced developer to estimate how long it will take to implement code when the pattern and problem the code is solving is well understood, how can you make a ...
44
votes
12answers
6k views

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation? [closed]

Automatic documentation generation can be done with a variety of tools, GhostDoc being one of the more prominent. However, by definition, everything it generates is redundant. It takes a look at ...
38
votes
11answers
10k views

What are the disadvantages of automated testing?

There are a number of questions on this site that give plenty of information about the benefits that can be gained from automated testing. But I didn't see anything that represented the other side of ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Is the development of CLI apps considered “backward”? [closed]

I am a DBA fledgling with a lot of experience in programming. I have developed several CLI, non interactive apps that solve some daily repetitive tasks or eliminate the human error from more complex ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

Automated unit testing, integration testing or acceptance testing [closed]

TDD and unit testing seems to be the big rave at the moment. But it is really that useful compared to other forms of automated testing? Intuitively I would guess that automated integration testing is ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

How do you deal with boring repetitive tasks and activities?

When you encounter in your work some boring, repetitive (possibly not-programming) task how do you deal with it? Do you try to automate it immediately? Do you postpone automation till you encounter ...
13
votes
6answers
677 views

What does “automated build” mean?

I'm trying to add Continuous Integration to a project. According to Wikipedia, one major piece of CI is automated builds. However, I'm confused about what, exactly, that means, as the CI and build ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you make a build in one step?

From the joel test: Can you make a build in one step? I've got to say I can't. I'm currently working on a web app that has a spreadsheet list of items that must be carried out in order to ...
10
votes
8answers
618 views

How to Deal With The “Automation is Easy” Mindset?

The title says it all. Some employees in our company believe that automated tests are "easy" and that it "should take a day" to write suites of COM and UI tests. What can be done to counter this? ...
8
votes
4answers
783 views

Using a “dead man's switch” to manage time-sensitive code

In our software environment, we often run a/b tests, as is probably good practice. However, our environment is set up such that, in very short order, the code starts to become very crufty with dead ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I use Ruby to automate everything?

I face various types of applications (web-based, GUI-based, command-line, etc.) on various platforms (Windows, Linux, etc.) to operate everyday. There is a great opportunity for me to automate tasks ...
8
votes
3answers
330 views

Storing passwords for usage in scripts

There are few situations that require users to provide their password while automating things during development process. Site deployment is only one of the common situations. Creating dmg files under ...
7
votes
6answers
473 views

Should testers automate their work?

We are trying to setup our testing process. We wonder if our testers should develop automated regression tests, or if the developers should do that. And what about other types of automated tests? ...
7
votes
9answers
3k views

Automated build platform for .NET portfolio - best choice? [closed]

I am involved with maintaining a fairly large portfolio of .NET applications. Also in the portfolio are legacy applications built on top of other platforms - native C++, ECLIPS Forms, etc. I have a ...
6
votes
1answer
487 views

1-click software release

I am rewriting a vb6 installer into NSIS. One of my priorities is to compile-to-release in the least number of steps possible; ideally, a one click process, in which all needed files are included, ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

Use a GUI designer or write it yourself for the desktop?

Writing a GUI for a program has always been a daunting, depressing, and frustrating task. It doesn't matter which language, its extremely hard to get what I want. Especially in compiled languages like ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

Career path for software QA / Test engineer

I have been working as a software QA analyst for 6 years. I will be finishing a Masters degree in computer science this year. I’m just not sure how to advance my career after my graduation. I like ...
6
votes
1answer
754 views

Why would you create a deployment script in PowerShell when you have TFS?

I'm experimenting with automatic deployment / continuous integration and had a talk with my team lead. I told him I'm investigating creating build/deployment scripts in PowerShell and he said ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Software testing automation documentation

What document types could be used when describing software testing automation (on any phase, automation planning, test design, implementation, reporting)? Is there any standard types of documents? If ...
6
votes
1answer
439 views

Mapping variable inputs to user interface elements

Background Developing a system for creating eBooks. The data is highly normalized. The eBook designs are packaged as "themes." The themes can be configured with options for: fonts, colours, some ...
5
votes
4answers
598 views

What software models are appropriate for daily builds and continuous integration?

On reading the joel test and about daily builds, a discussion with a few tech-lead friends of mine in various companies revealed that they never did daily builds or continuous integration because ...
5
votes
3answers
284 views

How do I go from “here's the zip” to a good release strategy?

I can write code, resolve dependencies, and get my program to run on my computer; I have no idea where to go from here though. How do I get the software ready for distribution? The school ...
5
votes
2answers
441 views

Design pattern for an automated mechanical test bench

Background I have a test fixture with a number of communication/data acquisition devices on it that is used as an end of line test for a product. Because of all the various sensors used in the ...
4
votes
5answers
255 views

Handling scripting in windows

I worked in Linux environment before and I have to work in windows XP for my current project. In linux, I enjoyed using script files for automating tasks(even smaller ones), and it did save me a lot ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

Acceptance tests for large multi-step online form

I have to extend/fix a large online form written by other developer. There is a lot of code, mixing PHP and JS. It's kind of write-only style of coding and I want to redo it completely, but currently ...
3
votes
2answers
108 views

What's a good way to make sure that locally serialized data can be deserialized in newer code?

