Automated test design with Conformiq Designer is a new way to create, maintain and manage tests. Using Conformiq successfully requires a different skill profile than manual testing does. The crucial difference to manual testing is that manual testing typically does not require any programming skills. At the same time, creating models is quite near to programming. A full-fledged Conformiq model contains significant amounts of “action code”, i.e. Java code that describes in details how control flows and how data works in the intended system.

In addition, creating and maintaining “script backends”, i.e. components that map generated testing logic into arbitrary test implementation languages (e.g. Python, TTCN-3 or TCL), requires programming skills. Because both these tasks are related to programming, it is safe to say that prior exposure to programming is a prerequisite for becoming a successful Conformiq user. The languages that provide the best background are (most preferred first):

  • Java
  • C#
  • C++

Basic programming capability is the most important skill factor when deciding whom to deploy to use Conformiq and when. Other necessary or preferable skills include:

  • Reading and interpreting functional requirements
  • Communicating with developers and business analysts
  • Implementing test automation

What to do, then, if your testing team does not have strong programming proficiency? Some available solutions include:

  • Start to recruit programmers into your testing team. This is the route many large software companies have taken, for example Microsoft, where they have introduced  job title SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test), emphasizing the idea that programming skills are needed also on the quality assurance side.
  • Outsource those parts of test design that require programming to companies who can provide you with the required skill set in short term, and then call the function in later.