Purpose and Scope


The purpose of this wiki is to share information, ideas and experiences about test automation, using the Diagnostics, Issues and Patterns described here.

The scope of this wiki is system-level test automation patterns, not test patterns, and not development-level patterns (these are covered by Gerard Meszaros - see References).

What is in the wiki?

The Diagnostics are questions you can answer to help identify the most critical Issue you want to deal with to improve your test automation.

An Issue is some kind of problem in test automation, or something that needs to be done.

The General Issues are an alternative to the Diagnostic (but are planned to be phased out at the end of 2016).


A Pattern is a way of solving an issue that has worked for people and may be useful for others. A pattern is not prescriptive or a set of steps, but rather ideas to consider to see if they would apply in your situation or context.

Issues and Patterns are categorised into Process, Management, Design and Execution.

Issues and Patterns have Mindmaps to help show their structure and relationship to other patterns. (These mind maps are not links, just for information.)

History of this wiki

In 2012, the book Experiences of Test Automation was published, a collection of automation case studies, collected, edited and commented on by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster. Seretta Gamba contributed Chapter 21: Automation through the back door. When she read the other chapters, she thought: "there are patterns here!" As a developer, she was already familiar with development patterns. She initially wrote them up as a book in Word, and asked Dorothy to help; Word proved to be unworkable for the interconnected issues and patterns, so the idea of the wiki was born.

This wiki was initiated by Seretta Gamba on 28th January 2013, and is developed and maintained by Seretta and Dorothy.

Your help is welcomed!

The more people contribute to this wiki, the more benefit it will be to everyone. We invite your help to show how the patterns have worked for you, problems you have encountered, and tips and advice from your experience (before you add new patterns or issues please don't forget to first read the WIKI-RULES).

Each pattern has an "Experiences" section where you can write a few paragraphs about your own experience (an example is in the pattern AUTOMATION ROLES). You are also welcome to write up your experiences on the Experiences page.


Or just email either (or both) of us if you have something you would be willing to share, and we will be happy to help find the best place for your input. Our email addresses:

  • srttgmb _at_ yahoo.com
  • info _at_ dorothygraham.co.uk


Thanks very much to those who have already contributed - details on the Acknowledgements page.

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