As the project is progressing, pressure mounts for developers to “just code” and stop all the other work, like automated testing. I have heard the following comment many times “automated testing is a testers responsibility”. The whole point of automated tests is to help the team develop better quality code faster. If that is not the case, then the team should stop doing the automated tests. On the other hand, if it is helping the team then there should be no argument to stop, as stopping would slow the team down or reduce the quality of the application.
As the automated tests help the team, then it is the teams responsibility. Not testers, not developers, not BAs but the team who owns functional automated tests, just like the team is responsible for delivering a working application that satisfies the customer. There are tools available (TWIST is one that jumps to mind, but FIT/Fitness and Concordion are others I know) which enable all team members to contribute to functional automated testing whether they are technical or not. I have recently worked on a project where the BAs created requirements straight into Concordion, the developers then used those to create methods to execute the automated tests and the testers (there was only a couple) helped flesh out the tests being done and had some hand in maintaining the tests, for example identifying the cause of a failure and linking new test cases to existing methods.
A team should be made up of people with the right set of skills, not the right titles.