It has been two years this week since I had a chance meeting with my school buddy at UiPath FORWARD 2018 in London. The theme was 'Accelerate Everything' and I was carrying my personal experiences of how robotic process automation (RPA) had started moving the needle on automation coverage. That personal catch up with Param Kahlon, Chief Product Officer (CPO) at UiPath, turned into a deep exchange of ideas. Kulpreet Singh, Managing Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at the time, threw in a great challenge: that we (at the time my employer was a global systems integrator) had not done enough to exploit the potential of RPA.
And he was spot on.
Back in 2018, the industry was still scratching the surface, but we were beginning to see very creative use cases of RPA. Not only in the originally intended space of business process automation (BPA) but all the way across operations, testing, and development.
During my conversations with Param and Kulpreet, UiPath co-founder and CEO Daniel Dines listened intently, while relishing his favorite dish at the counter. The FORWARD 2018 event had humility and sense of purpose written all over the event, and that sense of purpose made an impact on me.
Fast forward, I joined the UiPath team and we launched the first release of UiPath Test Suite earlier this year. Gerd Weishaar and team came onboard to shape the product vision, and Viorel Canja and team took on the baton to engineer the build. I have been extremely fortunate to work with a talented team, and our journey together over the last 18 months is full of anecdotes and events that we will cherish forever.
Kulpreet is retiring from UiPath this month, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect upon where we started and why, and where we are heading. He would paint the journey much better than I would so I will stay on the key dots which are nicely connecting into a world class picture.
Global test automation average is 30% (at best). Some of the reasons which impede automation coverage are:
High churn in application ecosystem
Lack of business knowledge
Lack of test data and environments
Dexterity and knowledge of the automation tool
Hence, our mission was very clear since day one. We wanted a tool that would make it easier for the testers and automation engineers to handle the above gaps with ease. We wanted to help enterprises see testing as a value-add activity rather than a cost affair. Our aim, therefore, was (and continues to be) to make testing and test automation intuitive, easy to deliver, and much easier to maintain.
While we were studying these limiting factors, we also came across several examples of our clients making great use of UiPath for testing as well IT operations. Therefore, encouraged by the positive outcomes of client use cases, UiPath steered to include test automation capabilities. Further experiments and feedback uncovered many use cases and advantages.
With dramatic proliferation of technology in every aspect of business, it is very encouraging to see UiPath platform serving multiple missions—RPA as well as testing—making it possible to share automation artifacts created across the organization. Not only that, within the testing space, our platform’s ability to integrate and work with more than 190 technologies makes it easier to adopt and deliver for:
Minimal programming knowledge. Not all of us are great at programming and we would rather help harmonize various skills for the end purpose. A tester should be rewarded for testing the system and the end-to-end journey rather than worrying about coding. As they say, "Creativity is intelligence having fun.” And UiPath Test Suite makes it so for testers.
Production-grade orchestration. While traditional tools have mastered the non-production side, UiPath core orchestration capabilities for live, production-grade execution sets the UiPath Platform apart. Users report significant increases in speed and productivity.
Ease of creation and maintenance. Test Suite continues to demonstrate not only it is easy to use but also reduces maintenance efforts. Imagine this testing efficiency allowing time for creativity and diverting resources towards increased coverage. One of our clients has already reported a 2X increase in automation coverage.
Being a firm believer in the cultural change that DevOps demands, I think tools such as UiPath Test Suite assist and fuel that change with dramatic ease. A tool cannot replace human need for learning and cross skilling, but it certainly can make the journey easier and rewarding. As we continue our mission of ‘a robot for every person,’ why would a developer or a tester be left behind? An intelligent digital buddy probably is all one needs to cut through the complexities and ride the wave of change with ease.
As we head towards the end of 2020, a look back at what the team has delivered certainly fills everyone with pride. How we trend on enterprise automation assisted by automated testing and how many friends we make on the way, will certainly be on my next read out. For now, wishing Kulpreet, the force behind UiPath Test Suite, a very happy break.