Be aware of the “fake it until you make it” mindset in Test Automation and CI/CD

Be a real IT professional!

Zhimin Zhan
5 min readJan 10, 2022


Background Image Source: USA TODAY

This article is one of the “Be aware of Fake Test Automation/DevOps Engineers” series.

The first big news in the tech world this year is that “Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos is found guilty on four out of 11 federal charges”. This so-called “female Steve Jobs” will probably spend her next 20 years in prison. According to the New York Times’ report on this, faking is common in Silicon Valley.

“In Silicon Valley’s world of make-believe, the philosophy of “fake it until you make it” finally gets its comeuppance.” — New York Times (2022–01–03)

In doubt? Here is a line from my favourite TV show “Silicon Valley” (Season 4, Episode 9):

Hooli CEO’s candid words, he was on the stage preparing his presentation, in which he would show the 90-second demo.

Faking Test Automation (UI) and CI/CD are everywhere

With that perspective (faking at top executives), it is reasonable to assume some degrees of faking at lower levels (IT project or individual) as well. Readers probably will agree more with my previous comment “E2E test automation in most software projects are faking, intentionally or unintentionally”.

Faking Test Automation, CI/CD/CT, or DevOps is very common. Not convinced? try to answer the following questions:

  • [Test Automation] How many user stories are covered by automated UI tests?
  • [Test Automation] Does your project have a comprehensive automated regression testing suite that runs daily?
  • [Test Automation] Does your team still mainly rely on manual testing?
  • [CI/CD] What is the average code coverage (unit testing) of last month’s builds on a CI server?
  • [CT] Do you run automated UI tests in a CT (or CI) server? How long does it take?
  • [DevOps] How often does your team push updates to the production server? every day or every sprint?
  • [DevOps] How many minutes do your developers wait for feedback (integration or testing) after…



Zhimin Zhan

Test automation & CT coach, author, speaker and award-winning software developer. Help teams succeed with Agile/DevOps by implementing real Continuous Testing.