Software GR Presents Dorothy Graham: Test Automation Patterns


When implementing system-level test automation, many people encounter problems: where to start with automation, high maintenance costs for the automated tests, or unrealistic management expectations. The good news is that solutions to these problems exist and have been effectively used by many. A “pattern” is a general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem. Patterns have been popular in software development for many years, but they are not commonly recognized in system level test automation. Dorothy Graham shares a collection of common problems (issues) and their solutions (patterns) which she is now developing as a wiki with Seretta Gamba. To help resolve typical issues, Dot gives you a brief guided tour of some patterns—from Maintainable Testware and Domain-Driven Testing to Fail Gracefully and Kill the Zombies. Dot helps you recognize test automation issues and shows you how to identify appropriate patterns to help solve them.


Dorothy Graham has been in software testing for 40 years, and is co-author of 4 books: Software Inspection, Software Test Automation, Foundations of Software Testing and Experiences of Test Automation. Dot was programme chair for the EuroSTAR conference in 1993 and 2009, and for ExpoQA in Madrid in 2014. She has been on the boards of conferences and publications in software testing, was a founder member of the ISEB Software Testing Board and was a member of the working party that developed the first ISTQB Foundation Syllabus. She was awarded the European Excellence Award in Software Testing in 1999 and the first ISTQB Excellence Award in 2012. She was born in Grand Rapids and is a graduate of Calvin College and Purdue University, where she met her British husband, Roger. They have been living in the UK for over 30 years, and have two children. Dot’s main hobby is choral and small-group singing.

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  • Annette D.

    Really appreciated the presentation--and the wiki will be a welcome resource for identifying and solving test automation issues without having to reinvent the wheel. Thanks Dorothy (and AO and Software GR)!

    2 · April 15

  • Dan R.

    It was at a higher level of abstraction (Of Course!) than I was expecting, and I have a lot of followup to think about.

    1 · April 14

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