Today I came across a blog entry on the need for programming expertise for test automation. I had the urge to reply. While doing so, I decided to put my reply up on my blog and call it the tool vendor fallacy. Just in case…
I don’t quite agree to your statements. The problem is not whether your tool should support you to do some script, or you need help from a programmer. The problem stays the same, but has different stakeholders.
You might claim that a tool will support your testing needs in better ways as compared to a home-grown solution. The problem is, that you put the responsibility to test the code that does your test automation to the automation vendor.
Instead of building your own solution with everything you need, you ask the tool vendor to make assumptions for whatever you will need in your product in ten years to come. He might be good at guessing your need, or he might fail to predict the future. He might actually build a great tool for you, but he might also fail to include this tiny little bit that your whole business will rely on.
The problem is not whether or not you need to program to automate tests. There will be always some code involved in building automated tests – may it be the tool or your own home-grown code. The problem rather is that you lack support of programming experts to help you with automating your tests.
This is a problem you will have to solve on your own. There is no tool vendor necessary to solve that problem.