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The Open Source Path to Effortless Automation Ep 6: Onward and Upward

Effortless Automation Series

Episode 5 navigated the path that companies follow in adopting open source software, from experimentation to consumption to participation, and sometimes to project leadership.  This path represents an evolution of open source culture for an organization, accruing both benefits and responsibilities along the way.  Gabriel and his test automation team are enjoying real returns on their investments in open source, setting an example for collaboration that offered ROI across their entire company.

Challenges Met and Overcome

By leveraging the experience and enthusiasm of team members like OSPO lead Codie, and community participation by lab tech Francisco, the whole team was able to meet and overcome a range of challenges to adopting OpenTAP and other open source technology:

  • Familiarity and comfort with legacy in-house and proprietary test automation solutions

  • Concerns from the legal department about licensing terms, obligations
    and control of IP

  • General resistance to change – a factor in all organizations

Fortunately, the team was able to point to a string of internal successes to justify OpenTAP adoption:

  • A smooth pilot that leveraged existing hardware, software and test cases, outperforming expectations

  • An early production implementation that kept the test team on or ahead of schedule

  • Collecting and sharing compelling metrics for performance and engineering effort

Moreover, group director Tanya and other managers were impressed to learn how adopting OpenTAP and participating in an open source project helped to eliminate risk from internal legacy software as well as from commercial vendor lock-in, reducing or eliminating delays and overhead from maintaining in-house test platforms, lowering defect rates and improving margins.  Win-win-win.

All teams benefitted from the insights, resources and experience of the OpenTAP community.  Soon even critics were becoming advocates of OpenTAP-based transformation of test automation.

Collaboration is its Own Reward, and More

The company benefited fiscally, operationally, technically and reputationally. 

  • Building on open source OpenTAP reduced costs of technology acquisition and upkeep, freeing up resources and supporting re-use of legacy hardware and software

  • Standardizing on a single test automation platform allowed test teams to consolidate development efforts and re-use code across projects

  • OpenTAP delivered boosts in performance and capabilities, streamlining test execution and supported greater parallelism in test operations

  • Visible participation in a community-based project enhanced the company’s reputation for innovation, attracting new talent and helping to engage a global partner ecosystem

The individuals behind the adoption and integration of OpenTAP and open source software were willing to take risks and exert leadership, within their groups, the company and beyond. 

For that, they were rewarded:

Gabriel – The "Change Angel"

  • Built a new career on technology transformation

  • Promoted to Director

  • Now responsible for transforming a larger organization that requires
    next-generation automation of testing and other technologies

Codie – OSPO Lead

  • Part-time open source advocacy now fully funded

  • Elevated to new levels of visibility and importance

  • OSPO is now a permanent fixture in the CTO’s office

Francisco – Lab Tech

  • Internally, became chief architect on the manufacturing test team

  • Externally, as the company’s participation and contributions evolved, Francisco
    was offered the role of a project maintainer for OpenTAP

  • Began blogging and presenting at conferences on open source test automation

Tanya – Executive Sponsor

  • Promoted from VP of system test to CTO

  • Now oversees all R&D, design validation and manufacturing test

  • Encouraging other groups to look at open source technologies and projects

Michael – Corporate Attorney

  • Worked with the OSPO to establish company-wide policies for
    use of open source and contribution to open source projects

  • Benefiting from community programs to support legal expertise

  • Now has more time to devote to contracts, patents and other strategic issues

Now It’s Your Turn

Like our heroes, you have the opportunity to revolutionize your approach to test automation, transform your organization, and advance your career, with OpenTAP.

Take the first step.

 Visit and join the OpenTAP Community.

To Learn More

Once your plugins are complete, you will do package them so they can be reused and scaled across your team, or even published on Learn how to do this from the videos below: