Dante’s Inferno is interesting for me because of two reasons: it neatly divides the damned into clearly labeled sections that make it easy to deduct what misdeeds they performed in life, and the damned themselves seem to be unaware as to why they are actually stuck there.

In the many journeys I make through companies as a consultant there is usually one central theme: the state of many Test Automation attempts do not make me experience any joy. On the other hand: who hires an external consultant before their project starts turning into a burning nightmare?

And that’s when I started noticing some parallels: after 13 years of experience I can often tell why certain projects are indeed a burning nightmare, and still they hire me to tell them so. Even better, when the consultant says so, it’s apparently a different kind of truth than what their scrummaster was telling them all along.

Just as Virgil was guiding Dante through his Inferno, I’ve decided to pick up the umbrella to guide a willing audience through the Hell of Test Automation. We will observe the damned as they struggle in several layers of troubles, and I will inform my audience why they ended up there and how they might escape.

And make no mistake: though the premise might sound like a jolly trip for tourists, it most certainly is not. Amongst others we will see the damned struggle with T-shaping, absurd learning curves and expectations, the dangers of overvaluing UI Automation, inabilities to visualize the required context for successful automation, underestimating the human experience with automation and the most damaging of all: the struggle of the Test Automation Business Case. The learnings of this tour can be applied in any organization, since the challenges are many and dire, even in 2021. And who knows, the damned might also include you…

Vincent Wijnen, Feedback Consultant at Sogeti will host the session C4 “Test Automation Hell” on Thursday June 16. Interested to see more of the program? Visit the program page!

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