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Questions tagged [automation]

Automation is the use of machines, control systems and information technologies to optimize productivity in the production of goods and delivery of services.

67
votes
13answers
15k views

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

I'm thinking of creating a cron job that checks out code, runs code formatters on it, and if anything changed, commits the changes and pushes them back. Most projects that use autoformatters put them ...
59
votes
12answers
15k views

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation? [closed]

Automatic documentation generation can be done with a variety of tools, GhostDoc being one of the more prominent. However, by definition, everything it generates is redundant. It takes a look at ...
53
votes
5answers
2k views

How can you estimate time for tasks which primarily consist of figuring out a problem?

While it is relatively possible for an experienced developer to estimate how long it will take to implement code when the pattern and problem the code is solving is well understood, how can you make a ...
48
votes
11answers
31k views

What are the disadvantages of automated testing?

There are a number of questions on this site that give plenty of information about the benefits that can be gained from automated testing. But I didn't see anything that represented the other side of ...
29
votes
7answers
12k views

Automated unit testing, integration testing or acceptance testing [closed]

TDD and unit testing seems to be the big rave at the moment. But it is really that useful compared to other forms of automated testing? Intuitively I would guess that automated integration testing is ...
18
votes
20answers
2k views

What are the most impressive tricks an IDE could pull off with the code? [closed]

Modern IDEs have a lot of tricks up their sleeves to help with code writing, refactoring, searching. All those are very helpful, but rarely any of them looks like a real "magic" and makes me think "...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What does “automated build” mean?

I'm trying to add Continuous Integration to a project. According to Wikipedia, one major piece of CI is automated builds. However, I'm confused about what, exactly, that means, as the CI and build ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

Can you make a build in one step?

From the joel test: Can you make a build in one step? I've got to say I can't. I'm currently working on a web app that has a spreadsheet list of items that must be carried out in order to deploy. ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

How do you deal with boring repetitive tasks and activities? [closed]

When you encounter in your work some boring, repetitive (possibly not-programming) task how do you deal with it? Do you try to automate it immediately? Do you postpone automation till you encounter ...
12
votes
8answers
863 views

How to Deal With The “Automation is Easy” Mindset?

The title says it all. Some employees in our company believe that automated tests are "easy" and that it "should take a day" to write suites of COM and UI tests. What can be done to counter this? ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How to monitor a long-running program programmatically

What I've currently got can be summed up with this pseudo code: public static void Main(string[] args) { var listOfObjects = Database.GetObjectsToUploadToOnlineService(); Parallel.ForEach(...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

Can I use Ruby to automate everything?

I face various types of applications (web-based, GUI-based, command-line, etc.) on various platforms (Windows, Linux, etc.) to operate everyday. There is a great opportunity for me to automate tasks ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Storing passwords for usage in scripts

There are few situations that require users to provide their password while automating things during development process. Site deployment is only one of the common situations. Creating dmg files under ...
10
votes
9answers
5k views

Automated build platform for .NET portfolio - best choice? [closed]

I am involved with maintaining a fairly large portfolio of .NET applications. Also in the portfolio are legacy applications built on top of other platforms - native C++, ECLIPS Forms, etc. I have a ...
9
votes
13answers
43k views

Best language or tool for automating tedious manual tasks [closed]

We all have tasks that come up from time to time that we think we'd be better off scripting or automating than doing manually. Obviously some tools or languages are better for this than others - no-...
9
votes
6answers
537 views

Should testers automate their work?

We are trying to setup our testing process. We wonder if our testers should develop automated regression tests, or if the developers should do that. And what about other types of automated tests? ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why would you create a deployment script in PowerShell when you have TFS?

I'm experimenting with automatic deployment / continuous integration and had a talk with my team lead. I told him I'm investigating creating build/deployment scripts in PowerShell and he said ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Using a “dead man's switch” to manage time-sensitive code

In our software environment, we often run a/b tests, as is probably good practice. However, our environment is set up such that, in very short order, the code starts to become very crufty with dead ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Use a GUI designer or write it yourself for the desktop?

Writing a GUI for a program has always been a daunting, depressing, and frustrating task. It doesn't matter which language, its extremely hard to get what I want. Especially in compiled languages like ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

How to have TFS automatically add certain tasks to new work items?

We use TFS at my workplace to manage our source code and track development. Whenever we have a bug or work to do, we always have to do the following two tasks as a minimum: Test the work, or decide ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What software models are appropriate for daily builds and continuous integration?

On reading the joel test and about daily builds, a discussion with a few tech-lead friends of mine in various companies revealed that they never did daily builds or continuous integration because ...
6
votes
1answer
707 views

1-click software release

I am rewriting a vb6 installer into NSIS. One of my priorities is to compile-to-release in the least number of steps possible; ideally, a one click process, in which all needed files are included, ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Software testing automation documentation

What document types could be used when describing software testing automation (on any phase, automation planning, test design, implementation, reporting)? Is there any standard types of documents? If ...
6
votes
1answer
946 views

Mapping variable inputs to user interface elements

Background Developing a system for creating eBooks. The data is highly normalized. The eBook designs are packaged as "themes." The themes can be configured with options for: fonts, colours, some ...
5
votes
3answers
327 views

How do I go from “here's the zip” to a good release strategy?

