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Pattern summary
Plan to get training for all those involved in the test automation project.

Category
Management

Context
This pattern is especially useful when you are starting a new automation project or when you have to integrate new people on the team, but actually you may need it also in order to write disposable scripts

Description
All those involved in the test automation project should get some kind of training. Depending on their assignment they will of course need different kinds or degrees of schooling

Implementation
Some suggestions:
  • Learn from colleagues that are already doing test automation (PAIR UP)
  • Read test automation books or magazines: there are a lot of useful books on the market, that not only give tips on what to do, but also on what not to do
  • Go to test conferences: there are always very informative test automation tracks
  • Subscribe to webinars: quite often they present interesting issues and they are mostly free
  • Tool vendors offer courses and training on how to use their tools
  • Get a coach to start you off or to help you implement a better automation strategy
  • Search the web: there are a lot of very helpful sites on test automation

Recommendations
To earn support from your managers, you may have to explain to them why you need training. Prepare a report to show how much time you would save if you could start “as an expert” instead of learning on the job.

If you get coaching, remember that you don’t need a coach all the time: After a few days you should work alone for a week or so. When the coach returns you will have gained more understanding by trying to go on your own and you will have more and better questions to ask.
Team members may be feeling unmotivated because they don’t feel up to their tasks. Make sure that they can ASK FOR HELP and let them get the training they need.

Remember that there is a need for both formal training (courses or conference tutorials on specific tools or test automation principles), and also for informal training within your company. This would be useful to help new automators understand the application that is being tested, and to understand how automation has been done in the past in the company. Informal training may just be a group of people getting together to discuss a topic, or it could be an internal presentation.

Issues addressed by this pattern
KNOW-HOW LEAKAGE
LIMITED EXPERIENCE
LOCALISED REGIMES
UNMOTIVATED TEAM

Experiences
If you have used this pattern, please add your name and a brief story of how you used this pattern: your context, what you did, and how well it worked - or how it didn't work!
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