When it comes to test automation, a lot of companies tend to pick tools that are readily available to them—as opposed to the ones that align best with their strategy. But there’s one factor that’s just as important: making sure their developers can actually support it. And make no mistake—that’s not as easy as it sounds.
A baseball lineup is a lot like your IT department—it’s comprised of specialized personnel with various strengths.
If you watch baseball with anything more than a passing interest, you likely understand how vital a closer’s role is; but unless you’re a seriously hardcore fan of the national pastime, I doubt you’ve ever heard of a LOOGY.
(Don’t worry: it’s not what you’re thinking of.)
Being a game of strategic substitutions, baseball teams thrive on the right player for the right situation. Whether that’s putting your best power hitter 3rd in the lineup or having your speediest guy batting leadoff, it’s all about how you use your personnel.
Which brings us to the LOOGY, which means Lefty One Out Guy. These are the pitchers you see brought in to face one hitter—normally a left-handed power hitter, since they tend to have a harder time hitting against left-handed pitchers. And more often than not, they win that matchup, because they’ve been placed in a position to succeed.
That’s because a baseball lineup is a lot like your IT department—it’s comprised of specialized personnel with various strengths. The very success of your strategy hinges upon ensuring you have the right people, doing the right thing, at the right time.
That’s why it’s such a pity when IT departments go through all the effort of investing in an automation tool—building a business case, engaging a third-party consultant, convincing upper management, procuring licenses, etc.—only to settle on one that doesn’t play to their developers’ strengths.
In a way, it’s kind of like putting your best hitter at the bottom of your batting order; an utter waste of their ability and talent. Your developers are the heart and soul of a test automation effort, so making sure they can work with your tool is arguably the single-most important consideration you’ll have to make.
It’s pretty simple: if your developers can’t handle your tool, you’ll have to find new ones. And that’s not nearly as easy as it appears.
It’s an issue of supply and demand. There’s only a finite amount of tool-specific automation engineers out there—and because of the mass proliferation of test automation, everybody and their brother is looking for them. If you’re not prepared to jump waist-deep into the hyper-competitive world of recruiting, you’re going to be up a creek without a paddle faster than you can say “open source”.
Thankfully, as bad as the consequences can be, there’s a pretty easy way to avoid this scenario. Just make sure that your developers can handle the tool you’re going to procure; or ensure that you’ve got an ace recruiter or a third-party consultant lined up to pick up the slack (we’re happy to help!).
Who says LOOGY’s are a baseball-only term, anyways?
Lighthouse Technologies, Inc.
Software Testing | Quality Assurance Consulting | Oracle EBS Consulting