Build confidence first (test automation in a less technical context)

By David Coomber

Elevator Pitch

Many of our less technical testing colleagues may feel that automation in testing is beyond their capability. We with technical experience have a responsibility to help them build their confidence. Selecting gherkin or keyword frameworks with a lower barrier to entry may help achieve this goal.


Whilst there are many approaches to automation in testing, many of our less technical testing colleagues may feel that these are beyond their capability - imagine how daunting it must be to attempt to learn automation in testing, a new tool as well as trying to keep up with their existing workload!

Those of us fortunate enough to have some technical experience have a responsibility to help our colleagues to build their confidence. One way that we could approach this is to encourage the use of gherkin / keyword-driven automation frameworks as these may have a lower barrier to entry.

This workshop aims to help testers build confidence through showing how they can experiment with automation in testing whilst quickly adding value on their projects.

The workshop will cover API testing of a REST micro service and visual testing of an eCommerce demo website using tools that are simple to install, allows for writing of tests using an integrated development environment of their choice as well as explaining how to use the test execution reports.

At the time of writing this pitch, the tools I wish to focus on are Karate and Robot Framework.


Why me?

I have successfully mentored several testers on using Karate for API testing as a gateway to using more developer-like frameworks such as Rest Assured. I am currently running a proof-of-concept using Robot Framework as a driver for Selenium-based visual testing.

Equipment and materials

  • Resources and instructions will be shared with attendees prior to the workshop (using github)
  • Attendees will need to have their own laptops (with administrator access) to install the tools we will use during the workshop


The workshop will start with a 20 to 30 minute presentation and discussion as I feel that these are important items for new automators to consider:

  • Overview of architectural considerations
  • Maintainability considerations
  • Script maturity (some might not have seen this yet) - linear, structured, modular, data-driven, keyword driven
  • Why it may be better to use frameworks closer aligned to the developer tech stack

Tools / frameworks

  • Robot Framework -
  • Karate -

Test sites