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EuroSTAR 2016 – My Thoughts
If somebody would ask me what has most impressed me in this year’s EuroSTAR I would list two things:
- I went to a tutorial by Richard Bradshaw called ‘Lego Selenium – Getting started with Test Automation’ because I had always heard a lot about selenium and hadn’t come to use it yet. What really captured me though was not the selenium part, but how well he managed to convey the fact that automation tools are really stupid! When one starts using them it is difficult to get into this mind set. Richard divided the participants in groups of two, a Robot and a Tester. The Tester was supposed to write a simple script to tell the Robot how to go get some Lego pieces and then put them together in a simple pattern, a job any two year old could manage easily. Robots were instructed to follow the instructions literally: it was hilarious to see some pushing against the wall, others coming back with a wrong piece or no piece at all and of course putting the collected pieces together in all the wrong ways! Only a couple of Testers could get it right at the first try. And even to be a ‘stupid’ Robot proved no easy task! I will certainly use this example when coaching new automators!
- I went to a workshop by Isabel Evans titled ‘Learning to tell our testing stories’. Currently I’m writing a book about test automation patterns along with Dorothy Graham so I thought that a workshop to learn how to tell stories would be just right for me. What really got me was when she had us write ‘Testing Haikus’! A Haiku is a traditional Japanese poetry that consists of three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. She wanted to show us how effective it is to describe something in a really terse way and yes, she very effectively made the point. The different groups came up with quite entertaining haikus and what I found most amazing was how quickly we got the hang of it! Now I am practicing writing them because Isabel’s workshop gave me the idea to write the chapter titles in our book as haikus! My current results seem to show that I should stay with test automation and leave Japanese poetry to somebody else, but I must confess that even if my haikus are not particularly good, writing them is pure fun!
Seretta Gamba has more than 30 years experience in software development and testing. As test manager at Steria Mummert ISS GmbH, she improved the test automation process, and developed Command-Driven Testing and a supporting framework, later enhanced to enable the test automation team to â€œharvestâ€ test case information by supporting manual testing. A description of this experience became Chapter 21 in the book ‘Experiences of Test Automation’ by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster. In 2012 she started writing about Test Automation Patterns, which she is now working on along with Dorothy Graham.