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Test automation is a pyramid: unit testing comprises the largest part, the bottom. In the middle is API testing and the top is UI testing.

No test automation without testers

​In agile environments, software is delivered according to a short-cyclical development method. It is no longer necessary to explain that test automation is indispensable in this regard. The best known method is scrum. A scrum team must therefore have someone who understands how to set up a test process, with a good eye for test automation. Frank Stolker, test professional since 1995, explains exactly why.

“Testing is a separate discipline,” Frank says in a conversation via Skype. “Someone with a test background looks differently at the application and the processes. You cannot leave the testing process purely to developers. In addition to development activities, they must mainly focus on writing unit tests. ”

He explains that when you put together a development team, you immediately include a QA / test engineer: "But it is just as important that quality becomes a mindset of the entire team."


The focus on quality is much broader than in the past. Frank sees a clearly set trend in which the entire team and even the organization feels responsible for quality. The QA tester must be the source of inspiration for this. “Working in multidisciplinary scrum teams keeps everyone on the ball much better. Everyone is present at reviews and presentations, not only the team and the stakeholders, but often also the (program) management itself. That ensures shorter lines, direct feedback and thus a better end product. "

It requires good communication and social skills from the tester. In that sense, test professionals have become even more part of the team. The role of the tester has even broadened. You regularly see that a tester also analyzes requirements, writes code or acts as a scrum master.

Open source

The tester is also the person who sets up the testing framework and integrates it into the DevOps environment, possibly with the help of a developer. This is easier now than it used to be. “Then you needed licenses for everything. Fortunately, that is a thing of the past. Much is now open source and you simply pick the standard test frameworks from the internet. Then you make them tailor-made for the customer. ”

He gives a few examples, such as Cypress or Selenium for API and UI testing, and JUnit or NUnit for unit testing.

Test pyramid

Frank briefly explains the steps in setting up test automation. “You have to think of test automation as a pyramid, where unit testing comprises the largest part, the bottom. In the middle is API testing and the top consists of UI testing. ”

The pyramid clearly indicates where the highest test yield is: at the bottom of unit testing. Yet for most people the so-called UI testing is best known: that is what you see. Unit testing is sometimes overlooked, but in the long run it provides significant cost savings. As you descend into the pyramid, the emphasis is increasingly on bug prevention, achieving greater test coverage, all in less time and therefore for less money.

After reading this blog, have you become curious about what test automation can mean for your organization? No then contact us.