About Automation Testing
In 2000 I returned to the QA team as an automated tester in the 'Computer Aided Validation Network' team. In addition to the hardware testing requirements the automation of regression and new features were now being delivered. In the 2000's the proprietary hardware was replaced with the traditional PC and all the code was ported to C++ with VB UI driving the display aspects. Development underwent rapid changes to support the new comlexities of GUI software and the options a user has at any given moment. Test cases went from hundreds to the thousands and with each of the major clients having custom implementations, the test database consisted of tens of thousands of scenarios.
Once a grasp of the automation framework was obtained, we refactored the entire system for a modular architecture that allow updating modules much simpler and efficient and introduced more advanced data driven testing from CSV files. Prior to the refactor, each test represented only ONE test case. By introducing parameterization of test scripts, each file could perform one test or thousands. This was a great tool for exploratory testing as a single test could now also perform random iterations or one could run through a serialized list of values for funtional testing, providing round-the-clock testing.
20 different projects were managed during a period of 5-6 years with test plans covering over 5000 test cases. ExxonMobile ( then simply 'Mobile' ) completely revamped their card processing host from ISDN to broadband and the Nucleus POS needed to support the new protocols.
Computer Aided Validation Network (CAVNET) Architecture
An early diagram of of the various components to a test fixture. Several of these were installed on a test cart allowing for up to 4 systems to be tested, complete with simulators for fuel dispensers and peripherals.