I can write code, resolve dependencies, and get my program to run on my computer; I have no idea where to go from here though. How do I get the software ready for distribution? The school ...
5
votes
2answers
22k views

Career path for software QA / Test engineer [closed]

I have been working as a software QA analyst for 6 years. I will be finishing a Masters degree in computer science this year. I’m just not sure how to advance my career after my graduation. I like ...
5
votes
2answers
995 views

Design pattern for an automated mechanical test bench

Background I have a test fixture with a number of communication/data acquisition devices on it that is used as an end of line test for a product. Because of all the various sensors used in the ...
4
votes
3answers
520 views

Automatic code correction, Good or Bad? [closed]

We have a large team comprising of developers, interns who write rails and backbone js code with large codebase. We already have tools like JSCS and code climate to analyze the code and report ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

How do you adapt to changes to product specifications during development?

Problem Changes to product requirements/specifications during the development cycle are inevitable in a professional setting. In particular, I'm constantly dealing with changes to the specification ...
4
votes
1answer
58 views

How do I automate build-publish tasks for my web server?

I'm developing a node.js web server which will have built source code of server and client part at once. I mean, my web server is on the isomorphic level. this means editing source code of client part ...
4
votes
1answer
585 views

Acceptance tests for large multi-step online form

I have to extend/fix a large online form written by other developer. There is a lot of code, mixing PHP and JS. It's kind of write-only style of coding and I want to redo it completely, but currently ...
4
votes
2answers
530 views

Using automated bdd-gui-tests to keep user-documentation-screenshots up do date?

Are there developpers out there, who (ab)use the CaptureScreenshot() function of their automated gui-tests to also create uptodate-screenshots for the userdocumentation? Background: Whithin the ...
3
votes
5answers
283 views

Handling scripting in windows

I worked in Linux environment before and I have to work in windows XP for my current project. In linux, I enjoyed using script files for automating tasks(even smaller ones), and it did save me a lot ...
3
votes
2answers
25k views

What is development automation?

When someone refers to "Development Automation", what is it exactly? What are some frameworks for development automation? My boss asked me to develop a strategy for implementing such in the company ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I test my code in Python other than by doing it by hand?

I am used to user testing in Java, and I also manually test each section of code I write, but now, I want to automate it. There is no GUI for this project, so user testing is not required and I can ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

What's a good way to make sure that locally serialized data can be deserialized in newer code?

Context: I'm working on an HTML 5 game without persisted state. Every time you refresh the page, you start at the beginning. People are requesting that they can start where they left off if they ...
3
votes
2answers
276 views

How can you provide a public writeable API and not get spammed?

So say you had a site like StackExchange. Now imagine you created a machine-writeable API capable of posting questions and comments and doing everything your browser can do. Of course, about 5 ...
3
votes
4answers
456 views

Build management: does this exist?

I want something that I haven't so far been able to find in anything but theoretical papers and books. If it doesn't exist I'm rather dumbfounded because it sounds like a lot of people use these ...
3
votes
2answers
561 views

SBCL development on Windows, including CFFI

I have been asked to automate the operation of a Windows (WinForms) application, performing some fairly complicated statistical analysis along the way. My first thought was the usual suspects: .NET, ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Is it reasonable to have grunt/gulp build phases in javascript dev environment

Nowdays it's goes to be very fancy to have grunt/gulp build phases who concatenate and minify and organize javascript code. And I agree that this is important for production. But as a developer, I ...
3
votes
1answer
888 views

UI (Specifically FLEX) automation testing

I was wondering whether the community utilizes automation tests to the extent of UI? Is there some common best practices for testing UI? Also - the product I'm working on is flex-based. I would love ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views

What can I use to generate API documentation with my custom formatting?

I want to automatically generate documentation for a java project, but I'd like to have my own custom styling for it. As an example, take the stackoverflow api (method description page), can that be ...
3
votes
2answers
214 views

how to handle small change requests in the automated deployment process

I've setup a Gitlab server to manage several different Laravel Apps. I'm also able to configure the Gitlab CI to deploy the code to the development and production sites. Everything is kind of ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Separations of concerns and dependency management in automation project

I'm working on an automation project in C# and it has 2 wrappers: DesktopAutomation and BrowsersAutomation. The first has a dependency on UIAutomation.dlls (access to the MS desktop elements) and the ...
3
votes
1answer
429 views

Continuous integration and modifying existing UI automation tests

Our team is currently facing a situation where we are changing a feature that is in the product today. This feature has Selenium automation tests associated with it. We are performing a fairly major ...
2
votes
7answers
7k views

Automatically delete files after they expire

I've got this idea for some time and I was wondering if anyone has seen such a feature/app in any operating system and if you haven't, what do you think about it. Where do you think I should begin? ...
2
votes
3answers
238 views

Why only scripting languages for automating tasks? [closed]

To automate tasks, I have only heard of people using scripting languages. Why don't people use compiled languages to automate tasks? What can scripting languages do for automating tasks that ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Where to run automation UI Tests - Build server or Test machine

We are having a set of selenium UI tests for our application. We are deploying the application in our test machines in our QA environment. We are using TFS 2015 for continuous integration and ...
2
votes
1answer
959 views

How can I maintain a SQL schema upgrade that goes out to our users on a regular basis?

I work on a project that uses a SQL database as a back end, and a desktop app as a front end. We do releases on a regular basis, and as part of a release, our client needs to update their SQL server. ...
2
votes
3answers
207 views

What advantages do daily builds provide specifically over continuous builds in practice?

I have seen this question and do not believe this to be a duplicate What software models are appropriate for daily builds and continuous integration? . I don't fully understand what advantage ...