Context: I'm working on an HTML 5 game without persisted state. Every time you refresh the page, you start at the beginning. People are requesting that they can start where they left off if they ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

How can you provide a public writeable API and not get spammed?

So say you had a site like StackExchange. Now imagine you created a machine-writeable API capable of posting questions and comments and doing everything your browser can do. Of course, about 5 ...
3
votes
4answers
434 views

Build management: does this exist?

I want something that I haven't so far been able to find in anything but theoretical papers and books. If it doesn't exist I'm rather dumbfounded because it sounds like a lot of people use these ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

What can I use to generate API documentation with my custom formatting?

I want to automatically generate documentation for a java project, but I'd like to have my own custom styling for it. As an example, take the stackoverflow api (method description page), can that be ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

SBCL development on Windows, including CFFI

I have been asked to automate the operation of a Windows (WinForms) application, performing some fairly complicated statistical analysis along the way. My first thought was the usual suspects: .NET, ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

Continuous integration and modifying existing UI automation tests

Our team is currently facing a situation where we are changing a feature that is in the product today. This feature has Selenium automation tests associated with it. We are performing a fairly major ...
3
votes
2answers
354 views

Using automated bdd-gui-tests to keep user-documentation-screenshots up do date?

Are there developpers out there, who (ab)use the CaptureScreenshot() function of their automated gui-tests to also create uptodate-screenshots for the userdocumentation? Background: Whithin the ...
2
votes
7answers
2k views

Automatically delete files after they expire

I've got this idea for some time and I was wondering if anyone has seen such a feature/app in any operating system and if you haven't, what do you think about it. Where do you think I should begin? ...
2
votes
2answers
303 views

Automated deployment/installation of development tools [closed]

My team is looking to automate installation/deployment of all of our development tools. The main driver for this is to ensure that everyone in the team has a consistent development environment setup ...
2
votes
5answers
417 views

Website Country Detection

I have a web crawler, and I'm looking for hints that will help me automatically detect a website country of origin. And by country of origin I generally mean the country the website is targeting. For ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

How to detect subtle changes in a website?

My friend and I were discussing a script for automating a certain task and the solution involved using Selenium to automate the pressing of certain buttons. However when we click the send button of ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Which tool to use for creating application releases?

I'm wondering what others use as a tool for creating the final package to hand over to the customer. For now, these are the tasks it should perform for our company: build a set of VS projects ...
2
votes
1answer
419 views

UI (Specifically FLEX) automation testing

I was wondering whether the community utilizes automation tests to the extent of UI? Is there some common best practices for testing UI? Also - the product I'm working on is flex-based. I would love ...
2
votes
2answers
878 views

How to create an auto-grader in and for Python

I'm trying to create an auto-grader for one of my beginning programming courses for python. From my online search, I've come to know that it is effectively a unit test framework that tests the ...
2
votes
4answers
401 views

What are the downsides of leaving automation tags in production code?

I've been setting up debug tags for automated testing of a GWT-based web application. This involves turning on custom debug id tags/attributes for elements in the source of the app. It's a non-trivial ...
2
votes
1answer
384 views

What does “automating a use case” mean and what are the tools to do it?

What does 'automating a use case 'means and how does the tools that automate helps with that? whats makes automation good to do and does it holds any significance for web developement.
2
votes
2answers
103 views

User input and automated input separation

I have a MySQL database and an automation script which modifies the data inside once a day. And these columns may have changed by an user manually. What is the best approach to make the system only ...
1
vote
6answers
431 views

How to distribute, one virtual token to each person in this world, and make sure nobody gets more than one? [closed]

How to distribute, one virtual token to each person in this world, and make sure nobody gets more than one? In other words, how to prevent a user from creating more than one user account in a site? ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

When to bail on a proposed solution?

Here's a *hypothetical* issue. There is a performance issue in the current release. Its difficult to find the cause of this issue because the performance tests haven't been run in roughly 10+ ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

How can I maintain a SQL schema upgrade that goes out to our users on a regular basis?

I work on a project that uses a SQL database as a back end, and a desktop app as a front end. We do releases on a regular basis, and as part of a release, our client needs to update their SQL server. ...
1
vote
2answers
722 views

What is an Enterprise/Automated Deployment tool?

What is an Enterprise/Automated Deployment tool, and how would it be used? Examples would be a plus, but please don't turn this into a list. What are the key factors that should be evaluated when ...
1
vote
3answers
174 views

How do I test my code in Python other than by doing it by hand?

I am used to user testing in Java, and I also manually test each section of code I write, but now, I want to automate it. There is no GUI for this project, so user testing is not required and I can ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

How to get started with this project?

I recently finished my C++ programming class, and I'll start school in september. There is a limited online Parking spot registration and it always gets filled very quickly. I would like to create a ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

How to deploy software automatically over SSH?

I am dealing with a distributed application which is going to mange a network of Linux-based servers spread among different places. Having the SSH credentials (as the most supported connection ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Automated web tests depending on developer code

When QAs write automated selenium tests to test a multi-layered website (e.g. testing a web app which is on mvs design, spring and database) should the tests make use of existing classes and ...