Automation In Testing
The first time I heard about this topic was by listening to Richard's talk back in 2015 at Agile Testing Days. I got intrigued, and joined Richard's and Mark's related tutorial day the year afterwards. I was super curious how their content evolved. And I did not regret it at all, to the contrary!
They gave the course for the tenth time and thus labeled it their version 1.0. Also, as we started on April 1, a nice little April's fools joke was included ;-)
Checking slides for this weeks #AutomationInTesting, forget that the one a few weeks ago at #TestBash fell on the 1st April, so this was our opening slide, and what we had planned for the next three days… pic.twitter.com/w0iq1ykuVi— Richard Bradshaw (@FriendlyTester) 14. April 2019
Now, I don't want to spoil the contents of the course. I'd rather heavily recommend that you take it.
What I really liked was that the following things were in focus:
- Testing and us as humans involved
- The multiple ways how automation can help your testing
- The manifold ways existing or self-built tools can help your testing
- How to educate people back home
- Many different hands-on exercises, learning and practicing together, in smaller and larger groups
Besides the actual content, I learned a lot about myself once more during the course. We had time to solve a problem on the second day. Our table's group worked very well together before, yet we stumbled in this challenge. Speaking for myself: I found myself pressured by the task at hand, especially by the limited time and the need to justify our decisions well at the end. I found myself not being able to make the jump from our great discussions on architecture and prioritization to actual implementation. I found myself a lot less confident in implementation than I would like to be. I found myself getting paralyzed by the fact that much of what we wanted to do existed already in the project, so what's the point of implementing it again. I found myself realizing the more stressed I am, the less I understand, also acoustically, the more solo I work, the less help I seek - the less I enjoy what I am doing. I found myself getting angry with myself. This was a real grounding experience. The good thing: The next day we found ourselves in different groups, getting a different problem to solve. And we thrived together! The whole table mobbed together, getting all tasks done by bringing all our knowledge, experience, observations and any other skill in. A wonderful experience! Now, all being said: if you have the chance, try it yourself.
The only downside of taking the course was that I missed the overlapping new conference TestBash Essentials. From what I heard from very experienced people, the talks were all super high quality and very welcome reminders of the basics we might have never got taught ourselves! Hope I can catch this new format next time.
The 3 day #AutomationInTesting course by @FriendlyTester & @2bittester was a blast! Valuable concepts to gain a deeper understanding of testing and how automation can help us. Lots of interactive discussions, hands-on exercises, real-life problem solving! Really recommended. #AiT— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 4. April 2019
For the workshop day I chose two that I've wanted to attend for some time now. In Angie Jones' "Clean Coding Practices for Test Automation" workshop she guided us in refactoring a "smelly" automation project, sharing her wisdom of good practices and design patterns for automation throughout. It was great, well structured, easy to follow, giving time to practice and find the solution ourselves before discussing it. I really enjoyed it!
The workshop "Clean Coding Practices for Test Automation" by @techgirl1908 was really enlightening! It was fun to clean up smelly code step by step and discover new solutions and tools to help us. Learned a bunch! #TestBash— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 4. April 2019
In the afternoon I joined Mark Winteringham's workshop "Approval Testing: Superpower Your Automation Feedback". I've heard of the approval testing approach for quite some time now, yet never got my hands on it to give it a try myself. The workshop gave me exactly this opportunity, and I was positively surprised by how easy and fast it was to add valid tests. Even though you had to run them at least once to approve the first snapshot. The workshop was well instructed and easy to follow along.
In the workshop "Approval Testing" by @2bittester I finally could try that approach myself, hands-on. Had my first steps with #ApprovalTests and @Applitools and got to appreciate this approach! Great introduction, well taught. #TestBash— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 4. April 2019
During both workshops, I worked solo. Not my preferred way of working, yet paying well into my #CodeConfident challenge. A personal achievement during Mark's workshop was that I was able to do all exercises quickly and offer my help for others!
TestBash Conference Day
The big day came, and I had the honor to open the conference! In my talk "Cross-team Pair Testing: Lessons of a Testing Traveler" I shared the lessons learned on my Testing Tour. I was overwhelmed by all the positive feedback I received afterwards, both in person and on Twitter! This really added to my confidence. As this if often dearly needed, I established a habit over the last conferences. To make my own achievements visible, I started to list all the feedback I received for myself. Whenever I am having a bad day, that's something to look back into. It really helps me to acknowledge that I indeed could provide value to these people. I am also always creating a Twitter moment and add all tweets to it. I normally don't share these, yet feel free to check it out my TestBash Brighton Twitter moment to see for yourself.
#Sketchnote of @lisihocke’s testing tour at #TestBash - learnt so much, such a great talk ❤️ pic.twitter.com/onlLfL1Nhp— Marissa 🤖🧚🏻♀️ (@MarissaTestsIt) 5. April 2019
“Set out on this journey, join others and please share your travel reports with us.” – @lisihocke #testbash #TestingTour— Simon Tomes (@simon_tomes) 5. April 2019
Check out @lisihocke testing tour blog https://t.co/OlwaBSpViJ Awesome talk. Thank you #testbash pic.twitter.com/Z3F77XX6yV— Dan Billing (@TheTestDoctor) 5. April 2019
Seriously inspiring talk by @lisihocke about pair testing beyond your own company. "Co-location is not a requirement but an excuse". Also "If you learn 1 thing from it you are better than you were yesterday" Great stuff! #TestBash— Ammar Hassan (@ammar_uk) 5. April 2019
The greatest thing: With my talk I could inspire many other people to go on a testing tour themselves, or start pair testing with other testers at their company. The best feedback ever!
