In a #TestChat we had about automation @rosie asked:
When is a good time to start test automation? (I often get people wanting/asking it as a priority and before any other testing has been done before)
This is a question I’ve struggled with in the past a lot.
In my first company I fell into the trap of “We can’t start automation because the product isn’t stable”. I then proceeded to toe a really fine line between the product being stable and there being too much of the product there. I was a lone tester so automating too late was going to be a time sink. As a lone tester though, automating early could have really helped me to use automation in the right way and potentially free up my time. (This was my first venture into automation).
In the next company, I was brought on pretty late in the development process (nobody to blame, it just happened that way). There was an automation suite that had been written months before the (now released) product had gone live. It, naturally, no longer worked. I decided to scrap it and try to start again because it was so outdated. It was then that I realised, automating at this late stage was pretty pointless. The product was massive! We also had unit and some API level checks.
In your experience: When is a good time to start automation? Why?