7 rules for (Agile) Test Automation

In a previous project I had to compete against the established experts when trying to introduce a sensible test automation approach.

The reasoning why not to work with suitable tools was mainly based on the fear of change, the unwillingness to automate and the build up idea that when you do automate, the only way to overcome problems is by having expensive licenses.

There are several good reasons why you should automate, but most important is that the team is confident about the quality of the product being developed and gets reliable and fast feedback when making changes.
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We are not Testers

In 2009 Steward Reid predicted that within 10 years 70% of all software development would be done with some form of Agile methodology.  Due to the growing need for ‘’hands’’ this would result in having to employ also the less qualified testers on these projects. The first point he made is absolutely valid, the second point is only valid looking at it as a commercial opportunity (you don’t need hands if you work with qualified people), maybe he only said it to comfort the people who fear loosing their jobs because of this shift. It’s obvious that now Agile is becoming main stream there is a growing demand for qualified testers.Read more →

QA&TEST 2011 Conference Impression

Last week I joined the QA&TEST conference in the beautiful town of Bilbao. In this post I’ll give an impression of some of the presentations I attended to and the idea’s I picked up. Most valuable sessions I attended were “Pushing the Boundaries of User Experience” by Julien Harty and “Automated Reliability Testing via hardware interfaces” by Bryan Bakker. Read about it in more detail in the article.

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Introduction to Xebium


When testing web interfaces, it’s convenient to use an intuitive tool like Selenium IDE, it’s easy to use and can be used by non-technical people, but it is solely meant for record and playback of test-scripts. One of its limitations is that it misses sufficient options for documenting and managing tests. Furthermore it misses an interface with the backend of the system under test (SUT), to setup preconditions for a test or for instance to manipulate or read from a database.
Fitnesse is a great tool to do just that, it has the Wiki to manage tests and it by default has a setup and teardown mechanism, it’s easy to add non invasive testfixtures to interface directly with your SUT. The downside is that it is incapable of doing webtests.

We now have the glue that combines the two, it’s called Xebium!

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Fitnesse – Selenium integration struggles

Recently I was challenged by a client to test a new web application in an Agile project. The team was new at working Agile and even more with working together with a functional tester, altogether this resulted in me getting very little development support from the team.
Because the lack of tooling and support I focussed my efforts on just recording test-scripts using Selenium IDE, hoping I would be able to reuse them once I got the development support I had been requesting. The plan was to integrate the pre-recorded scripts in a more extended test environment in a later stage of the project.

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Agile Testing: Getting things Done!

For some years now I have been working as a tester in agile projects. In our projects we are trying out new ways to integrate testing into the development cycle and ideally to offer a complete project solution to our customers. In my vision the perfect offering would be to create working software with each development cycle, which has the actual ‘Done’ status. Not only ‘Done’ from a development point of view, but actually ‘Done’ from the customer perspective as well.
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