Who is going to attempt to do a testing tour next, inspired by @lisihocke talk? I’m up for it if you want to chat. #testbash— Kim Knup (@Punkmik) 5. April 2019
@lisihocke you completely rocked the stage!! Thank you for your talk, you have gotten our wheels moving on testing tours. #testbash— Emma Keaveny (@EmJayKay80) 5. April 2019
The rest of the day, I created sketchnotes of the talks again - I found I really enjoy this style of note taking during talks. I remember a lot more from the talks, and the community really welcomes me sharing them - so thank you Marianne Duijst once more for your huge inspiration!When it comes to Marianne, who normally creates wonderful sketchnotes herself: this time she did the amazing endeavor of live blogging the talks. Check them out to get a lot more in-depth impressions of the talks!
- "United by Security: The Test that Divides Us" by Claire Reckless and Jay Harris.
"United by Security: The Test that Divides Us" by @clairereckless & @JayHarris_Sec #TestBash pic.twitter.com/Dd1Fhu2hSp— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 6. April 2019
- "Changing Testing Culture in a Ginormous Company" by Jim Holmes.
"Changing Testing Culture in a Ginormous Company" by @aJimHolmes #TestBash pic.twitter.com/pXgLd5uTJ2— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 6. April 2019
- "Owning Your Craft" by Mike Smith. This was the only talk I unfortunately could not sketchnote. I always experience a huge down after I have spoken myself, and this was the time I helplessly got distracted. Yet what I heard this was a great talk!
- "Practicalities of Building Communities at Scale" by Lindsay Strydom and Gareth Waterhouse.
"Practicalities of Building Communities at Scale" by @strydom_lindsay & @gwaterhouse85 #TestBash pic.twitter.com/6ylI3Eg2Qv— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 6. April 2019
- "Continuous Performance Testing" by Eric Proegler.
- "Testing Biscuits: Benefits of Exploring Other Disciplines and Industries" by Conor Fitzgerald.
"Testing Biscuits: Benefits of Exploring Other Disciplines and Industries" by @conorfi #TestBash pic.twitter.com/vqO1yIty32— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 6. April 2019
- "Rise of the Guardians - Testing Machine Learning Algorithms 101" by Patrick Prill. I loved the fact that I could finally listen to a talk of Patrick myself! He is the one who heard the raw versions of my talks and leveled up each and every one of them. I owe him! And I loved his way of breaking down a complex topic in a comprehensible and even entertaining manner.
"Rise of the Guardians: Testing Machine Learning Algorithms 101" by @TestPappy #TestBash pic.twitter.com/mnIcmByV03— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) 6. April 2019
- "Combating Bias with Heuristics of Diversity" by Ash Coleman.
That is 6631 words & wrap! Mission #LiveBlogging the #TestBash is completed! See https://t.co/q2ZXGLNcNj for all the liveblogs & add your own notes, thoughts & start the discussion!— Marianne Duijst (@marianneduijst) 5. April 2019
TestBash Open Space
Saturday came, and it was the sixth day of learning in a row. I had to admit to myself that my brain did not work well anymore. So I've spent most of the open space sessions in the hallway, in conversations with other people. That re-energized again!
The one session that stood out for me personally was the last one where I joined Jay Harris being asked all things hacking and penetration testing. Absolutely informative, learning a bunch!
Relaxing and Looking Forward
The conference was over, and there were few people left. One of them was Melissa Eaden, and we chose to go sightseeing together. We had a lovely time! If you get the chance to, speak with Mel. She is simply amazing. Extremely knowledgeable, inspiring, and simply fun to be around with.
@lisihocke It was a lovely time! Thank you for hanging out with me and exploring Brighton! pic.twitter.com/Dswtt4RrzK— MelTheTester (@melthetester) 10. April 2019
This conference was made by the community, the people. I loved the reunion with many wonderful beings, such as João Proença, Patrick Prill, Gil Zilberfeld, Gem Hill, Claire Reckless. It was great to meet people for the first time in real life, like Parveen Khan. And it's always great to meet many new people as well, many of them on their first testing conference like Marissa or Georgia Bloyce!
At the Cricketers @melthetester @g33klady @lisihocke @jrosaproenca #TestBash #FirstDay pic.twitter.com/LdQ7xFBvoS— Gil Zilberfeld (@gil_zilberfeld) 3. April 2019
I had a very great time, and am already looking forward to returning to the UK for my next TestBash - as I got selected to speak at TestBash Manchester as well! For this I will share my journey and lessons learned from my challenge of becoming #CodeConfident. This will be a brand-new presentation - so Patrick, I need you and looking forward to receiving your wonderful feedback! :-)