maandag 13 mei 2013

TestNet SpringEvent 2013 - Part 1 - The Tutorial

Today is 13th of May, SpringEvent of the Dutch TestNet. I have started my journey early today to get to Nieuwegein's NBC where it's held. I'm travelling by public transport, which goes perfectly well until I get to Utrecht Central Station, where the fast-tram stop has been moved from front to back and I didn't get the signing (is there any in the stations hall?) and I end up looking for the changed location and missing the tram, resulting in delay...aargh... well I got to the venue eventually and on time, I guess that's the most important.

The day starts with the tutorials, since it's my part-time day and I won't have to visit a client in the morning this time, I'm taking the opportunity to attend one. I chose 'Automating Production Simulations for Added Value' by Scott Barber (Twitter:@sbarber). Here are some 'blogsnippets from that tutorial':
Scott is after that telling about is path which he followed to get where he's now. I'm wondering where this is going, is there a message where this is going to or just getting to know him.... it takes a while but the point is: he didn't follow any programming or testing education but he looks at things differently than 'the norm' and we're about to look at things differently during this tutorial and he shows the image about 'nothing can stop automation'.

There's loads of 'me' from Scott, but little 'what's in it for me' till now, but anticipation is building when the following is said;  when you're taking your first steps in automation he's going to 'melt the brain', I sure hope so. The audience is really tame till this moment, there's not THAT much interaction although Scott is asking questions and relates to the knowns in the audience. I guess it takes a while to pick up steam.

Next is the following comic
and the following mind-map, which we can add to (please also look at this map for tutorial content): (I also made a PDF of the 12.52 h. version which will be available on '' later on...)

What's the point : "I don't care what "framework" you use, they all miss something important!
He's now mentioning the amazing: 

Tester's TIP; save a webpage that has loads of validations, save it to your desktop, open it and delete (most of) the javascript (it still has to submit though!), open it in your browser, type in everything you want and submit... and you bypass all the front-end / pre-commit data validations. 

"Most test automation lack narrowly defined Oracles to detect almost anything of value!" is now shown on the sheet, there's also a discussion about all the shades of grey between YES or NO. (My thoughts on this are: shades of grey are just very small defined YES or NO's ....even if you have a deviation of minus 10% or plus 10% it is still a YES/NO question... it falls between these margins or not)

 "An automated test's value is mostly unrelated to the specific purpose for which it was written. It's the accidental things that count: the untargeted bugs that it finds" 
Don't stop just because your automated checks work. Add more value with production simulations.
Wow, nice/surprising fact: ... only 56% of traphic on websites are really humans, the rest is bots and spiders.

Seems to me that automation is all about very nifty 'if then elses' and same as very small yes-no's mentioned earlier; the smaller those get (more elaborated) the more 'sentient' a test /might/  seem... It's becoming cool when this is combined with random data input so flows are followed differently every time.

It's now 12.44, that means I only have about a quarter of an hour left of this tutorial and we're running through models (see mind map for the types!). It's time for me to round up this blogpost. The tutorial has been a bit disappointing for me in one way that the three quarters of introduction could have been used to tell more about content than intro; the tutorial was little hands-on and mostly highlevel. Feels like of the 4 hours, only 2 hours were used effectively on content, which is a pity, because the topic is interesting enough.
Well I guess my expectancy was a bit higher and although I'm a bit disappointed I guess I'm inspired enough to search for more info, which is something too! Now signing of for the closure of this tutorial and making myself ready for the second part of the SpringEvent this afternoon and evening!